The stratigraphical distribution of Porosphaera globularis, a common calcareous sponge in the Upper Cretaceous (mostly Campanian and Maastrichtian) of Poland was studied. The presented material, both new and from museum collections, comes from the Campanian of the Miechów Synclinorium, in southern Poland, and from the Lower Campanian of Mielnik in the south-eastern part of the Mazury-Podlasie Homocline, in eastern Poland. The significance of the species in extra-regional correlation, its palaeobiogeography and stratigraphical potential is critically reviewed.
Świerczewska-Gładysz, E. 2012. Hexactinellid sponge assemblages across the Campanian-Maastrichtian boundary in the Middle Vistula River section, central Poland. Acta Geologica Polonica, 62 (4), 561-580. Warszawa.The sponge fauna from the Upper Campanian-lowermost Maastrichtian succession of the Middle Vistula River valley (central Poland) is represented mainly by dictyid hexactinellid sponges (Hexactinosida and Lychniscosida). Their greatest abundance and taxonomic variability is noted in the "Inoceramus" inkermanensis Zone (Upper Campanian), and they are less diverse in the overlying (Upper Campanian) Trochoceramus costaecus Zone and lower "Inoceramus" redbirdensis Zone. In the upper "Inoceramus" redbirdensis Zone (basal Maastrichtian in the sense of the Tercis rather than the Boreal definition) they are extremely rare. With the beginning of the Maastrichtian the number of dictyid sponges gradually increases.The observed changes in the abundance and taxonomic variability of the dictyid sponges indicate environmental changes in the latest Campanian-earliest Maastrichtian sea in the area. It seems that changes in basin bathymetry, confined to eustatic sea-level changes in the latest Campanian and early Maastrichtian, were the most important factor. Progressive shallowing of the basin in the latest Campanian drastically restricted the development of dictyids. In the peak regression, the sea level could have fallen to only several tens of metres. The gradual recovery of the sponge assemblages correlates with subsequent deepening of the basin with the start of the Maastrichtian.
Cretaceous lyssacinosid sponges (Hexactinellida) are rare and poorly recognized. This is the first description of lyssacinosid sponges from the Cretaceous of Poland. The sponges (including six species and three types of root tufts) come from the Upper Turonian-Lower Coniacian of the Opole Trough, Upper Campanian of the Miechów synclinorium, and Upper Campanian of the SE part of the border synclinorium. All localities lie southwards of the previous reports, widening thus the paleogeographic distribution of the group within the North European Province. Cretaceous lyssacinosids seem to be a useful tool in paleoecological interpretations. The presence of thin-walled lyssacinosids with root tufts indicates a soft substrate, slow rate of sedimentation, and calm and deeper water conditions.
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