Biomass: Is it a useful tool in paleocommunity reconstruction?



In general, more of the biomass of the community is preserved than is its numerical abundance. Thus, the paleontologist, on the average, works with more of the community when biomass is used. Community characteristics such as taxon dominance and habitat proportions are at least as accurately derived from biomass as numerical abundance. The use of biomass is clearly more appropriate in describing energy flow and trophic proportions. Whenever possible, biomass should be used as a complement to numerical abundance in future paleoecologic reconstructions.