Late Ordovician stromatoporoids from the Xiazhen Formation of South China: Paleoecological and paleogeographical implications

Juwan Jeon, Kun Liang, Jino Park, Suk Joo Choh, Dong Jin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The Upper Ordovician Xiazhen Formation, which crops out in Zhuzhai, near the Jiangshan–Changshan–Yushan region of southeast China, consists of a variety of carbonate–siliciclastic lithofacies representing a shallow-water platform environment. A total of eleven stromatoporoid genera in two orders, comprising three clathrodictyid genera (Clathrodictyon, Ecclimadictyon, and Labyrinthodictyon) and eight labechiid genera (Cystostroma, Rosenella, Pseudostylodictyon, Aulacera, Stylostroma, Pachystylostroma, Labechia, and Labechiella), are recognized from 18 stratigraphic units representing a wide range of depositional environments in the formation. Clathrodictyon is the most abundant stromatoporoid genus, occupying a long stratigraphic range and a wide range of lithofacies. It also occurs as a major component of patch reefs throughout the formation. The labechiids, in contrast, are highly diverse but most genera have restricted stratigraphic distributions, occurring in a narrow range of depositional environments. The size and growth form of stromatoporoids in the formation are considered to be primarily intrinsic characteristics of each genus but in some cases also seem to be related to lithofacies: clathrodictyids exhibit a wide spectrum of growth forms and have broader ecological plasticity and more flexible growth strategies than do labechiids. The Late Ordovician stromatoporoids of the Xiazhen Formation exhibit close biogeographic affinities to those of central New South Wales and the Tasmanian shelf of Australia. The discovery herein of Labyrinthodictyon and Stylostroma from the Upper Ordovician of South China further supports this close relationship. The stromatoporoids from South China exhibited one of the highest diversities of all paleocontinents during the Late Ordovician, suggesting that South China, together with Australia, was a locus of Late Ordovician stromatoporoid diversification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-209
Number of pages13
JournalGeological Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by funding from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB26000000) and the National Science Foundation of China (Grants 41402013 and J1210006) to KL, and from the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grant 2018R1A2A2A05018469 to SJC and 2018R1A2B2005578 to DJL). We thank H. Park for her assistance of thin sections, and J. Botting, L. Muir, M. Lee, and J. Hong for their suggestions to improve the manuscript. We appreciate the journal editor, X. D. Wang, and the referees, S. Kershaw and O. Vinn, for providing valuable comments. We are also deeply grateful to the residents of Zhuzhai village for their warm hospitality and assistance during field work. This paper is a contribution to IGCP 653 ?The Onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.?

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • Clathrodictyida
  • Labechiida
  • Late Ordovician
  • South China
  • diversification
  • paleobiogeography
  • paleoecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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