Quantitative paleoecology of Cambrian (Series 2–Miaolingian) communities from central Sonora, Mexico

Héctor Arturo Noriega-Ruiz, Francisco Javier Cuen-Romero*, Luis Fernando Enríquez-Ocaña, Rogelio Monreal, Elizabeth Chacón-Baca, Juan José Palafox-Reyes, Francisco Javier Grijalva-Noriega

*Autor correspondiente de este trabajo

Resultado de la investigación: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


This work presents a paleoecological approach to study benthic communities preserved in Cambrian strata exposed at the Sahuaral locality in central Sonora, northwestern Mexico. Based on species richness and abundance, this work analyzed 627 individuals corresponding to 33 species from five distinctive Cambrian formations: the lowermost Proveedora Formation characterized by bioturbation horizons that record the occurrence of a benthic-infaunal biota from coastal shallow seas, followed by the Buelna Formation which contains reef deposits dominated by autotrophic epibenthic communities. The Cerro Prieto Formation was deposited in a high-energy shallow marine environment, dominated by primary consumers-epifaunal and suspensions feeders. The uppermost unit, the El Gavilán Formation, is an intercalation of shale and fossiliferous limestone characterized by the fossil remains of suspension feeders, detritus feeders and nektobenthic organisms of low energy deep water environments. The paleobiota consist of ichnofossils, microbial oncolites, chancellorids, brachiopods, hyolithids, and trilobites in a sequence of increasing diversity and complexity. Paleoecological indices (Simpson Dominance, Shannon-Weaver Index, Evenness Index, and Total Richness) were determined and compared in the study area. In addition, the effective number of species and the true diversities were obtained, which are similar between each station distributed in each formation. However, it is possible that the high degree of dominance is a factor to indicate an inequality between the true diversity and the species richness identified. These results provide new analytical and paleoecological criteria for better understanding depositional environments and fossil associations where the spatial distribution of benthic organisms, richness and abundance provide a valued window to Cambrian biotas. The structure of the marine community of the El Sahuaral area has a great affinity with other Cambrian communities, such as those from the Stephen Formation (Burgess Shale, British Columbia) and the Chengjiang biota of the Yangtze Shelf deposits in South China.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)607-620
Número de páginas14
EstadoPublicada - dic 2022

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© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


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