Modern brackish bryostromatolites (“bryoliths”) from Zeeland (Netherlands)

Harrison GWM, Claußen AL, Schulbert C, Munnecke A (2021)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2021


Original Authors: G. William M. Harrison, Anna Lene Claussen, Christian Schulbert, Axel Munnecke

DOI: 10.1007/s12549-021-00490-3


Bryostromatolites are found in stressed environments from the Paleozoic to the Recent. They are formed by alternating layers of bryozoans and microbes. This study investigates recent bryostromatolites in brackish ponds in the Netherlands to better understand ancient analogues and the environments which hosted them. They formed a fringing reef at the site Ronde Weel and a barrier reef at Kaaskenswater. The ponds had low biodiversity with only one bivalve species, two gastropod species, one ostracod species, and three diatom species comprising most of the easily fossilizable taxa; one isopod species, one decapod species, and two polychaete species were also present. Observations of microbial layers and cementation practices indicate that an alternation of bryozoan-favouring conditions and microbe-favouring conditions is essential to forming bryostromatolites. The collected bryostromatolites only had tiny living bryozoan patches. Water tests confirmed a brackish environment but with enriched arsenic and titanium concentrations and periodic euxinia. The extreme environment explains the lack of biodiversity and may provide information about the environments in which past bryostromatolites formed.

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Harrison, G.W.M., Claußen, A.L., Schulbert, C., & Munnecke, A. (2021). Modern brackish bryostromatolites (“bryoliths”) from Zeeland (Netherlands). Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments.


Harrison, G. William M., et al. "Modern brackish bryostromatolites (“bryoliths”) from Zeeland (Netherlands)." Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments (2021).

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