Faunal dynamics of foraminiferal assemblages in the Bathonian (Middle Jurassic) ore-bearing clays at Gnaszyn, Kraków-Silesia Homocline, Poland

Jolanta Smoleń

Abstract


The faunal dynamics of benthic foraminifera in the Middle Jurassic ore-bearing clays of Gnaszyn (Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, south-central Poland) are used to reconstruct sedimentary environments. Two types of foraminiferal assemblages, distinct in their quantitative and qualitative composition, were distinguished; type I assemblages, characterizing intervals between horizons with sideritic concretions; and type II assemblages, characterising horizons with sideritic concretions. Benthic foraminifers were further subdivided into eight ecological morphogroups, based on their morphological features and micro-habitats. Type I assemblages consist mostly of plano/concavo-convex, small-sized epifaunal morphotypes, with a restricted occurrence of shallow infaunal forms and a scarcity of deep infaunal taxa, which suggests low-oxygen conditions in both sediment and bottom waters, and a high sedimentation rate in an outer shelf environment. Type II assemblages are characterized by high taxonomic diversity, high specimen abundance and variability of epifaunal and infaunal morphotypes representing a mixed group of specialized feeding strategies. This suggests optimum living conditions controlled by a lower sedimentation rate, relatively well-oxygenated bottom waters and sufficient or high food supply.


Keywords


Foraminifera; Morphogroups; Palaeoecology; Oxygenation; Jurassic; Kraków-Silesia Homocline.

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