Oases of biodiversity: Early Devonian palaeoecology of Hamar Laghdad, Morocco

Journal article
(Original article)

Publication Details

Author(s): Klug C, Samankassou E, Pohle A, de Baets K, Franchi F, Korn D
Journal: Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie-Abhandlungen
Publication year: 2018
Volume: 290
Journal issue: 1-3
Pages range: 9 - 48
ISSN: 0077-7749
eISSN: 2363-717X


The mudmound locality of Hamar Laghdad (Tafilalt Platform)
contains possibly the greatest palaeobiodiversity, both horizontally in
the surrounding sediments and stratigraphically through the Devonian
sedimentary succession of the Moroccan eastern Anti-Atlas. From the
Ordovician to the Devonian, sediments of the Hamar Laghdad region and
their fossil contents tend to differ slightly from those in
time-equivalent strata of other parts of the Tafilalt Platform. Our
research provides a description of the sedimentological and
palaeontological record of Hamar Laghdad covering the Lochkovian to
Givetian interval. We use alpha-diversity data based on macrofossils
from selected fossiliferous strata and compare the results with the
relative abundance of bioclasts in polished sections. We show that the
palaeobiodiversity of Hamar Laghdad was similar to that of the southern
Tafilalt with a normal diversity during the Pragian, i.e. prior to
mudmound initiation and growth. By contrast, the layers covering the
massive mudmound carbonates (e.g., when their activity had ceased) show a
high diversity during the latest Emsian with a trophic nucleus
comprising 36 species. This fauna, here exemplified by the ‘Red Fauna’
(from the Red Cliff), is dominated by benthic suspension feeders
(corals, brachiopods and crinoids) and cephalopods. The shift in
biodiversity is most likely related to the local occurrence of a
favourable environmental setting, characterized by a temporally and
spatially varying topography. It is assumed that this setting was
influenced by sea-level fluctuations, currents and nutrient

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

de Baets, Kenneth PD Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt

External institutions with authors

Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science / Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung
Universität Zürich (UZH)

How to cite

Klug, C., Samankassou, E., Pohle, A., de Baets, K., Franchi, F., & Korn, D. (2018). Oases of biodiversity: Early Devonian palaeoecology of Hamar Laghdad, Morocco. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie-Abhandlungen, 290(1-3), 9 - 48. https://dx.doi.org/10.1127/njgpa/2018/0772

Klug, Christian, et al. "Oases of biodiversity: Early Devonian palaeoecology of Hamar Laghdad, Morocco." Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie-Abhandlungen 290.1-3 (2018): 9 - 48.


Last updated on 2019-06-01 at 07:10

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