Stromatoporoid palaeoecology in the Frasnian (Upper Devonian) Belgian platform, and its applications in interpretation of carbonate platform environments



Abstract:  Stromatoporoid faunas in the Frasnian of southern Belgium are abundant in the carbonate platform environments present in this area. Stromatoporoids dominate the large skeletal organisms and occur principally in biostromes. The stromatoporoid assemblage is represented by a small number of taxa. Stromatoporoid genera include Actinostroma, Amphipora, Atelodictyon, Clathrocoilona, Salairella, Stachyodes, Stictostroma, Stromatopora and Trupetostroma which are present in environments ranging from the outer, outer intermediate, inner intermediate and inner zones and associated biostromes. Most large skeletal stromatoporoids are low profile, which reinforces the conclusions of previous studies that low-profile growth forms were the most successful stromatoporoid forms. These low-profile forms are likely to have been important sediment stabilisers that may have led to expansion of the carbonate factory. Growth forms vary between facies, indicating some degree of environmental control on form; for example, laminar in the intermediate zone, bulbous and domical in the inner and outer zones. Stromatoporoid taxa vary in occurrence across the environmental gradient from shallow to deep. There is some taxonomic control on growth forms, with some taxa showing more variability than others in different environments.