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Growth patterns of the Cambrian microbialite: Phototropism and speciation of Epiphyton

Cited 26 time in wos
Cited 27 time in scopus
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Growth patterns of the Cambrian microbialite: Phototropism and speciation of Epiphyton
Other Titles
캠브리아기 미생물 퇴적체의 성상양상: 에피파이톤의 굴광성과 종분화
Woo, Jusun
Chough, S.K.
Epiphyton; Middle Cambrian; North China Platform; Phototropism; microbial bioherm
Issue Date
Woo, Jusun, Chough, S.K.. 2010. "Growth patterns of the Cambrian microbialite: Phototropism and speciation of Epiphyton". SEDIMENTARY GEOLOGY, 229(1-2): 1-8.
Microbes started constructing shallow marine stromatolitic bioherms in the Archean, but they transferred their role as a major buildup maker to metazoans in Phanerozoic. Microbial buildups often recovered their predominance in the carbonate platform when reefal metazoan communities collapsed. Epiphyton, an extinct taxon of calcified microbe that possessed branching filamentous trichomes, was an important reef builder in the shallow marine carbonate platform during Middle Cambrian, aftermath of an extinction of archaeocyath sponges which were major reef-building sessile organisms in the Early Cambrian. Here we present direct evidence of phototropism of Epiphyton, found from fossilized behavior in micro- and macro-structures of meter-scale microbial bioherms of the Zhangxia Formation (Middle Cambrian), North China Platform, Shandong Province, China. The bioherms consist of stacked growth layers with the inner and outer divisions divided by distinct boundary. The inner division of growth layers of the Epiphyton bioherm is dominated by dense uniform bush-shaped Epiphyton thalli, whereas the curved outer division has layered texture normal to the surface, comprised of elongated and chambered thalli. It suggests that photosynthetic Epiphyton reacted actively to the spatial changes in intensity of sunlight, controlled by angle of illumination on the curved growth surface of the bioherm. The inner and the outer divisions comprise different morpho-types of Epiphyton. The spatial distributions of different morpho-types in variously illuminated divisions of Epiphyton might have caused further speciation of Epiphyton.
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