Event Title

Paleoecology and Taxonomy of Middle Triassic Bivalves Following the Permo-Traissic Mass Extinction

Presenter Information

Lydia Albright

Mentor 1

Margaret Fraiser

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

At the end of the Permian period, the Earth experienced the largest know drop in biodiversity with the elimination of ~78% of marine invertebrate genera. Evidence suggests that life on Earth did not return to pre-extinction diversity until 5 million years after the extinction, in the Middle Triassic. The nature of the biotic recovery is still unknown despite the end-Permian mass extinction and the Early Triassic aftermath being extensively studied and its significance widely acknowledged.

The main objective of this research is to determine the taxonomy and paleoecology of bivalves that lived in the marine environments during the Middle Triassic. By employing standard paleoecological techniques and statistical tests, this research will determine the important aspects of post-extinction ecological structure and will lead to an understanding of the spatial and temporal nature of ecosystem renewal after major biotic crises in deep time. The methodology is studying skeletonized fossil specimens collected from the Middle Triassic strata in Nevada to identify and take inventory. The objective is to determine which organisms were taxonomically and numerically abundant, the mean rank-order, breadth of distribution, the Simpson’s index (D), the Shannon Index (H’), evenness, and dominance.

The fossil data is used to construct time-environment diagrams by stage to visualize the paleoenvironmental context of biotic patterns. This is done by comparing collected data from the Middle Triassic bivalves to Early Triassic Claraia bivalves that have been previously studied. The primary research outcome will be the first quantitative analysis of these Middle Triassic paleocommunities from Nevada. This study represents an important first step in more fully understanding how ecosystems bounce back from environmental disaster, and the results may allow scientists to better predict future effects of climate change on modern ecosystems.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Paleoecology and Taxonomy of Middle Triassic Bivalves Following the Permo-Traissic Mass Extinction

Union Wisconsin Room

At the end of the Permian period, the Earth experienced the largest know drop in biodiversity with the elimination of ~78% of marine invertebrate genera. Evidence suggests that life on Earth did not return to pre-extinction diversity until 5 million years after the extinction, in the Middle Triassic. The nature of the biotic recovery is still unknown despite the end-Permian mass extinction and the Early Triassic aftermath being extensively studied and its significance widely acknowledged.

The main objective of this research is to determine the taxonomy and paleoecology of bivalves that lived in the marine environments during the Middle Triassic. By employing standard paleoecological techniques and statistical tests, this research will determine the important aspects of post-extinction ecological structure and will lead to an understanding of the spatial and temporal nature of ecosystem renewal after major biotic crises in deep time. The methodology is studying skeletonized fossil specimens collected from the Middle Triassic strata in Nevada to identify and take inventory. The objective is to determine which organisms were taxonomically and numerically abundant, the mean rank-order, breadth of distribution, the Simpson’s index (D), the Shannon Index (H’), evenness, and dominance.

The fossil data is used to construct time-environment diagrams by stage to visualize the paleoenvironmental context of biotic patterns. This is done by comparing collected data from the Middle Triassic bivalves to Early Triassic Claraia bivalves that have been previously studied. The primary research outcome will be the first quantitative analysis of these Middle Triassic paleocommunities from Nevada. This study represents an important first step in more fully understanding how ecosystems bounce back from environmental disaster, and the results may allow scientists to better predict future effects of climate change on modern ecosystems.