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      Microbial-caddisfly bioherm association from the Lower Cretaceous Shinekhudag Formation, Mongolia: Earliest record of plant armoring in fossil caddisfly cases

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          Abstract

          Caddisfly larvae construct underwater protective cases using surrounding materials, thus providing information on environmental conditions in both modern and ancient systems. Microbial bioherms associated with caddisfly cases are found in the Berriassian-Hauterivian (~140–130 Ma) Shinekhudag Formation of Mongolia, and yield new insights into aspects of lacustrine paleoecosystems and paleoenvironments. This formation contains the earliest record of plant-armored caddisfly cases and a rare occurrence of microbial-caddisfly association from the Mesozoic. The bioherms are investigated within the context of stratigraphic correlations, depositional environment interpretations, and basin-evolution models of the sedimentary fill. The bioherms form 0.5–2.0 m diameter mound-shaped bodies and are concentrated within a single, oil shale-bound stratigraphic interval. Each bioherm is composed of up to 40% caddisfly cases along with stromatolites of millimeter-scale, micritic laminations. Petrographic analyses reveal these bioherms are composed of non-systematic associations of columnar and oncoidal microbialites, constructed around colonies of caddisfly cases. The cases are straight to curved, slightly tapered, and tube-shaped, with a progressively increasing length and width trend (7–21 mm by 1.5–2.5 mm). Despite these variations, the case architectures reveal similar construction materials; the particles used for cases are dominated by plant fragments, ostracod valves, carbonate rocks, and rare mica and feldspar grains. Allochems within the bioherms include ooids, ostracods, plant fragments, rare gastropods, feldspar grains bound in micritic matrices, and are consolidated by carbonate dominated cements. The combination of microbial-caddisfly association, plant fragment case particles, and ooids/oncoids are indicative of a shallow, littoral lake setting. Stratigraphic juxtaposition of nearshore bioherms and the bounding distal oil-shale facies suggests that the bioherms developed in an underfilled lake basin, resulting from an abrupt and short-lived lake desiccation event. Lake chemistry is believed to have been relatively alkaline, saline to hypersaline, and rich in Ca, Mg, and HCO 3 ions. Through analyzing bioherm characteristics, caddisfly case architecture, carbonate microfacies, and stratigraphic variability, we infer larger-scale processes that controlled basin development during their formation.

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          Most cited references 106

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          Microbial carbonates: the geological record of calcified bacterial-algal mats and biofilms

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            Microbialites: Organosedimentary Deposits of Benthic Microbial Communities

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SoftwareRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draft
                Role: ResourcesRole: SupervisionRole: ValidationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: Supervision
                Role: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: SoftwareRole: Supervision
                Role: Data curationRole: Resources
                Role: Data curationRole: Resources
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                21 November 2017
                2017
                : 12
                : 11
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
                [2 ] Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
                [3 ] Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                [4 ] Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America
                [5 ] School of Geosciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                Indiana University Bloomington, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-17-28944
                10.1371/journal.pone.0188194
                5697877
                29161280
                © 2017 Adiya et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 15, Tables: 2, Pages: 36
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100010629, Fulbright Association;
                Award Recipient :
                The Fulbright Association fully funded the education of the first author, Tsolmon Adiya, at the University of Utah. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Earth Sciences
                Marine and Aquatic Sciences
                Bodies of Water
                Lakes
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Aquatic Environments
                Freshwater Environments
                Lakes
                Earth Sciences
                Marine and Aquatic Sciences
                Aquatic Environments
                Freshwater Environments
                Lakes
                Physical Sciences
                Materials Science
                Materials by Attribute
                Binders
                Cements
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Chemical Compounds
                Carbonates
                Earth Sciences
                Mineralogy
                Minerals
                Calcite
                Physical Sciences
                Materials Science
                Material Properties
                Porosity
                Earth Sciences
                Geology
                Geologic Time
                Mesozoic Era
                Cretaceous Period
                Earth Sciences
                Geology
                Stratigraphy
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Limnology
                Paleolimnology
                Paleoenvironments
                Earth Sciences
                Marine and Aquatic Sciences
                Limnology
                Paleolimnology
                Paleoenvironments
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Paleontology
                Paleolimnology
                Paleoenvironments
                Earth Sciences
                Paleontology
                Paleolimnology
                Paleoenvironments
                Custom metadata
                All samples and thin sections are publicly available at the University of Utah. Sample Numbers and Classification information can be found in Table 1 within the paper.

                Uncategorized

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