Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Mapping sclerobiosis: a new method for interpreting the distribution, biological implications, and paleoenvironmental significance of sclerobionts on biotic hosts

  • Kristina M. Barclay (a1), Chris L. Schneider (a1) and Lindsey R. Leighton (a1)

Abstract

The use of sclerobiosis as a tool for paleoenvironmental and paleoecological research is undermined by a lack of comparable methods for sclerobiont data collection and analysis. We present a new method for mapping sclerobiont distributions across any host, and offer an example of how the method may be used to interpret sclerobiont data in relation to host orientation. This approach can also be used to assess the suitability of beds and fossil material for paleoenvironmental reconstruction.

A sample of 150 encrusted dorsibiconvex atrypide brachiopods were selected from six beds in the Waterways Formation (latest Givetian – Early Frasnian; Alberta, Canada). The dorsal and ventral valves of each brachiopod were photographed. Sclerobiont taxa were mapped onto the photographs, and the maps were used to create stacked images with each of the 25 brachiopod specimens from each bed. Based on the life orientation of dorsibiconvex atrypides, three zones were designated on the host: the post mortem zone, (only available to sclerobionts after death and reorientation of the host); the shaded zone (brachial valve, excluding the post mortem zone); and the exposed zone (ventral valve).

Randomization simulation results indicate that all beds likely exhibit non random encrustation patterns, and corroborate the hypotheses that: (1) much of the encrustation occurred while the hosts were alive, and (2) these beds and fossils have experienced little physical reworking or transport and would be suitable for paleoenvironmental analysis. Mapping sclerobionts across hosts can serve as a unifying method to increase the recognition and use of sclerobiosis in paleontological studies.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Ager, D. V. 1961. The epifauna of a Devonian spiriferid. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society 117:110.
Alexander, R. R. 1975. Phenotypic lability of the brachiopod Rafinesquina alternata (Ordovician) and its correlation with the sedimentologic regime. Journal of Paleontology 49:607618.
Alexander, R. R 1984. Comparative hydrodynamic stability of brachiopod shells on current-scoured arenaceous substrates. Lethaia 17:1732.
Alexander, R. R 1986. Life orientation and post-mortem reorientation of Chesterian brachiopod shells by paleocurrents. Palaios 1:303311.
Alexander, R. R., and Gibson, M. A.. 1993. Paleozoic brachiopod autecology based on taphonomy: example from the Devonian Ross Formation of Tennessee (USA). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 100:2535.
Alexander, R. R., and Scharpf, C. D.. 1990. Epizoans on Late Ordovician brachiopods from southeastern Indiana. Historical Biology 4:179202.
Alvarez, F., and Taylor, P. D.. 1987. Epizoan ecology and interactions in the Devonian of Spain. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 61:1731.
Barclay, K. M., Schneider, C. L., and Leighton, L. R.. 2013. Palaeoecology of Devonian sclerobionts and their brachiopod hosts from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 383–384:7991.
Barclay, K. M., Schneider, C. L., and Leighton, L. R.. 2015. Breaking the mold: using biomechanical experiments to assess the life orientation of dorsibiconvex brachiopods. Paleobiology 41:122133.
Baumiller, T. K. 1990. Non-predatory drilling of Mississippian crinoids by platyceratid gastropods. Palaeontology 33:743748.
Baumiller, T. K 1993. Boreholes in Devonian blastoids and their implications for boring by platyceratids. Lethaia 26:4147.
Bishop, J. D. D. 1988. Disarticulated bivalve shells as substrates for encrustation by the bryozoan Cribrilina puncturata in the Plio-Pleistocene Red Crag of eastern England. Palaeontology 31:237253.
Bordeaux, Y. L., and Brett, C. E.. 1990. Substrate specific association of epibionts on Middle Devonian brachiopods: implications for paleoecology. Historical Biology 4:203220.
Bose, R. 2012. A new morphometric model in distinguishing two closely related extinct brachiopod species. Historical Biology 24:655664.
Bose, R., Schneider, C. L., Polly, P. D., and Yacobucci, M. M.. 2010. Ecological interactions between Rhipidomella (Orthides, Brachiopoda) and its endoskeletobionts and predators from the middle Devonian Dundee formation of Ohio, United States. Palaios 25:196208.
Bose, R., Schneider, C. L., Leighton, L. R., and Polly, P. D.. 2011. Influence of atrypid morphological shape on Devonian episkeletobiont assemblages from the lower Genshaw formation of the Traverse Group of Michigan: a geometric morphometric approach. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 310:427441.
Bowsher, A. L. 1955. Origin and adaptation of platyceratid gastropods. University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions, Mollusca Article 5:111.
