Mollusks as seagrass indicators in the Miocene of Indonesia

Publication Type:Conference Paper
Year of Publication:2013
Authors:S. Reich, Wesselingh, F. P., Renema, W., Warter, V.
Conference Name:SAGE 2013: Southeast Asian Gateway Evolution
Conference Location:Museum fuer Naturkunde, Berlin

Today’s centre of maximum marine biodiversity is located in the Indo-Malayan region. Understanding the development of this biodiversity hotspot through the Cenozoic could answer numerous questions about the responses of highly diverse faunal associations to small and large scale environmental changes. When assessing marine biodiversity through time comparisons of taxon diversity are only meaningful when comparing faunas from similar habitats. To evaluate diversity through time within the same ecological setting, it is indispensable to reliably discriminate different habitats. A good example for the difficulties which may occur when identifying marine paleo-habitats is the challenge of recognizing seagrass vegetation in the fossil record. Due to the low preservation potential of marine angiosperms, indirect indicators, e.g. associated organisms with a higher potential for preservation, are commonly used to infer the presence of seagrass meadows in the geological past. Because of their high fossilization potential and their abundance in marine habitats mollusks yield the possibility to be useful paleo seagrass indicators. Here we assess the potential use of indicator species, species and feeding guild composition of whole assemblages, as well as stable isotope signals in shells for their suitability to determine seagrass vegetation in the Miocene of Indonesia.

Fri, 2013-01-18 14:31 -- kgj
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