Macroinvertebrate palaeo-communities from the Jurassic succession of Gebel Maghara (Sinai, Egypt)

Abdelhady AA, Fürsich F (2014)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2014


Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Book Volume: 97

Pages Range: 173-193

DOI: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2014.04.019


Macrobenthic palaeo-communities of the Middle and Upper Jurassic strata of G. Maghara, Egypt, were investigated to identify relationships with environmental parameters and to trace the temporal changes of the ecosystem associated with sea-level fluctuations. The quantitative analysis of a data matrix comprising 198 macrobenthic taxa in 138 samples collected from four sections identified nine associations and three assemblages, interpreted to be representative of their original environment. Non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) delineated the same degree of habitat partitioning as hierarchical clusters with very little overlap. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) identified water depth as the primary environmental gradient controlling the distribution of the fauna, while Axis 2 reflects substrate consistency. Community structure is related to the various ramp environments. Based on diversities, the associations and assemblages have been divided into two major groups, low-stress polyspecific associations and high-stress paucispecific associations. The low-stress polyspecific associations were interpreted to represent two different habitats, a high-energy, firm substrate habitat, in which epifaunal bivalves and brachiopods in addition to solitary corals dominated during advanced stages of transgression, and a low-energy, soft substrate habitat dominated by infaunal bivalves during the maximum flooding. The high-stress paucispecific associations are dominated by one or few taxa and occurred (1) in an oligotrophic setting that developed during episodes of sediment starvation in restricted inner ramp environments or during early transgression, (2) in a setting characterized by high sedimentation rates which developed during advanced regression, (3) in a distal prodelta setting with soft substrate and dysoxia during sea-level lowstand, and (4) in a high-energy shoal environment during peak regression. A combined stress involving a shortage in food supply, episodic dysoxia, in addition to a soupy substrate may have developed during maximum flooding episodes. Hydrodynamic conditions were most likely the main factor controlling the benthic communities. Hydrodynamic conditions influenced the substrate type, redistributed nutrients and were responsible for stratified water masses and hypoxia. Animal-sediment relationships in addition to replacement between bivalves and brachiopods are also discussed. Middle ramp settings were found to provide the best conditions for macrobenthos. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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Abdelhady, A.A., & Fürsich, F. (2014). Macroinvertebrate palaeo-communities from the Jurassic succession of Gebel Maghara (Sinai, Egypt). Journal of African Earth Sciences, 97, 173-193.


Abdelhady, Ahmed Awad, and Franz Fürsich. "Macroinvertebrate palaeo-communities from the Jurassic succession of Gebel Maghara (Sinai, Egypt)." Journal of African Earth Sciences 97 (2014): 173-193.

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