Braun, W. E., Norris, A. W., and Uyeno, T. T.. 1988. Late Givetian to early Frasnian biostratigraphy of Western Canada. Devonian System of the World, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists. Second International Symposium on the Devonian System 3:93111.
Brett, C. E., Smrecak, T., Parsons-Hubbard, K., and Walker, S.. 2012. Marine Sclerobiofacies: encrusting and endolithic communities on shells through time and space. Pp. 129157in J. A. Talent, ed. Earth and Life: International Year of Planet Earth. Springer, New York.
Buschkuehle, B. E. 2003. Sedimentology and stratigraphy of Middle and Upper Devonian carbonates in northern Alberta: a contribution to the carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn (MVT) Targeted Geoscience Initiative. Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, EUB/AGS Geo-Note 2002-14.
Copper, P. 1966a. Ecological distributions of Devonian atrypid brachiopods. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 2:245266.
Copper, P 1966b. Adaptations and life habits of Devonian atrypid brachiopods. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 3:363379.
Copper, P 1967. Pedicle morphology in Devonian atrypid brachiopods. Journal of Paleontology 41:11661175.
Copper, P 1973. New Siluro-Devonian Atrypoid brachiopods. Journal of Paleontology 47:484500.
Copper, P 1990. Evolution of the atrypid brachiopods. Pp. 35–40 in D. I. MacKinnon, D. E. Lee, and J. D. Campbell eds. Brachiopods through time: proceedings of the 2nd international brachiopod congress, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Copper, P 1998. Evaluating the Frasnian-Famennian mass extinction: comparing brachiopod faunas. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 43:137154.
Crickmay, C. H. 1957. Elucidation of some Western Canadian Devonian Formations. Imperial Oil Limited, Calgary 15p.
Cuffey, C. A., Robb, A. J. III, Lembcke, J. T., and Cuffey, R. J.. 1995. Epizoic bryozoans and corals as indicators of life and post-mortem orientations of the Devonian brachiopod Meristella. Lethaia 28:139153.
Day, J. 1990. The Upper Devonian (Frasnian) conodont sequence in the Lime Creek Formation of North-Central Iowa and comparison with Lime Creek ammonoid, brachiopod, foraminifer, and gastropod sequences. Journal of Paleontology 64:614628.
Day, J 1992. Middle-Upper Devonian (Late Givetian – Early Frasnian) brachiopod sequence in the Cedar Valley Group of Central and Eastern Iowa. Pp. 53105in J. Day, and B. J. Bunker, eds. The stratigraphy, paleontology, depositional and diagenetic history of the Middle-Upper Devonian Cedar Valley Group of Central and Eastern Iowa (Guidebook Series No. 16. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa City, Iowa.
Day, J 1996. Faunal signatures of Middle-Upper Devonian depositional sequences and sea level fluctuations in the Iowa Basin: U.S. Midcontinent. Geological Society of America Special Papers 306:277–300.
Day, J 1998. Distribution of latest Givetian-Frasnian Atrypida (Brachiopoda) in central and western North America. Acta Palaeontological Polonica 43:205240.
Day, J., and Copper, P.. 1998. Revision of the latest Givetian – Frasnian Atrypida (Brachiopoda) from central North America. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 43:155204.
De Keyser, T. L. 1977. Late Devonian (Frasnian) brachiopod community patterns in Western Canada and Iowa. Journal of Paleontology 51:181196.
Donovan, S. K. 1989. Taphonomic significance of the encrustation of the dead shell of recent Spirula spirula (Linné) (Cephalopoda: Coleoidea) by Lepas anatifera Linné (Cirripedia: Thoracia). Journal of Paleontology 63:698702.
Fagerstrom, J. A. 1996. Paleozoic brachiopod symbioses: testing the limits of modern analogues in paleoecology. Geological Society of America Bulletin 108:13931403.
Fenton, C. L., and Fenton, M. A.. 1932. Orientation and injury in the genus Atrypa. American Midland Naturalist 13:6374.
Fenton, M. A. 1937. Species of Aulopora from the Traverse and Hamilton Groups. American Midland Naturalist 18:115119.
Furlong, C. M., and McRoberts, C. A.. 2014. Commensal borings from the Middle Devonian of central New York: ecologic and taxonomic review of Clionoides, Clionolithes, and Canaliparva n. ichnogen. Journal of Paleontology 88:130144.
Gibson, M. A. 1992. Some epibiont-host and epibiont-epibiont relationships from the Birdsong shale member of the Lower Devonian Ross Formation (west-central Tennessee, U.S.A.). Historical Biology 6:113132.
