By Michael L. McKinney, James A. Drake

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

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

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However, initial efforts to examine the effects of the bias on paleocommunity patterns, such as “stasis,” indicate that there may be a strong artifactual (and thus misleading) contribution (McKinney et al. 1996). 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).

Walker (1985) called mathematical functions used to describe the evolution of biological diversity, diversification functions. A diversification function gives the instantaneous per species rate of change as a function of the number of species in a clade. If dS/dt is the rate of change in species number, then the diversification function governing that rate of change, ␳(S ), is given by ␳(S ) = 1 dS S dt [1] so that the rate of change in species number is dS = S ␳(S ) dt [2] Commonly, ␳(S ) is decomposed into per species speciation and extinction rates, such that ␳(S ) ϭ ␨(S ) Ϫ ␰(S ), where ␨(S ) is the per species rate of speciation and ␰(S ) is the per species rate of extinction.

More often, they exist either by virtue of a persistent mainland population, or by a degree of dispersal that prevents population subdivision, or in a process that resembles a random walk more than a dynamic equilibrium. By analogy, the same may be true for taxa in evolutionary time. Do Better-Dispersing Taxa Persist Longer in Evolutionary Time? The paleobiological evidence most relevant to the questions posed here comes from studies of fossil marine invertebrates. Benthic marine invertebrates may have planktotrophic (PT) larvae that feed in the water column for an extended period, or nonplanktotrophic (non-PT) larvae that either never enter the plankton or enter it for a short time and do not feed until they settle (see Jackson 1974; Jablonski and Lutz 1983 for detailed descriptions of these dispersal modes and their taxonomic and ecological correlates).

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