Uplifted reefs due to being important palaeoclimate archives and a rich source of information on past physical and geochemical changes globally have become the centre of marine research. The uplifted fossil Quaternary coral communities of Jiwani and Gwadar are perfect places to study the palaeoclimatic and geological changes that have shaped the Balochistan coast. Studies on the palaeodiversity of corals along the Makran coast of Pakistan are lacking. In the present study, the samples collected using line intercept method from four uplifted sites (Balochistan coast: one at Gwadar and three at Jiwani) were analysed. The relative distribution and diversity of scleractinian fossil corals was determined, and the factors responsible for coral decline along Pakistan coast were compared with modern coral distribution and diversity. A total of 48 fossil coral species were recorded in nine families and 22 genera. High coral diversity was recorded in the uplifted landward sites of Jiwani and Gwadar headland. Terraces close to the shore at Jiwani had lower diversity. The corals seem to be Quaternary: most likely Pleistocene to Holocene. The modern fauna lacks many species recorded in the fossil community, thus suggesting a faunal turnover in diversity and redistribution of coral fauna which may be linked with past geological events and increasing anthropogenic pressure.
Arabian Journal of Geosciences – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 2, 2017
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