Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reefs recovered faster after mass extinction than first thought

Date:
October 8, 2011
Source:
University of Zurich
Summary:
Metazoan-dominated reefs only took 1.5 million years to recover after the largest species extinction 252 million years ago, paleontologists have found, based on fossils from the southwestern United States.

Reef-forming sponges, Early Triassic era.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Zurich

Metazoan-dominated reefs only took 1.5 million years to recover after the largest species extinction 252 million years ago, an international research team including paleontologists from the University of Zurich has established based on fossils from the southwestern United States.

Harsh living conditions caused by major fluctuations in the carbon content and sea levels, overacidification and oxygen deficiency in the seas triggered the largest mass extinction of all time at the end of the Permian era 252 million years ago. Life on Earth was also anything but easy after the obliteration of over 90 percent of all species: Throughout the entire Early Triassic era, metazoan-dominated reefs were replaced by microbial deposits. Researchers had always assumed it took Earth as long as five million years to recover from this species collapse.

Now, however, an international team, including the paleontologist Hugo Bucher from the University of Zurich and his team of researchers, has shown that reefs already existed again in the southwest of what is now the USA 1.5 million years after the mass extinction. These were dominated by metazoan organisms such as sponges, serpulids and other living creatures, the researchers report in Nature Geoscience.

Growth thanks to new reef-forming metazoan organisms

Metazoan-dominated reefs already developed during the Early Triassic, much earlier than was previously assumed. As soon as the environmental conditions more or less returned to normal, the reef began to grow again due to metazoan organisms that had played a secondary role in reefs up to then. "This shows that, after the extinction of dominant reef creators, metazoan were able to form reef ecosystems much sooner than was previously thought," says Hugo Bucher, summing up the new discovery.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Zurich. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Arnaud Brayard, Emmanuelle Vennin, Nicolas Olivier, Kevin G. Bylund, Jim Jenks, Daniel A. Stephen, Hugo Bucher, Richard Hofmann, Nicolas Goudemand, Gilles Escarguel. Transient metazoan reefs in the aftermath of the end-Permian mass extinction. Nature Geoscience, 2011; 4 (10): 693 DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1264

Cite This Page:

University of Zurich. "Reefs recovered faster after mass extinction than first thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930102802.htm>.
University of Zurich. (2011, October 8). Reefs recovered faster after mass extinction than first thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930102802.htm
University of Zurich. "Reefs recovered faster after mass extinction than first thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930102802.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Coral Reefs Made Rapid Comeback After the Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time

Oct. 5, 2011 In the aftermath of the extinction that marked the end of the Paleozoic Era, 252.6 million years ago, reefs made by multicellular animals took less than two million years to reappear and diversify. ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins