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, 9 (2), e90197
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Endobiotic Rugosan Symbionts in Stromatoporoids From the Sheinwoodian (Silurian) of Baltica

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Endobiotic Rugosan Symbionts in Stromatoporoids From the Sheinwoodian (Silurian) of Baltica

Olev Vinn et al. PLoS One.

Abstract

A paleoecological study of stromatoporoid endobionts was carried out to discern the relationships between symbiotic rugosans and their stromatoporoid hosts. The earliest endobiotic rugosan symbiont Palaeophyllum sp. in Baltica has only been found in the stromatoporoid Ecclimadictyon astrolaxum from Saaremaa, Estonia. The rugosans are vertically oriented inside the stromatoporoid skeleton. Numerous rugosans have their corallites open at the upper, external surface of stromatoporoids, but many are completely embedded within the stromatoporoids. Stromatoporoid hosts were presumably beneficial for rugosans as elevated substrates on a sea floor that offered a higher tier for feeding. Relative substrate stability in the hydrodynamically active shallow waters may have also been beneficial for the rugosans.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Geographic maps.
The location of Abula cliff is shown by square.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Stratigraphic scheme.
The age of Abula fossils is marked by asterisk. Modified after Hints et(2008).
Figure 3
Figure 3. Palaeophyllum sp. endobionts.
TUG 1627-4. Stromatoporoid Ecclimadictyon astrolaxum with the endobionts, transverse section, from Sheinwoodian (Jaagarahu Formation) of Abula cliff, Saaremaa Island, Estonia. Scale bar in mm.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Palaeophyllum sp. endobionts.
TUG 1627-4. Stromatoporoid Ecclimadictyon astrolaxum with the endobionts, transverse section, from Sheinwoodian (Jaagarahu Formation) of Abula cliff, Saaremaa Island, Estonia. Scale bar in mm.
Figure 5
Figure 5. Palaeophyllum sp. endobionts.
GIT 666-1. Stromatoporoid Ecclimadictyon astrolaxum with the endobionts, longitudinal section, from Sheinwoodian (Jaagarahu Formation) of Abula cliff, Saaremaa Island, Estonia. Note completely embedded rugosans and the shaley sediment at the termination of the large rugosan at the left side of the slide. Scale bar in mm.
Figure 6
Figure 6. Palaeophyllum sp. endobionts.
TUG 1627-6. Stromatoporoid Ecclimadictyon astrolaxum with the endobionts, longitudinal section, from Sheinwoodian (Jaagarahu Formation) of Abula cliff, Saaremaa Island, Estonia. Note completely embedded rugosans and changing relationship between stromatoporoid laminae and long axis of the rugose coral at the right of the slide. Scale bar in mm.

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References

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Publication types

Grant support

O.V. is indebted to the SEPKOSKI Grant (Paleontological Society), Estonian Science Foundation grant ETF9064 and the target-financed project (from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science) SF0180051s08 (Ordovician and Silurian climate changes, as documented from the biotic changes and depositional environments in the Baltoscandian Palaeobasin) for financial support. M-A.M. was supported by the target-financed project (from the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science) SF0140020s08. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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