Geological Society, London, Special Publications
Abstract The shallow-water Neseuretus Association has been recognized by many authors as an important indicator of the former extent of Gondwana during the Early Ordovician. Phylogenetic relationships of the Reedocalymeninae (Arenig-?Early Silurian) were investigated using cladistic analysis, incorporating 22 species of Neseuretus as well as representatives of all other reedocalymenine genera. The area cladogram derived from this analysis contains four subclades each containing areas that span much of the palaeogeographic extent of Gondwana, which are interpreted as representing separate biogeographic events during the evolution of the subfamily. As the majority of taxa included in the analysis are associated with shallow shelf facies, this suggests that no significant environmental barriers existed across the continent during the Early Ordovician. Consideration of area relationships both for different subclades within the area cladogram, and within a consensus area cladogram, also supports the idea of a faunal cline between eastern and western Gondwana during this time interval. Further cladistic analysis of different trilobite taxa can be used to test these ideas.