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Early Tithonian serpulid-dominated cavity-dwelling fauna, and the recruitment pattern of the serpulid larvae

  • Ján Schlögl (a1), Jozef Michalik (a2), Kamil Zágorŝek (a3) and François Atrops (a4)

A Lower Tithonian cavity-dwelling community from pelagic carbonate platform deposits of the Czorsztyn Unit, Western Carpathians, represents a succession of mostly solitary coelobite organisms, dominated by scleractinian corals and small-sized serpulids during the initial recruitment stage, and by serpulids during the following recruitment stages. These bioconstructors were accompanied with other suspension feeders: thecideidine brachiopods, oysters, bryozoans, sponges, crinoids and sessile foraminifers. The boundary between the first and the second recruitment stage represents an interval of aggregate growth interruption, when a thin sheet of cyclostome bryozoans developed. Corals and serpulids Neovermilia and Vermiliopsis are primary bioconstructors; all other associated organisms profited from the free spaces between the serpulid tubes. The aggregates were already bioeroded, mineralized and encrusted during their growth. Serpulid larvae show a special recruitment pattern. Their tubes were observed attached on the inner surfaces of adult serpulid tubes only. Possible causes of such a larval behaviour involve several physical, biological or chemical factors. Except for the first recruitment stage, the rest of the succession seems to be physically controlled by the gradual infilling of cavities.

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Journal of Paleontology
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