After the event only sharks less than a meter and most fishes and tetrapods less than 10 centimeters remained, and it would take 40 million years before they started to increase in size again.
This led to the establishment of the modern vertebrate fauna, consisting mostly of actinopterygians, chondrichthyans, and tetrapods, in the Carboniferous.
The continent of Siberia occupied the Northern Hemisphere, while an equatorial continent, Laurussia (formed by the collision of Baltica and Laurentia), was drifting towards Gondwana, closing the Iapetus ocean.
The Caledonian mountains were also growing across what is now the Scottish Highlands and Scandinavia, while the Appalachians rose over America. Plants, which had been on land in forms similar to mosses, liverworts, and lichens since the Ordovician, had just developed roots, seeds, and water transport systems that allowed them to survive away from places that were constantly wet—and consequently built huge forests on the highlands.
The brims are thought to have served a respiratory purpose, and the increasing anoxia of waters led to an increase in their brim area in response.
The shape of conodonts' feeding apparatus varied with δ 97 per cent of vertebrate species disappeared, with only smaller forms surviving.
The surviving taxa show morphological trends through the event.By the Late Devonian, the land had been colonized by plants and insects.In the oceans were massive reefs built by corals and stromatoporoids.This, combined with the ability of porous reef rocks to hold oil, has led to Devonian rocks being an important source of oil, especially in the USA.The Kellwasser event and most other Later Devonian pulses primarily impacted the marine community, and had a greater effect on shallow warm-water organisms than on cool-water organisms.