Article: Early Permian (Asselian) brachiopods from Karakorum (Pakistan) and their palaeobiogeographical significance
Early Permian (Asselian) brachiopods collected from the Gircha Formation of western Karakorum (Pakistan) are described. They include Bandoproductus girchensis sp. nov., Kiangsiella sp. indet., Trigonotreta lyonsensis Archbold and Thomas, Trigonotreta larghii sp. nov., Spirelytha petaliformis (Pavlova), Punctospirifer afghanus Termier, Termier, de Lapparent and Marin, and ?Dielasma sp. indet. and belong to the Trigonotreta lyonsensis-Punctospirifer afghanus Assemblage Biozone, the oldest so far recovered from the Permian succession of Karakorum. The faunal succession of Karakorum records a significant biotic change from the Asselian to the Sakmarian, a shift in diversity and composition that is also recorded along most of the Gondwanan margin and Peri-Gondwanan regions and that should be related to a major climatic change: the end of the Gondwanan glaciation. A palaeobiogeographical analysis has been performed by means of multivariate methods applying cluster and ordination analyses based on the Jaccard Coefficient and Simpson Index to a matrix consisting of the presence/absence of 23 brachiopod genera from seven geographical operational units from central Afghanistan to eastern Australia. The results suggest the occurrence of a single biotic province during the Asselian, the Indoralian Province, embracing all the faunal stations examined, as a consequence of the global cold phase related to the last pulse of the Gondwanan glaciation.