Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorGutarra, Susana
dc.contributor.authorMitchell, Emily G
dc.contributor.authorDunn, Frances S
dc.contributor.authorGibson, Brandt M
dc.contributor.authorRacicot, Rachel A
dc.contributor.authorDarroch, Simon AF
dc.contributor.authorRahman, Imran
dc.identifier.citationSusana Gutarra, Emily G. Mitchell, Frances S. Dunn, Brandt M. Gibson, Rachel A. Racicot, Simon A.F. Darroch, Imran A. Rahman, Ediacaran marine animal forests and the ventilation of the oceans, Current Biology, 2024, , ISSN 0960-9822, (
dc.description.abstractThe rise of animals across the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition marked a step-change in the history of life, from a microbially dominated world to the complex macroscopic biosphere we see today.1,2,3 While the importance of bioturbation and swimming in altering the structure and function of Earth systems is well established,4,5,6 the influence of epifaunal animals on the hydrodynamics of marine environments is not well understood. Of particular interest are the oldest “marine animal forests,”7 which comprise a diversity of sessile soft-bodied organisms dominated by the fractally branching rangeomorphs.8,9 Typified by fossil assemblages from the Ediacaran of Mistaken Point, Newfoundland,8,10,11 these ancient communities might have played a pivotal role in structuring marine environments, similar to modern ecosystems,7,12,13 but our understanding of how they impacted fluid flow in the water column is limited. Here, we use ecological modeling and computational flow simulations to explore how Ediacaran marine animal forests influenced their surrounding environment. Our results reveal how organism morphology and community structure and composition combined to impact vertical mixing of the surrounding water. We find that Mistaken Point communities were capable of generating high-mixing conditions, thereby likely promoting gas and nutrient transport within the “canopy.” This mixing could have served to enhance local-scale oxygen concentrations and redistribute resources like dissolved organic carbon. Our work suggests that Ediacaran marine animal forests may have contributed to the ventilation of the oceans over 560 million years ago, well before the Cambrian explosion of animals.en_US
dc.publisherElsevier BVen_US
dc.titleEdiacaran marine animal forests and the ventilation of the oceansen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
dc.identifier.journalCurrent Biologyen_US
elements.import.authorGutarra, Susana
elements.import.authorMitchell, Emily G
elements.import.authorDunn, Frances S
elements.import.authorGibson, Brandt M
elements.import.authorRacicot, Rachel A
elements.import.authorDarroch, Simon AF
elements.import.authorRahman, Imran A
dc.description.nhmCopyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( The linked document is the published version of the article.en_US
dc.description.nhmNHM Repository
dc.subject.nhmmarine animal forestsen_US
dc.subject.nhmcomputational fluid dynamicsen_US

Files in this item

Publisher version

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as openAccess