Extinctions et recouvrements de coraux au cours de la crise Pliensbachien - Toarcien

Abstract : The transition from the Pliensbachian to the Toarcian geological stages in Lower Jurassic is followed by a global oceanic anoxic event during the lower Toarcian (TOAE for Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event). This moment corresponds to a massive fossilization time for organic matter in the worldwide geological record that produced here and there source rocks of petroleum interest. Concerning the eustatic fluctuations, these events are associated to a second-order maximal flooding zone. They are also interpreted as the remains of a global carbon-cycle perturbation case associated with oceanic acidification and correlated with the setup of Karoo-Ferrar igneous provinces in the southern Pangea territories corresponding to present-day Southern Africa and Southern America. It corresponds to a period of global warming that directly follow a global cooling at the Pliensbachian. This worldwide ecological perturbation probably disturbed the biosphere in a degree that is still poorly quantified. For example, studies about ammonites and bivalvs are known but the stratigraphic definition generally do not allow to distinguish the Pliensbachian-Toarcian boundary itself to the TOAE effect on these fauna. One single available study about corals is purely bibliographic (Lathuiliere and Marchal 2009) and suggests a significant extinction event for this group at the same period. Corals are generally precious indicators for major ecological disruptions as it is testified in the case of the big-five major crisis and the current sixth one. The Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction has been considered up-to-now as a second-order crisis event and require to be studied as such. In the context of this thesis, fossilized corals have been collected in the field in Morocco and Italy in a well-defined sedimentological context before and after the Pliensbachian-Toarcian boundary. Sampling has been in view to quantify the diversity and as far as possible, the intraspecific variability. The statistical treatment of the data has been realized in view to provide a satisfying quantification of the variability in order to supply a strong taxonomy and be able to compare comparable populations in analyses of diversity, extinctions and apparitions of taxons. In total, 107 species have been describes (including at least 19 new species) as part of 60 genera (including 5 new ones) among 22 families (including a new one). According to this study, the cold and highly concentrated in organic matter oceanic waters of the Pliensbachian contained corals faunas with an important affinity with Triassic faunas (in terms of genera and families). They shared the ecological niches of the western tethysian inner platforms with the lithiotids, a group of aberrants reefal bivalvs that demonstrated a stupendous evolutive success during the same period. Collected data attest of conditions that constrained corals to adapt and diversify in view to maintain during these unfavourable times, for the benefit of the solitary and phaceloid form but at the expense of the highly integrated forms. During the Lower Toarcian, global warming of oceanic waters associated with the almost total disparition of the competitors premised an explosion of diversity that is determinant for the future of the corals, with the apparition of faunal assemblages very similar to the typical Middle and Upper Jurassic ones (in terms of genera, families and colonial morphologies). It is a two-folded extinction event with a first phase during the Pliensbachian –Toarcian transition and a second phase at the onset of the TOAE. In the end, this pulsed event led to the extinction of approximately 97% of the Pliensbachian coral species
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Raphaël Vasseur. Extinctions et recouvrements de coraux au cours de la crise Pliensbachien - Toarcien. Paléontologie. Université de Lorraine, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LORR0204⟩. ⟨tel-02079712⟩

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