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Biotic and environmental dynamics through the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous transition: evidence for protracted faunal and ecological turnover

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Title: Biotic and environmental dynamics through the Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous transition: evidence for protracted faunal and ecological turnover
Authors: Tennant, JP
Mannion, PD
Upchurch, P
Sutton, M
Price, G
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous interval represents a time of environmental upheaval and cataclysmic events, combined with disruptions to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Historically, the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundary was classified as one of eight mass extinctions. However, more recent research has largely overturned this view, revealing a much more complex pattern of biotic and abiotic dynamics than has previously been appreciated. Here, we present a synthesis of our current knowledge of Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous events, focusing particularly on events closest to the J/K boundary. We find evidence for a combination of short-term catastrophic events, large-scale tectonic processes and environmental perturbations, and major clade interactions that led to a seemingly dramatic faunal and ecological turnover in both the marine and terrestrial realms. This is coupled with a great reduction in global biodiversity which might in part be explained by poor sampling. Very few groups appear to have been entirely resilient to this J/K boundary ‘event’, which hints at a ‘cascade model’ of ecosystem changes driving faunal dynamics. Within terrestrial ecosystems, larger, more-specialised organisms, such as saurischian dinosaurs, appear to have suffered the most. Medium-sized tetanuran theropods declined, and were replaced by larger-bodied groups, and basal eusauropods were replaced by neosauropod faunas. The ascent of paravian theropods is emphasised by escalated competition with contemporary pterosaur groups, culminating in the explosive radiation of birds, although the timing of this is obfuscated by biases in sampling. Smaller, more ecologically diverse terrestrial non-archosaurs, such as lissamphibians and mammaliaforms, were comparatively resilient to extinctions, instead documenting the origination of many extant groups around the J/K boundary. In the marine realm, extinctions were focused on low-latitude, shallow marine shelf-dwelling faunas, corresponding to a significant eustatic sea-level fall in the latest Jurassic. More mobile and ecologically plastic marine groups, such as ichthyosaurs, survived the boundary relatively unscathed. High rates of extinction and turnover in other macropredaceous marine groups, including plesiosaurs, are accompanied by the origin of most major lineages of extant sharks. Groups which occupied both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, including crocodylomorphs, document a selective extinction in shallow marine forms, whereas turtles appear to have diversified. These patterns suggest that different extinction selectivity and ecological processes were operating between marine and terrestrial ecosystems, which were ultimately important in determining the fates of many key groups, as well as the origins of many major extant lineages. We identify a series of potential abiotic candidates for driving these patterns, including multiple bolide impacts, several episodes of flood basalt eruptions, dramatic climate change, and major disruptions to oceanic systems. The J/K transition therefore, although not a mass extinction, represents an important transitional period in the co-evolutionary history of life on Earth.
Issue Date: 17-Feb-2016
Date of Acceptance: 20-Jan-2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/29027
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/brv.12255
ISSN: 1469-185X
Publisher: Wiley
Start Page: 776
End Page: 814
Journal / Book Title: Biological Reviews
Volume: 92
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: © 2016 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
biodiversity
biogeography
dinosaurs
extinction
faunal turnover
Gondwana
invertebrates
Laurasia
mass extinction
Mesozoic
micro-organisms
radiation
selectivity
vertebrates
MOROKWENG IMPACT STRUCTURE
CARBON-ISOTOPE STRATIGRAPHY
LARGE IGNEOUS PROVINCES
MARINE FOSSIL RECORD
SEA-LEVEL CHANGE
PLATE TECTONIC RECONSTRUCTIONS
NORTHWEST PACIFIC-OCEAN
PURBECK LIMESTONE GROUP
MASS EXTINCTIONS
SAMPLING BIASES
06 Biological Sciences
Evolutionary Biology
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/brv.12255/abstract
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Earth Science and Engineering



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