Stratigraphic Controls on Fossil Occurrences

Mark E. Patzkowsky and Steven M. Holland

in Stratigraphic Paleobiology

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226649375
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226649399 | DOI:
Stratigraphic Controls on Fossil Occurrences

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This chapter describes a particular model of the fossil record that helps quantify the impact of stratigraphic architecture on the occurrence of fossils. The basic features of the fossil record that are influenced by the stratigraphic record are also discussed. Ecology and evolution play an important role in controlling the occurrence of taxa in the fossil record, but this record is fundamentally altered by stratigraphic architecture. Paleobiologic interpretations that rely on the stratigraphic occurrence of fossils must acknowledge the effects of stratigraphic architecture and deal with them. The advent of sequence stratigraphy, coupled with ecological gradient models, allows for the understanding and quantifying the structure and completeness of the fossil record. These models reveal not only ways in which the fossil record may be controlled by processes of sediment deposition, but also clues to recognizing those effects and strategies for overcoming them.

Keywords: fossil record; stratigraphic architecture; stratigraphic record; ecology; evolution; taxa; paleobiologic interpretations

Chapter.  8070 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palaeontology

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