Copano Bay: Assessing the Accountability of Spatial/Temporal Variability in Benthic Molluscan Paleocommunities
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Increasing attention has been directed towards paleoecolological studies in understanding the relationship between modern live communities and death assemblages as a means of better understanding fossil assemblages preserved in the rock record. In order to study this relationship, benthic molluscan live and dead assemblages are being collected from an ongoing time series and a spatial transect from Copano Bay, Texas. Previous work on this time series transect has demonstrated that death assemblages are more dynamic than previously recognized, and that they reflect short-term fluctuations in their living community counterpart. The spatial transect, collected in June 2007, and the time series transect are considered here to further assess this relationship as well as estimate the full range of variation in the site locality and identify any significant change through time. Results show that richness corrected for sample size and evenness are highly variable for the live communities and has been considerably variable for the death assemblages for new samples added to the time series. Furthermore, cluster analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling ordinations indicate a compositional shift in the new data (last seven samples) for the living community, and a compositional rebound toward samples collected 22-years ago for the death assemblages. In addition, additive partitioning of evenness on the spatial transect does not indicate any detectable gradient at the time of collection.
Horbaczewski, Adam Michael (2008). Copano Bay: Assessing the Accountability of Spatial/Temporal Variability in Benthic Molluscan Paleocommunities. Available electronically from