Final 1: Species Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance in the Liberty Formation

This topic submitted by Andy Kuss, Hadley Eblen, Eric Shultz ( at 7:54 PM on 12/10/02.

Getting ready for the flight to Bocas, Panama!

Earth Systems Syllabus -Western Program-Miami University

Species Diversity, 


and Abundance 

in the Liberty Formation, 

Brookville, Indiana

Andy Kuss,

Hadley Eblen,

Eric Shultz

The purpose of this study is to look at the distribution of various marine

organisms through space and time in fossiliferous limestone beds of the

upper Ordovician to better understand the environment in which these

organisms were deposited. The rocks of the Ordovician were deposited in a

topical sea environment. There is much evidence that supports the idea

that shoreline fluctuation affects the distribution of marine organisms. 

The main process that effects distribution of species is wave base/seafloor

interaction. Areas where wave base is interacting with the seafloor are

areas where water is churning up sediment on the ocean floor and thus

making survival a little more difficult for certain organisms. In keeping

with the readings in this class, this study looks at environmental,

climatic, and geologic change and tries to link these concepts to a change

in species diversity, and abundance. We used a 9 x 9 meter square grid

and took samples at 3 meter intervals laterally (through space in a given

bed) and vertical (through time, going into younger rocks as we go up). 

We analyzed these samples to determine how many different fossils were in

each sample. With the numbers we arrived at we created a master species

list for all the samples and compared them. Our findings showed that

within our grid there was not a significant amount of change in

depositional environments , and thus, we found a rather narrow range of



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