Coevolution of Brachiopod Paleobiogeography and Tectonopaleogeography during the Early–Middle Permian
A comprehensive compilation and systematic analysis of known early and middle Permian brachiopod faunas shows that the early Permian brachiopod faunas comprise three realms, six regions, and eleven provinces, while those of the middle Permian comprise three realms, four regions, and eight provinces. A comparison and analysis of brachiopod faunal patterns reveal a coevolution between global brachiopod paleobiogeography and tectonopaleogeography during the early–middle Permian. Although temperature/latitude is the main factor controlling the formation of three realms, tectonopaleogeographic factors determine the temperature/latitude in which the continents were located. The ‘continental barrier’ of Pangea, as a ‘central axis’ continent, divided the three realms into six regions, which indicates that the formation of biogeographic regions was controlled mainly by the tectonopaleogeographic factors. The evolution of tectonopaleogeography was sometimes a long–term process, so that the biogeographic regions (or provinces) controlled by tectonopaleogeography displayed relative stability. Shifts in the nature of biogeographic provinces (e.g., from cool water to warm water, and vice versa), extensions or narrowing of geographical ranges, and recombinations of some provinces were all related to regional tectonic evolution. The study of the coevolution between brachiopod paleobiogeography and tectonopaleogeography not only accounts for the formation mechanisms of brachiopod paleobiogeographic patterns during the early–middle Permian, but also provides evidences for the locations and configurations of oceans and plates (blocks) during this period.
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