Mesozoic Reef Building Organisms
Data Archive 8

This is a Paleobiology Database Data Archive on the classification of the major Mesozoic reef builders. The focus is on scleractinian corals, coralline sponges and calcareous algae. The data accompany current data entry on Phanerozoic reefs (see the PaleoReefs project).

Scientific goals

Up-to date taxonomic assignments are the basic requirement of assessing the biodiversity dynamics of reef builders. Previous assessments of reef diversity just counted the number of taxa within reefs (alpha diversity), but with a taxonomically revised dataset long-term trajectories will be accessible.


Taxonomic vetting accompanies current data entry of Phanerozoic reefs. Valid genera of Triassic and Jurassic sponges were identified and classified according to the new Treatise (Finks et al., 2004). Triassic and Jurassic corals were vetted using multiple sources. Maastrichtian and Paleocene scleractinian corals could be cleaned up through collaboration with Rosemarie Baron-Szabo (Kiessling and Baron-Szabo, 2004).

  • R. M. Finks, R. E. H. Reid, and J. K. Rigby. 2004. Porifera (Demospongea, Hexactinellida, Heteractinida, Calcarea). Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, E (Porifera, Revised). The Geological Society of America & The University of Kansas, Boulder & Lawrence.
  • W. Kiessling, M. Aberhan, B. Brenneis, and P. J. Wagner. 2006. Extinction trajectories of benthic organisms across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology in press.
  • W. Kiessling and R. Baron-Szabo. 2004. Extinction and recovery patterns of scleractinian corals at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 214(3):195-223.
Contact information

Wolfgang Kiessling
Museum für Naturkund
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Invalidenstr. 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 30 2093 8576
Fax: +49 30 2093 8868

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