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Prasinophyte bloom and putative fungi abundance near the Kačák event (Middle Devonian) from the Odivelas Limestone, Southwest Iberia

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The Kačák Event is one of the several prominent Devonian climatic and biotic perturbations with a supra-regional to global extent. Its record can be traced in the litho- and biostratigraphy of uppermost Eifelian-lowermost Givetian strata and with multiple geochemical and geophysical proxies. In southwest Iberia, within southwestern Ossa-Morena Zone domains, there are rare, scattered Early-Middle Devonian limestone occurrences. One of these occurrences—the Odivelas Limestone type locality—is revisited in terms of conodont biostratigraphy and palynology and the results compared with previous data on reef macrofauna and magnetic susceptibility stratigraphy. The new data show that this locality is probably within the Polygnathus hemiansatus zone, i.e. of the earliest Givetian age. The palynological content of a ca. 2 m of black, organic-rich, fine grained limestone section is dominated, in varied proportions, by amorphous organic matter, putative fungal hyphae, and prasinophycean algae. The results are interpreted as an indication of high organic productivity and deposition in hypoxic to anoxic settings and probable biotic crisis, in both marine and terrestrial realms, connected with the Middle Devonian Kačák Event. The similarity of this record with other Devonian events is discussed.

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We are thankful for the constructive comments by reviewers Carl Brett (University of Cincinnati) and Oldřich Fatka (Charles University). This work is a contribution to IGCP Project 652-Reading geologic time in Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks.


Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal) provided funding through grant no. SFRH/BD/23787/2005 and the Research Plan of the Institute of Geology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (RVO67985831).

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Machado, G., Slavík, L., Moreira, N. et al. Prasinophyte bloom and putative fungi abundance near the Kačák event (Middle Devonian) from the Odivelas Limestone, Southwest Iberia. Palaeobio Palaeoenv (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-019-00415-1

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  • Ossa-Morena Zone
  • Eifelian-Givetian
  • Palynology
  • Conodonts
  • Biotic crisis