Hoare, R. D., and Steller, D. L.. 1967. A Devonian brachiopod with epifauna. The Ohio Journal of Science 67:291297.
Hurst, J. M. 1974. Selective epizoan encrustation of some Silurian brachiopods from Gotland. Palaeontology 17:423429.
Johnson, J. G. 1970. Early middle Devonian brachiopods from central Nevada. Journal of Paleontology 44:252264.
Johnson, J. G 1974. Early Devonian brachiopod biofacies of western and arctic North America. Journal of Paleontology 48:809819.
Kesling, R. V., Hoare, R. D., and Sparks, D. K.. 1980. Epizoans of the middle Devonian brachiopod Paraspirifer bownockeri: their relationships to one another and to their host. Journal of Paleontology 54:11411154.
Keyes, C. R. 1890. Synopsis of American Carbonic Calyptraeidae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 42:150181.
LaBarbera, M. 1977. Brachiopod orientation to water movement. 1. Theory, laboratory behavior, and field orientations. Paleobiology 3:270287.
LaBarbera, M 1978. Brachiopod orientation to water movement: functional morphology. Lethaia 11:6779.
Leighton, L. R. 1998. Constraining functional hypotheses: controls on the morphology of the concavo-convex brachiopod Rafinesquina. Lethaia 31:293307.
Leighton, L. R 2005. Comment: A new angle on Strophomenid paleoecology: trace-fossil evidence of an escape response for the Plectambonitoid brachiopod Sowerbyella rugosa from a tempestite in the upper Ordovivian Kope formation (Edenian) of Northern Kentucky (Dattilo, 2004). Palaios 20:596600.
Leighton, L. R., and Savarese, M.. 1996. Functional and taphonomic implications of Ordovician strophomenid brachiopod valve morphology. Pp. 161168in P. Copper, and J. Jin, eds. Brachiopods. Proceedings of the third international brachiopod congress. A. A. Balkema Publishers, Netherlands.
Lescinsky, H. L. 1995. The life orientation of concavo-convex brachiopods: overturning the paradigm. Paleobiology 21:520551.
Lescinsky, H. L 1996. Don’t overlook the epibionts! Palaios 11:495496.
Loranger, D. M. 1965. Devonian paleoecology of northeastern Alberta. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 35:818837.
McKinney, F. K. 1996. Encrusting organisms on co-occurring disarticulated valves of two marine bivalves: comparison of living assemblages and skeletal residues. Paleobiology 4:543567.
Messina, C., and LaBarbera, M.. 2004. Hydrodynamic behavior of brachiopod shells: experimental estimates and field observations. Palaios 19:441450.
Moore, P. F. 1988. Devonian geohistory of the western interior of Canada. Devonian of the world: proceedings of the Second International Symposium of the Devonian System 1:67–83.
Nebelsick, J. H., Schmid, B., and Stachowitsch, M.. 1997. The encrustation of fossil and recent sea-urchin tests: ecological and taphonomic significance. Lethaia 30:271284.
Norris, A. W. 1963. Devonian stratigraphy of northeastern Alberta and northwestern Saskatchewan. Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 313 168p.
Oldale, R. S., and Munday, R. J.. 1994. Devonian Beaverhill Lake Group of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Pp. 149163in G. D. Mossop, and I. Shetsen, comps., Geological Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and Alberta Research Council, Calgary, Alberta.
Peters, S. E., and Bork, K. B.. 1998. Secondary tiering on crinoids from the Waldron Shale (Silurian: Wendlockian) of Indiana. Journal of Paleontology 72:887894.
Pitrat, C. W., and Rogers, F. S.. 1978. Spinocyrtina and its epibionts in the Traverse group (Devonian) of Michigan. Journal of Paleontology 52:13151324.
Richards, R. P. 1972. Autecology of Richmondian brachiopods (Late Ordovician of Indiana and Ohio). Journal of Paleontology 46:386405.
Richardson, J. R. 1981. Brachiopods in Mud: resolution of a dilemma. Science 211:11611163.
Rodland, D. L., Kowalewski, M., Carroll, M., and Simões, M. G.. 2004. Colonization of a ‘Lost World’: encrustation patterns in modern subtropical brachiopod assemblages. Palaios 19:381395.
Rodland, D. L., Kowalewski, M., Carroll, M., and Simões, M. G.. 2006. The temporal resolution of sclerobiont assemblages: are they ecological snapshots or overexposures? Journal of Geology 114:313324.
