Margin to Craton Expansion of Late Ordovician Benthic Marine Invertebrates

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Science  22 Mar 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4693, pp. 1469-1471
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4693.1469


A biostratigraphic survey of 57 Late Ordovician marine shelly invertebrates from the Climacograptus manitoulinensis zone of eastern Canada supports suggestions that throughout the Early Phanerozoic benthic marine speciations occurred preferentially in marginal marine environments. The species subsequently spread onto the craton. There is no obvious positive correlation between the times of first appearance of new associations or novel communities along the continental margin and the first appearance on the craton of the species making up these communities. Taxonomic similarities between marine communities that occupied both marginal and cratonic regimes may reflect a more static local ecology than the evolutionary dynamics of a piecemeal species-by-species reassembly.