During the Late Eocene, shelf-edge patch reefs developed on the western margin of the Lessini Shelf. The coral fauna, studied in the Nago Limestone type locality, is described and interpreted for the first time, and provides further data for better understanding of the generally poorly known Eocene reef communities. Facies analysis was carried out across the shallowing upward succession that characterizes the well exposed type-section of the Nago Limestone. Four distinct facies are identified and a detailed qualitative-quantitative investigation has been applied to the coral-bearing facies in particular, in order to describe and quantify the distribution and palaeoecological zonation of corals. By a comparison of sedimentological and palaeoecological data, it is possible to reconstruct a depositional model of the Nago Limestone at its type locality. In particular, the palaeoecological study clearly reveals that corals change with depth in taxonomic composition, in percentage and proportion within the framework and in growth form, allowing the definition of a relative depth coral zonation. Three coral associations are recognized from the base to the top of the shallowing upward sequence. These differ from each other in the relative abundance of main reef-builders, in the growth form exhibited by corals in growth position and in the density of the reef framework. These variations are interpreted as responses to major environmental controls which prevailed during the deposition of the different facies (mainly light intensity and hydrodynamic energy). The coral species Actinacis rollei REUSS is the most abundant and ubiquitous coral of the Nago Limestone. Its adaptation to low-light levels is described here for the first time, confirming the high plasticity of this important Paleogene reef-builder. The results of the present study are finally compared with data from other Middle-Late Eocene European reef sites and some common features are inferred.
|Anno di pubblicazione:||1998|
|Titolo:||Diversity, composition and structure of Late Eocene shelf-edge coral associations (Nago Limestone, Northern Italy)|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/BF02537017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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