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Royseux: a palaeobiodiversity hotspot in the Late Visaan (Carboniferous) of Belgium
Denayer, J.; Aretz, M.; Poty, E.; Mottequin, B. (2016). Royseux: a palaeobiodiversity hotspot in the Late Visaan (Carboniferous) of Belgium. Geol. Belg. 19(1-2): 7-20.
In: Geologica Belgica. Geologica Belgica: Brussels . ISSN 1374-8505; e-ISSN 2034-1954, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Brachiopoda [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    biodiversity; disparity; hotspot; endemism; corals; brachiopods; reef;Carboniferous

Authors  Top 
  • Denayer, J., more
  • Aretz, M.
  • Poty, E., more
  • Mottequin, B., more

    Biodiversity hotspots are defined as areas of unusually high biological diversity. This definition is less clear for palaeo-hotspots but the Royseux locality in Southern Belgium is interpreted as such a site because of the large number of coral species that co-occur within a small area and short time interval. Forty-one species (29 genera) of rugose, tabulate and heterocorallia corals are known within a 6 m-thick 4th order parasequence (100 kyr). These numbers increase to 50 species in 30 genera if the entire succession is considered. Consequently, Royseux is regarded as the richest site for late Visean coral diversity on a global scale. Comparison with other sites from Spain, Morocco, the British Isles, and eastern Australia confirms this view. The diversity of brachiopods (at least 18 species within 16 genera) and other invertebrates is also assessed. The great palaeobiodiversity is tentatively explained by the interplay of several global and local causes, including high late Visean biodiversity at the global scale associated with tectonically and sedimentary-driven micro-environment differentiation. Conversely, the Royseux locality has yielded few endemic taxa.

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