Species Diversity, Distribution, and Abundance in the Liberty Formation

This topic submitted by Andy Kuss, Hadley Eblen, Eric Shultz ( haysc@miamioh.edu) at 11:58 AM on 12/11/02.

Beautiful Brain and Boulder Corals at the French Bay Wall, 30 m deep, San Salvador, Bahamas.

Earth Systems Syllabus -Western Program-Miami University

Species Diversity,  Distribution,  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 Ordivician to better understand the environment in which these organisms were deposited. The rocks of the Ordivician 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 distibution of species is wave base/seafloor interaction. Areas where wavebase is interacting with the seafloor areareas 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 species.


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