Silurian brachiopods in a stromatoporoid bioherm



Ludlovian limestone at Ljugarn, Gotland. repreqents a shallow marine environment of stromatoporoid biohenns and flanking areas of mud and stromatoporoid debris. Brachiopods were restricted to surfaces of the debris deposits. Lissatrypa sulcata, a smooth atrypacean, dominated the brachiopod fauna, with individuals living beak downward in high density clusters, developing weaker pedicle attachment and a sulcus during ontogeny. Surrounding low density areas of Lissatrypa included small, pedicleattached, non-sulcate shells. Howellella, Spirigerina, and Morinorhynchus? lived in isolated clusters near low density Lissatrypa populations, and 10 other very rare brachiopod species may have been non-reproducing members of the community. Brachiopcd species diversity, and thus number of niches, was lower in the biohermal enviroment than in bathymetrically equivalent, level-bottom communities.