Rodland, D. L., Simões, M. G., Krause, R. A. Jr., and Kowalewski, M.. 2014. Stowing away on ships that pass in the night: sclerobiont assemblages on individually dated bivalve and brachiopod shells from a subtropical shelf. Palaios 29:170183.
Rudwick, M. J. S. 1970. Living and fossil brachiopods. Hutchison, London.
Sando, W. J. 1984. Significance of epibionts on horn corals from the Chainman Shale (Upper Mississippian) of Utah. Journal of Paleontology 58:185196.
Schneider, C. L. 2013. Epibiosis across the Late Devonian biotic crisis: a review. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 124:893909.
Schneider, C. L., and Leighton, L. R.. 2010. Epizoans and predation traces of Devonian Hay River Formation brachiopods: indicators of complex ecosystems and ties to the Iowa Basin. GeoCanada 2010 – Working with the Earth, Conference Abstracts, Calgary.
Schneider, C. L., and Grobe, M.. 2013. Regional cross-sections of Devonian stratigraphy in Northeastern Alberta (NTS 74D, E). Alberta Energy Regulator, AER/AGS Open File Report 2013-05:25p.
Schneider, C. L., Grobe, M., Leighton, L. R., and Hauck, T.. 2013a. From subsurface to outcrop: the Devonian Moberly Member (Waterways Formation) of the Athabasca Oil Sands region. GeoConvention 2013: Investigation, Conference Abstracts, Calgary.
Schneider, C. L., Hauck, T., and Grobe, M.. 2013b. Sequence Stratigraphy and architecture of the Beaverhill Lake Sequence, Western Canada Sedimentary Basin: the influences of changing sedimentological and climatological regimes. SEPM Special Publication: Deposits, Architecture and Controls of Carbonate Margin, Slope, and Basin Systems (in press).
Schneider, C. L., Grobe, M., Leighton, L. R., Hauck, T. E., and Forcino, F.. 2013c. Outcrops of the Moberly Member, Waterways Formation, north of Fort McMurray on the Athabasca River (NTS 74D/14, 74E/3, and 74E/4). Alberta Energy Regulator, AER/AGS (in press).
Sparks, D. K., Hoare, R. D., and Kesling, R. V.. 1980. Epizoans on the Brachiopod Paraspirifer bownockeri (Stewart) from the middle Devonian of Ohio. Papers on Paleontology 23:1108.
Stoakes, F. A., Wendte, J. C., and Campbell, C. V.. 1992. Summary in J. C. Wendte, F. A. Stoakes, and C. V. Campbell, eds. Devonian – Early Mississippian Carbonates of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin: a Sequence Stratigraphic Framework: Society for Sedimentary Geology Short Course 28:215–255.
Taylor, P. D., and Wilson, M. A.. 2002. A new terminology for marine organisms inhabiting hard substrates. Palaios 17:522525.
Taylor, P. D., and Wilson, M. A.. 2003. Palaeoecology and evolution of marine hard substrate communities. Earth-Science Reviews 62:1103.
Taylor, P. D., and Wilson, M. A.. 2008. Morphology and affinities of hederelloid “bryozoans”. Virginia Museum of Natural History, Special Publication 15:301309.
Webb, A. E., and Schneider, C. L.. 2013. Ecology of an encrusting fauna on Desquamatia (Atrypida, Brachiopoda) from Cedar Valley formation (Givetian, Devonian) of Iowa, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 377:102109.
Wendte, J. C. 1992. Cyclicity of Devonian strata in the Western Canada sedimentary basin. SEPM Short Course Notes 28:2539.
Wendte, J. C., and Uyeno, T.. 2005. Sequence stratigraphy and evolution of Middle to Upper Devonian Beaverhill Lake strata, south-central Alberta. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology 53:250354.
Wilson, M. A., and Taylor, P. D.. 2014. The morphology and affinities of Allonema and Ascodictyon, two abundant Palaeozoic encrusters commonly misattributed to the ctenostome bryozoans. Studi Trenti di scienze naturali – Acta biologia 94:259266.
Witzke, B. J., and Heckel, P. H.. 1988. Paleoclimatic indicators and inferred Devonian paleolatitudes of Euramerica. Devonian of the World: Proceedings of the Second International Symposium of the Devonian System 1:49–63.
Zatoń, A. M., and Krawczyński, W.. 2011. Microconchid tubeworms across the Upper Frasnian – Lower Famennian interval in the Central Devonian Field, Russia. Palaeontology 54:14551473.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Mapping sclerobiosis: a new method for interpreting the distribution, biological implications, and paleoenvironmental significance of sclerobionts on biotic hosts

  • Kristina M. Barclay (a1), Chris L. Schneider (a1) and Lindsey R. Leighton (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.