Data from: Were bivalves ecologically dominant over brachiopods in the late Paleozoic? A test using exceptionally preserved fossil assemblages
Hsieh, Shannon, University of Connecticut
Bush, Andrew M., University of Connecticut
Bennington, J. Bret, Hofstra University
Published Jan 04, 2019 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Hsieh, Shannon; Bush, Andrew M.; Bennington, J. Bret (2019). Data from: Were bivalves ecologically dominant over brachiopods in the late Paleozoic? A test using exceptionally preserved fossil assemblages [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q0f84nh
Interpreting changes in ecosystem structure from the fossil record can be challenging. In a prominent example, the traditional view that brachiopods were ecologically dominant over bivalves in the Paleozoic has been disputed on both taphonomic and metabolic grounds. Aragonitic bivalves may be underrepresented in many fossil assemblages due to preferential dissolution. Abundance counts may further understate the ecological importance of bivalves because they tend to have more biomass and higher metabolic rates than brachiopods. We evaluate the relative importance of the two clades in exceptionally preserved, bulk-sampled fossil assemblages from the Pennsylvanian Breathitt Formation of Kentucky, where aragonitic bivalves are preserved as shells, not molds. At the regional scale, brachiopods were twice as abundant as bivalves and were collectively equivalent in biomass and energy use. Analyses of samples from the Paleobiology Database that contain abundance counts are consistent with these results and show no clear trend in the relative ecological importance of bivalves during the middle and late Paleozoic. Bivalves were probably more important in Paleozoic ecosystems than is apparent in many fossil assemblages, but they were not clearly dominant over brachiopods until after the Permian-Triassic extinction, which caused the shelly benthos to shift from bivalve and brachiopod dominated to merely bivalve dominated.
Breathitt Formation Supplementary Tables
Includes the fossil assemblage localities, species abundance information, individual size measurements, and average size and metabolic estimates for bivalves and brachiopods
Supplementary File 1 -- Bivalves Phanerozoic refs
PBDB Data used for bivalves in the fig. 1 diversity curve
Bivalves Phanerozoic refs.csv
Supplementary file 2 -- Brachs Phanerozoic refs
PBDB Data used for brachiopods in the fig. 1 diversity curve.
Brachs Phanerozoic refs.csv
Global analysis supplement part 1
PBDB Data (Ordovician - Permian) used for global analysis in fig. 9.
Global analysis supplement part 2
PBDB Data (Triassic-Jurassic) used for global analysis in fig. 9.