Biodiversity Dynamics: Turnover of Populations, Taxa, and by Michael L. McKinney, James A. Drake

By Michael L. McKinney, James A. Drake

How will styles of human interplay with the earth's eco-system effect on biodiversity loss over the lengthy term--not within the subsequent ten or maybe fifty years, yet at the colossal temporal scale be handled by means of earth scientists? This quantity brings jointly info from inhabitants biology, neighborhood ecology, comparative biology, and paleontology to reply to this query.

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Extra info for Biodiversity Dynamics: Turnover of Populations, Taxa, and Communities

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Negative taxonomic allometry conforms to the previously stated predictions that the biosphere tends to accumulate extinction-resistant species through time, and these species differently accumulate in superdiverse, low-turnover taxa and subtaxa. A recent, very important substantiation of this has been the findings of Gaston and Blackburn (1997), using phylogenetic analysis of birds, that younger (more recently derived) taxa tend to contain a lower proportion of BIODIVERSITY DYNAMICS threatened species.

This, of course, assumes that regulation of diversity occurs. Alroy (chapter 12) examines evidence of such regulation by examining the dynamics of species diversity in Cenozoic mammals in North America; we examine a data set on Neogene foraminifera that provides further evidence for diversity regulation. The theory of diversity regulation does not specify explicit mechanisms, however. We use data on the current geographic distributions of North American passerine birds to examine how diversity might be regulated in part by nonrandom extinction.

At coarser scales, such as extinction rates of higher taxa, such biases may lead to substantial underestimation of true extinction (and origination) rates (Jablonski 1995; McKinney et al. 1996). Fortunately, statistical methods are emerging that allow paleontologists to adjust for rarity biases and make probability estimates of true turnover rates (Foote and Raup 1996). Mass Extinction Recovery and Generalists While seemingly in conflict, the evidence discussed here may actually complement the evidence in Harries and others (1996) that mass extinction survivors consist of far more than generalist or opportunistic species.

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