Earth and Life pp 159-188 | Cite as

Brachiopods and Their Auloporid Epibionts in the Devonian of Boulonnais (France): Comparison with Other Associations Globally

  • Bruno MistiaenEmail author
  • Denise Brice
  • Mikolaj K. Zapalski
  • Christian Loones
Part of the International Year of Planet Earth book series (IYPE)


From research undertaken on brachiopods encrusted by auloporids at two intervals in the Frasnian (Beaulieu and Ferques Formations) of Boulonnais (France), we conclude that the most important factors influencing encrustation were usually (in decreasing order): size of the host, morphology, feeding currents, shell orientation in vivo and shell ornament. Shell structure (punctate or impunctate) seems not to have influenced the rate of encrustation. In the cases discussed, most but not all auloporids encrusted their hosts in vivo. The most favourable environments for development of both brachiopods and epibionts seem to have been hard bottoms and thin limestone beds alternating with argillaceous beds. The influence of environmental (sedimentologic) conditions is difficult to precisely specify in terms of the development of encrustation, but seems to have played an important role.


Devonian Frasnian Boulonnais (France) Iowa Encrustation Auloporids Brachiopods Ornament Orientation 


Les recherches entreprises sur les brachiopodes encroûtés par des auloporides, dans deux niveaux repérés dans le Frasnien (formations de Beaulieu et de Ferques, Boulonnais, France) nous conduisent aux conclusions suivantes: les facteurs les plus importants influençant les incrustations, sont, en général et par ordre décroissant, la taille de l’hôte, sa morphologie, les courants nourriciers, la position de vie et finalement l’ornementation. La structure de la coquille (ponctuée ou imponctuée) ne semble pas avoir d’influence sur le taux d’incrustation. Dans les exemples analysés, la plupart des auloporides se sont développés du vivant du brachiopode-hôte. L’environnement le plus favorable au développement des brachiopodes et de leurs épibiontes semble correspondre à des fonds marins indurés présentant une alternance de minces dépôts calcaires et argileux. Ce dernier facteur semble jouer un rôle important dans le développement de l’incrustation.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Mistiaen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Denise Brice
    • 1
  • Mikolaj K. Zapalski
    • 2
  • Christian Loones
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Paleontologie stratigraphique FLST and ISA, UMR 8014 CNRSLille cedexFrance
  2. 2.Faculty of GeologyWarsaw UniversityWarszawaPoland
  3. 3.Musée d’Histoire Naturelle et d’EthnologieLilleFrance

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