Abundance distributions imply elevated complexity of post-Paleozoic marine ecosystems

Wagner, Peter J., Kosnik, Mathew A., and Lidgard, Scott (2006) Abundance distributions imply elevated complexity of post-Paleozoic marine ecosystems. Science, 314 (5803). pp. 1289-1292.

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Abstract

Likelihood analyses of 1176 fossil assemblages of marine organisms from Phanerozoic (i.e., Cambrian to Recent) assemblages indicate a shift in typical relative-abundance distributions after the Paleozoic. Ecological theory associated with these abundance distributions implies that complex ecosystems are far more common among Meso-Cenozoic assemblages than among the Paleozoic assemblages that preceded them. This transition coincides not with any major change in the way fossils are preserved or collected but with a shift from communities dominated by sessile epifaunal suspension feeders to communities with elevated diversities of mobile and infaunal taxa. This suggests that the end-Permian extinction permanently altered prevailing marine ecosystem structure and precipitated high levels of ecological complexity and alpha diversity in the Meso-Cenozoic.

Item ID: 3666
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: marine systems; post-Paleozoic marine systems
ISSN: 1095-9203
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2009 03:02
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 76
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