Studies of two Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB) sections on top of a Changhsingian reef in Ziyun, Guizhou Province, southwestern China indicate that the end-Permian mass extinction of reef ecosystems occurred in two steps. The first step is the extinction of all stenotropic organisms such as calcisponges and fusulinids in the latest Permian (in the Clarkina yini conodont zone). The biota after the first extinction is simple, comprising eurytropic organisms including microgastropods, ostracods, and some small burrowing organisms, or only algal mats. At the beginning of the Early Triassic (i.e. the beginning of the Hindeodus parvus zone), the environments became anoxic, and the microgastropod dominated biota or algal mats disappeared, which constituted the second episode of the mass extinction. The biota after the second extinction comprises small spherical microproblematica, some kinds of specialized organisms tolerant of anoxic or oxygen-poor conditions. As the environments became oxygenated, the specialized biota was replaced by a microgastropod-dominated simple biota. When the environmental conditions improved further, the simple biota was replaced by a diverse biota with normal-sized ammonoids, bivalves, and gastropods, representing restoration of normal oceanic conditions. Comparison with PTB sections in Dolomites, Italy and Meishan, Zhejiang Province shows that non-reef ecosystems had a similar first episode of mass extinction in the latest Permian. In the case that oceanic anoxia happened, non-reef ecosystems had a second extinction episode similar to that of reef ecosystems.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

End-Permian; Guizhou; Mass Extinction; Permian-Triassic Boundary; Reef; Algae; Ammonoidea; Bivalvia; Clarkina; Fusulinida; Gastropoda; Hindeodus Parvus; Ostracoda

Time Period


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

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© 2007 Science in China Press, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2007

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Geology Commons