The environmental significance of Lingula in the Ludlow Series of the Welsh Borderland and Wales

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Abstract

Cherns. Lesley 1979 01 15: The environmental significance of Lingula in the Ludlow Series of the Welsh Borderland and Wales. Lethaia. Vol. 12. pp. 35–46, Oslo. ISSN 0024–1164.

The inarticulate brachiopod Lingula is commonly regarded as an indicator of very nearshore environments, particularly when found in monospecific assemblages. However, neither of the two common species in the Lower Leintwardine Beds, L. lewisii and L. lata. which occur commonly in such associations, have distributions indicative of such an environment. Their Occurrence correlates closely with the Leintwardinian palaeogeography. The former species is concentrated in shelf areas, the latter is confined to the basin; the two distributions overlap little. Individuals of both species are found articulated and perpendicular to the bedding, apparently in situ. Hence, the species may be inferred to have equivalent, infaunal modes of life comparable to living representatives of the family. The basinal distribution of L. lara is an original feature. The depth of the actively subsiding basin was relatively great, judging from sedimentological and palaeogeographical evidence. Therefore, L. lata was a species adapted to ‘deep-water’ environments. The lingulid distributions, reviewed against the concept of brachiopod depth-related communities previously defined for the Ludlow show the latter to be inapplicable in the Leintwardinian. The depth significance postulated for the recurrent species associations typical of the shelf sequences cannot be accepted.

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