Bryozoan-rich stromatolites (bryostromatolites) from the Silurian of Gotland and their relation to climate-related perturbations of the global carbon cycle

Claußen AL, Munnecke A, Ernst A (2021)


Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2021

Journal

DOI: 10.1111/sed.12863

Abstract

Bryozoan–stromatolite associations (bryostromatolites) formed conspicuous reef structures throughout the Sheinwoodian (Wenlock) to Ludfordian (Ludlow) stratigraphy on Gotland but have not been described so far. They are mainly composed of encrusting bryozoans forming a complex intergrowth with porostromate and spongiostromate microbes and are different from the abundant stromatoporoid–coral–algal reefs with respect to their composition. In the bryostromatolite different growth stages can be identified. The observed succession can be taken as evidence for cyclic environmental changes during reef formation. Stenohaline reef-dwelling organisms, such as echinoderms, sponges, corals and trilobites, indicate fully marine salinities. Ten localities exposing bryostromatolites were discovered. Individual bryostromatolites are small with few decimetres up to one metre in size, and occur solely in shallow marine areas. Common features of these reefs on Gotland are cauliflower-like growth, a high bryozoan diversity, a high abundance of phosphatic fossils and components such as bryozoan pearls and inarticulate phosphatic brachiopods, enhanced bioerosion, Palaeomicrocodium crusts, vadose silt and gypsum pseudomorphs. The high abundance of Palaeomicrocodium, as well as the alternation with other crust-forming contributors, suggest that it could have been formed directly at the palaeo-sea surface, probably in times of minor but high-frequency sea-level fluctuations. Vadose silt and pseudomorphs after gypsum in reef cavities indicate subaerial exposure shortly after reef growth. The high amount of phosphatic components indicates a high nutrient input, probably by dust. All bryostromatolites were formed in times of strongly elevated δ13C values. The unusual combination of sedimentological and palaeoecological features, as well as their occurrence exclusively during strong positive δ13C excursions, are evidence that the bryostromatolite development responded to climatic/oceanographic changes, which may have played an important role in reef control.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite

APA:

Claußen, A.L., Munnecke, A., & Ernst, A. (2021). Bryozoan-rich stromatolites (bryostromatolites) from the Silurian of Gotland and their relation to climate-related perturbations of the global carbon cycle. Sedimentology. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sed.12863

MLA:

Claußen, Anna Lene, Axel Munnecke, and Andrej Ernst. "Bryozoan-rich stromatolites (bryostromatolites) from the Silurian of Gotland and their relation to climate-related perturbations of the global carbon cycle." Sedimentology (2021).

BibTeX: Download