The pre-Taghanic (Givetian, Middle Devonian) ecosystems of Miłoszów (Holy Cross Mts, Poland)

Adam T. Halamski, Andrzej Baliński, Grzegorz Racki, Michael R. W. Amler, Martin Basse, Julien Denayer, Zofia Dubicka, Paweł Filipiak, Marcelina Kondas, Wojciech Krawczyński, Radosław Mieszkowski, Katarzyna Narkiewicz, Ewa Olempska, Tomasz Wrzołek, Patrick N. Wyse Jackson, Mikołaj K. Zapalski, Michał Zatoń, Wojciech Kozłowski


The middle and upper parts of the Skały Fm, Early to Middle Givetian in age, were investigated in four sections at Miłoszów Wood in the Łysogóry Region (northern region of the Holy Cross Mountains, central Poland). The dating is based on conodonts (Polygnathus timorensis Zone to the later part of the Polygnathus varcus/Polygnathus rhenanus Zone; early Polygnathus ansatus Zone cannot be excluded) and spores (Ex1–2 subzones) and, coupled with cartographic analysis and geophysical investigation, allows correlation within the strongly faulted succession. Significant lateral facies variations within the carbonate ramp depositional system in comparison with the better studied Grzegorzowice–Skały section, about 3 km distant, are documented, thanks to conodont-based correlation of both successions. Foraminifers, fungi, sponges, rugose and tabulate corals, medusozoans, microconchids and cornulitids, polychaetes (scolecodonts), molluscs (bivalves, rostroconchs, and gastropods), arthropods (trilobites and ostracods), bryozoans, hederelloids, ascodictyids, brachiopods, echinoderms (mostly crinoids, rare echinoids, holuthurians, and ophiocistoids), conodonts, fish, plants (prasinophytes, chlorophycophytes, and land plant spores), and acritarchs are present. Brachiopods are the most diverse phylum present (68 species), other richly represented groups are bryozoans and echinoderms; in contrast, cephalopods and trilobites are low in diversity and abundance. The muddy, middle to outer ramp biota (200 marine taxa, including 170 species of marine animals, 22 photoautotrophs, 6 forams) represents a mixture of allochthonous shallower-water communities (upper BA3), including storm- and possibly tsunami-affected coral mounds, and autochthonous deep-water soft-bottom brachiopod (e.g., Bifida–Echinocoelia) communities (BA 4–5). The richness and diversity of the Miłoszów biota is relatively high, comparable with other approximately coeval pre-Taghanic ecosystems during the Devonian climatic deterioration (cooling). Preliminary data indicate that in the Holy Cross Mountains, no large-scale replacement of brachiopod (and probably many other benthic ones, like crinoids) communities took place between the Early–Middle Givetian and the Early Frasnian, in contrast to the demise of the Hamilton/Upper Tully fauna in the Appalachian Basin. Such a similarity of pre- and post-Taghanic faunas does not exclude the occurrence of environmental perturbations and transient community turnovers, caused by immigrations during the Taghanic Biocrisis, but evidences the successful recovery of the indigenous biota.

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