Morphometrics and palaeoecology of syringoporoid tabulate corals from the upper Famennian (Devonian) Etoucun Formation, Huilong, South China

  • Kun LiangEmail author
  • Wenkun Qie
  • Luozhong Pan
  • Baoan Yin
Original Paper


Syringoporoid tabulate corals are one of the most common benthic sessile organisms in the upper Famennian Etoucun Formation at the Huilong section, Guilin, South China. A multivariate morphometric analysis based on five morphological characters was applied to 29 coralla from three intervals in the formation. Cluster analysis, principal coordinate analysis, non-metric multidimensional scaling, and an examination of the qualitative morphological characteristics revealed the presence of four morphospecies representing Chia hunanensis Jia, 1977, Tetraporinus virgatus Tchudinova, 1986, Fuchungopora multispinosa Lin, 1963, and a new species designated as F. huilongensis. Interval A belongs to foraminifer biozones DFZ4 to DFZ6 and contains abundant C. hunanensis and scattered coralla of T. virgatus, whereas intervals B and C which are within foraminifer biozone DFZ7 contain abundant F. multispinosa, sporadic F. huilongensis, and rare fragmented corallites of C. hunanensis. The coralla are commonly tilted or overturned, which is especially obvious in intervals B and C, indicating that most of them settled on a soft substrate and were subjected to periodic high-energy events. The species of Fuchungopora display flexible growth strategies characterised by the fusion of their corallites. The high diversity of syringoporids recorded from South China indicates an obvious radiation of the tabulate corals in the uppermost Famennian. Syringoporids accounted for the majority of tabulate corals recorded in South China in the upper Famennian and represented a relatively high level of palaeobiodiversity before the Hangenberg Crisis.


Syringoporoid tabulate corals Famennian South China Multivariate morphometric analysis 



We thank C. M. Yu and W. H. Liao for their valuable comments, and Y. D. Chen for the preparation of thin sections. We are grateful to the reviewers, E. Poty and M. Aretz, for providing helpful suggestions.

Funding information

This study was supported by grants from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB26000000) and National Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41772004 and 41402013) to KL and WKQ.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kun Liang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wenkun Qie
    • 1
  • Luozhong Pan
    • 2
  • Baoan Yin
    • 2
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Economic Stratigraphy and Palaeogeography, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology and Center for Excellence in Life and PaleoenvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.Guangxi Institute of Regional Geological SurveyGuilinChina

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