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      Rapid macrobenthic diversification and stabilization after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event

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          Abstract

          Previous ichnological analysis at the Chicxulub impact crater, Yucatán Peninsula, México (International Ocean Discovery Program [IODP]/International Continental Scientific Drilling Program [ICDP] Site M0077), showed a surprisingly rapid initial tracemaker community recovery after the end-Cretaceous (Cretaceous-Paleogene [K-Pg]) mass extinction event. Here, we found that full recovery was also rapid, with the establishment of a well-developed tiered community within ~700 k.y. Several stages of recovery were observed, with distinct phases of stabilization and diversification, ending in the development of a trace fossil assemblage mainly consisting of abundant Zoophycos, Chondrites, and Planolites, assigned to the Zoophycos ichnofacies. The increase in diversity is associated with higher abundance, larger forms, and a deeper and more complex tiering structure. Such rapid recovery suggests that favorable paleoenvironmental conditions were quickly reestablished within the impact basin, enabling colonization of the substrate. Comparison with the end-Permian extinction reveals similarities during recovery, yet postextinction recovery was significantly faster after the K-Pg event. The rapid recovery has significant implications for the evolution of macrobenthic biota after the K-Pg event. Our results have relevance in understanding how communities recovered after the K-Pg impact and how this event differed from other mass extinction events.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Geology
          Geological Society of America
          0091-7613
          1943-2682
          July 13 2020
          July 13 2020
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Universidad de Granada, 18002 Granada, Spain
          [2 ]Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78758, USA
          [3 ]Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA
          [4 ]Center for Planetary Systems Habitability, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA
          [5 ]Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA
          Article
          10.1130/G47589.1
          ee30ba77-c383-48ad-b4ba-e9621702ebc2
          © 2020
          History

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