Synecology of macroberithic assemblages of the Korytnica Clays (Middle Miocene; Holy Cross Mountains, Poland)

Antoni Hoffman


The distribution patterns of forty dominant taxa (lithothamnia and macrobenthic animals) of the Korytnica Clays (Middle Miocene; Holy Cross Mountains, Central Poland) are used to analyse the structure of paleoecosystem: Q-mode factor analysis of correspondences allows to distinguish six assemblages, viz. (1) Turboella-Loripes, (2) Corbula, (3) Corbula-spatangoid, (4). turritellid, (15') Pteromeris-coral, and (6) Ostrea assemblages. R-mode. factor analysis of correspondences allows to recognize in detail the environmental control of these assemblages. The macrobenthos of the Korytnica basin was controlled mainly by water turbidity, presence of the seagrasses, variability of bottom microrelief, water turbulence, and oxygen capacity in nearbottom layers. The ecological structure of assemblages is described in terms of their taxonomic composition and diversity, trophic structure, and spatial structure of the infauna. The order of ecological succesion leading from pioneer colonization of a barren muddy substrate to development of a mature seagrass community is reconstructed. The assemblages are also compared to their present-day and ancient counterparts. The obtained results have served to test but fail to corroborate some common ecological hypotheses relating ecological complexity, taxonomic diversity, ecological maturity, and environmental predictability to each other.

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