Bioturbation in matgrounds at Lake Bogoria in the Kenya Rift Valley: implications for interpreting the heterogeneous early Cambrian seafloor

Jennifer J. Scott*, Luis A. Buatois, M. Gabriela Mángano, Robin W. Renaut, R Bernhart OWEN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Modern burrowing organisms feed on microbial organic matter in matgrounds near hot springs on the margins of Lake Bogoria, a saline alkaline lake in the Kenya Rift Valley. The burrowers produce a low-diversity trace assemblage similar to those produced by undermat miners during the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition. Despite obvious differences in body plans and phylogenetic affinities, these modern animals feed on microbes in similar ways to those inferred for primitive bilaterians. With increasing distance from hot-spring vents, outflow channels and adjacent matgrounds, the diversity and depth of the traces increase and mixgrounds become dominant. This modern extreme environment gives clues for interpreting the heterogeneous early Cambrian seafloor, with: (1) the restriction of ‘pre-agronomic revolution’ matground substrates; and (2) expansion of adjacent ‘post-agronomic revolution’ mixground areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalLethaia
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Palaeontology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cyanobacteria
  • hot spring
  • ichnology
  • insect
  • microbial mat
  • saline lake
  • staphylinid
  • traces

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