Article: Quality of the Triassic-Jurassic bivalve fossil record in northwest Europe
Luke Mander and Richard J. Twitchett
The quality of the Triassic–Jurassic bivalve fossil record in northwest Europe has been measured using the Simple Completeness Metric (SCM). The SCM has been applied to the fossil record of total bivalve diversity and to the records of different ecological guilds. The Westbury and Lilstock Formations record high SCM values for most ecological groups. The 'Pre-Planorbis Beds' of the lower Lias Group, however, witness a precipitous decline in the completeness of most guilds and emigration of taxa due to localized marine anoxia is a likely cause. Neither variation in lithofacies, shell mineralogy, sedimentary rock outcrop area, nor sequence architecture can convincingly explain the observed patterns of completeness. Our SCM data reveal that the Early Jurassic fossil record of infaunal suspension-feeding bivalves is significantly poorer than that of epifaunal bivalves. Any differences in the apparent Rhaetian extinction rates between these two guilds should therefore be viewed with caution. Analyses of selectivity during the Late Triassic mass extinction based on studies of global databases appear robust in light of our SCM data. Nevertheless, future investigations of the Triassic–Jurassic benthic marine ecosystem undertaken at a finer-resolution, may need to account for the poor quality of the Early Jurassic fossil records of certain ecological guilds, such as the infaunal suspension-feeding taxa.