Neoichnology of a barrier-island system


Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology


Baucon A., Felletti F. 2013. Neoichnology of a barrier-island system: the Mula di Muggia (Grado lagoon, Italy). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 375(1): 112-124.

2. Neoichnology
About This Project

Barrier-islands are common landforms and biodiverse habitats, yet they received scarce neoichnological attention. This gap is tackled by studying the Mula di Muggia barrier-island system (Grado lagoon, Italy), focusing on morphology, ecology and ethology of individual traces. The following incipient ichnotaxa are identified: ArchaeonassaArenicolitesBergaueria, ‘diverging shafts’, HelminthoidichnitesLockeiaMacanopsisMonocraterionNereitesParmaichnusPolykladichnusSkolithosThalassinoides and ‘squat burrows’. Vertebrate (Avipeda-/Ardeipeda-like, Canipeda) and invertebrate tracks (‘parallel furrows’) are also described.

For each ichnotaxon, tracemaker and behavior are discussed, together with their position with respect to sediment barriers. Results suggest that sediment barriers impose a sharp contrast in terms of ichnological composition. Back-barrier is dominated by branched burrows (i.e. ThalassinoidesParmaichnus), while the fore-barrier presents vertical and U-shaped burrows (ArenicolitesSkolithos). The environmental conditions of the back-barrier show that low-oxygen substrates favor intense bioturbation, provided that the water column is sufficiently oxygenated.