Paleobiology of the Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic Transition: The Sukhaya Tunguska Formation, Turukhansk Uplift, Siberia
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Sergeev, Vladimir N.
Petrov, Peter Yu.
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CitationSergeev, Vladimir N., Andrew H. Knoll, and Peter Y. Petrov. 1997. Paleobiology of the mesoproterozoic-neoproterozoic transition: the sukhaya tunguska formation, turukhansk uplift, Siberia. Precambrian Research 85, no. 3-4: 201-239.
AbstractSilicified carbonates of the latest Mesoproterozoic Sukhaya Tunguska Formation, northwestern Siberia, contain abundant and diverse permineralized microfossils. Peritidal environments are dominated by microbial mats built by filamentous cyanobacteria comparable to modern species of Lyngbya and Phormidium. In subtidal to lower intertidal settings, mat-dwelling microbenthos and possible coastal microplankton are abundant. In contrast, densely woven mat populations with few associated taxa characterize more restricted parts of tidal flats; the preservation of vertically oriented sheath bundles and primary fenestrae indicates that in these mats carbonate cementation was commonly penecontemporaneous with mat growth. Eoentophysalis mats are limited to restricted environments where microlaminated carbonate precipitates formed on or just beneath the sediment surface. Most microbenthic populations are cyanobacterial, although eukaryotic microfossils may occur among the simple spheroidal cells interpreted as coastal plankton. Protists are more securely represented by large (up to 320 mu m in diameter) but poorly preserved acritarchs in basinal facies. The Sukhaya Tunguska assemblage contains 27 species in 18 genera. By virtue of their stratigraphic longevity and their close and predictable association with specific paleoenvironmental conditions, including substrates, Proterozoic cyanobacteria support a model of bacterial evolution in which populations adapt rapidly to novel environments and, thereafter, resist competitive replacement. The resulting evolutionary pattern is one of accumulation and stasis rather than the turnover and replacement characteristic of Phanerozoic plants and animals.
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