Fossil records of nearshore, shallow marine fish communities are rare. Here, we present the rich and diverse fish fauna of a coastal setting in the eastern part of the Mediterranean during the early Pliocene, which comprises 54 taxa, 77% of which are extant and currently occupy the same shores. We analyse these assemblages to estimate the palaeodepth, the substratum and the climatic and oceanographic conditions prevailing in the region at the time. Furthermore, we review the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of the identified taxa from the Tortonian until today, to establish patterns and trends in the evolution of the Mediterranean coastal fish fauna. Contrary to expectations, the Pliocene coastal fauna is very similar to the Miocene and to the Pleistocene in terms of functional traits as well as taxonomically. Replacements of species seem to have been gradual, through multiple extirpations and reintroductions that led to the final extinction of mostly tropical species from the basin, while subtropical–temperate taxa invaded to take their place.

The Zanclean marine fish fauna and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of a coastal marine setting in the eastern Mediterranean

Girone A.;
2020

Abstract

Fossil records of nearshore, shallow marine fish communities are rare. Here, we present the rich and diverse fish fauna of a coastal setting in the eastern part of the Mediterranean during the early Pliocene, which comprises 54 taxa, 77% of which are extant and currently occupy the same shores. We analyse these assemblages to estimate the palaeodepth, the substratum and the climatic and oceanographic conditions prevailing in the region at the time. Furthermore, we review the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of the identified taxa from the Tortonian until today, to establish patterns and trends in the evolution of the Mediterranean coastal fish fauna. Contrary to expectations, the Pliocene coastal fauna is very similar to the Miocene and to the Pleistocene in terms of functional traits as well as taxonomically. Replacements of species seem to have been gradual, through multiple extirpations and reintroductions that led to the final extinction of mostly tropical species from the basin, while subtropical–temperate taxa invaded to take their place.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/272548
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