Indexed on: 09 Mar '16Published on: 06 Mar '16Published in: Lethaia
A global Late Devonian ostracod database is constructed, incorporating new materials from South China and Northwest China. Four palaeobiogeographical units (Cathaysia, North America, Europe and peri‐Gondwana) are recognized during the Frasnian and five palaeobiogeographical units (Cathaysia, North America, Europe, Siberia and Australia) in the Famennian. Three controlling factors (climatic zonation, geographical isolation and global sea‐level changes) are identified to have played roles in shaping the palaeogeographical regionalization of ostracod faunas in the Late Devonian. The ostracod palaeobiogeography in the Frasnian was mainly influenced by climatic zonation, while rapid changes in tectonic configuration in the Famennian drastically altered the global palaeobiogeography of ostracods. The palaeobiogeographical regionalization of ostracod faunas suggests that Laurussia and Gondwana continued to draw near during the Late Devonian, with the first collision occurring in Southern Central Europe in the Famennian. The South China plate drifted northward to the Kazakhstan plate away from the Australian plate, which gradually became isolated during the Famennian Stage.