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Title: Body-size increase in crinoids following the end-Devonian mass extinction
Authors: Brom, Krzysztof Roman
Salamon, Mariusz A.
Gorzelak, Przemysław
Keywords: Devonian period; mass extinctions
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, Iss. 1 (2018), Art. no. 9606
Abstract: The Devonian period ended with one of the largest mass extinctions in the Earth history. It comprised a series of separate events, which eliminated many marine species and led to long-term post-extinction reduction in body size in some groups. Surprisingly, crinoids were largely unaffected by these extinction events in terms of diversity. To date, however, no study examined the long-term body-size trends of crinoids over this crucial time interval. Here we compiled the first comprehensive data sets of sizes of calyces for 262 crinoid genera from the Frasnian-Visean. We found that crinoids have not experienced long-term reduction in body size after the so-called Hangenberg event. Instead, size distributions of calyces show temporal heterogeneity in the variance, with an increase in both the mean and maximum biovolumes between the Famennian and Tournaisian. The minimum biovolume, in turn, has remained constant over the study interval. Thus, the observed pattern seems to fit a Brownian motion-like diffusion model. Intriguingly, the same model has been recently invoked to explain morphologic diversification within the eucladid subclade during the Devonian-early Carboniferous. We suggest that the complex interplay between abiotic and biotic factors (i.e., expansion of carbonate ramps and increased primary productivity, in conjunction with predatory release after extinction of Devonian-style durophagous fishes) might have been involved not only in the early Mississippian diversity peak of crinoids, but possibly also in their overall passive expansion into larger body-size niches.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-27986-x
ISSN: 2045-2322
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