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K. Early Palaeozoic Ecosystems

stromatolitesOliver Lehnert

For some decades the Early Palaeozoic dogmatically was regarded as a long-lasting greenhouse period without many remarkable changes. The only megaevolutionary event famous for the whole geoscience community was the "Cambrian Explosion". To some minor extent, the end-Ordovician extinction received some interest. However, over the last twenty years our view drastically changed based on research in different fields and in the frame of various IGCP projects. As a consequence, the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event - reflecting the real explosion of life in the Phanerozoic - recieved more attention. It also became obvious that the Silurian, for a long time regarded as a time of high sea level without any dramatic climate and faunal changes, was one of the most volatile periods in Phanerozoic history. During the whole Early Palaeozoic repeated strong climatic changes including glacial events influenced the establishment and demise of complex ecosystems such as reef communities. Faunal overturns and extinctions were often coupled with pronounced sedimentological changes and anachronistic periods or times when oolitic and stromatolitic facies dominated huge areas on the shallow tropical and subtropical shelves. The symposium represents a forum to elucidate the characteristics of different Early Palaeozoic environments and ecosystems.
The symposium language is English.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Mikael Calner, GeoBiosphere Science Centre, Lund University, Sweden
Keynote: Early Palaeozoic Faunal Events and their Sedimentary Proxies