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photosynthesizers consumers methanogens

Time before present (Ma)

Figure 4.28 Precambrian Gaia and evolution of the biosphere. (a) Changes in climate in a live and lifeless world; there is a sharp fall in temperature when oxygen appears. (b) The changing abundance in atmospheric gases. (c) Changes in the composition of ecosystems: both the photosynthesizers and methanogens increase initially when oxygen appears but the methanogens eventually decline to a much lower level of abundance. (Population is the proportion of the total population in tenths.) (From Lovelock 1998.)

Review questions

1 Living communities contain a very wide variety of lifestyles. Although dominated by members of the Modern fauna, elements of the Paleozoic (suspensionfeeding) fauna are still present. Is it possible to predict the sorts of habitats that they prefer?

Further reading

Bennett, K.D. 1997. Evolution and Ecology: The Pace of Life. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. (Relationship between ecology and evolution from a Quaternary perspective.)

Brenchley, P.J. & Harper, D.A.T. 1998. Palaeoecology: Ecosystems, Environments and Evolution. Rout-ledge. (Readable textbook on most aspects of current paleoecology.)

Briggs, D.E.G. & Crowther, P.R. (eds) 1990. Palaeobtol-ogy - A Synthesis. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford. (Modern synthesis of many aspects of contemporary paleontology.)

Copper, P. 1988. Paleoecology: paleoecosystems, paleocommunities. Geoscience Canada 15, 199-208. (Concise but informative integration of the main concepts of paleocommunity ecology.)

Cronin, T.M. 1999. Principles of Paleoclimatology. Perspectives in Paleobiology and Earth History. Columbia University Press, New York.

Frakes, L.A., Francis, J.E. & Syktus, J.I. 1992. Climate Modes of the Phanerozoic. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. (Overview of ancient climates through time.)

Lovelock, J. 1998. The Ages of Gaia. Bantam Books, New York. (Stimulating discussion of the Gaia hypothesis.)

Vermeij, G.J. 1987. Evolution and Escalation. An Ecological History of Life. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. (Fundamental text on the influence of predation on the history of life.)

Vrba, E.S. 1996. Climate, heterochrony, and human evolution. Journal of Anthropological Research 52,

1-28. (Important paper relating hominid evolution to climate change.)

Wilson, E.O. 1992. The Diversity of Life. Belknap Press, University of Harvard, Cambridge, MA. (Excellent discussion of modern and past biodiversity and the problems that the Earth's ecosystems now face.)

Ager, D.V. 1963. Principles of Paleoecology. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Ausich, W.I. & Bottjer, D.J. 1982. Tiering in suspensionfeeding communities on soft substrata throughout the Phanerozoic. Science 216, 173-4.

Bambach, R.K. 1983. Ecospace utilization and guilds in marine communities through the Phanerozoic. In Tevesz, M.J.S & McCall, P.L. (eds) Biotic Interactions in Recent and Fossil Communities. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 719-46.

Bambach, R.K., Bush, A.M. & Erwin, D.H. 2007. Aut-ecology and the filling of ecospace: key metazoans radiations. Palaeontology 50, 1-22.

Bennett, K.D. 1997. Evolution and Ecology: The Pace of Life. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Benton, M.J. 1990. Vertebrate Palaeontology. Chapman and Hall, London.

Benton, M.J. & Pearson, P.N. 2001. Speciation in the fossil record. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16, 405-11.

Berner, R.A., Petsch, S.T., Lake, J.A. et al. 2000. Isotope fractionation and atmospheric oxygen: implications for Phanerozoic O2 evolution. Science 287, 1630-3.

Bottjer, D.J. 1998. Phanerozoic non-actualistic paleoecology. Geobios 30, 885-93.

Brenchley, P.J. & Harper, D.A.T. 1998. Palaeoecology: Ecosystems, Environments and Evolution. Routledge.

Brenchley, P.J. & Pickerill, R.K. 1993. Animal-sediment relationships in the Ordovician and Silurian of the Welsh Basin. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 104, 81-93.

Brett, C.E., Boucot, A.J. & Jones, B. 1993. Absolute depths of Silurian benthic assemblages. Lethaia 26, 25-40.

Brett, C.E., Ivany, L.C. & Schopf, K.M. 1996. Coordinated stasis: an overview. Palaeogeography, Palaeo-climatology, Palaeoecology 127, 1-20.

Campbell, K.A. 2006. Hydrocarbon seep and hydrothermal vent paleoenvironments and paleontology: past developments and future research directions. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 232, 362-407.

Copper, P. 1988. Paleoecology: paleoecosystems, paleo-communities. Geoscience Canada 15, 199-208.

Davis, M.A., Thompson, K. & Grime, J.P. 2005. Inva-sibility: the local mechanism driving community assembly and species diversity. Ecography 28, 696-704.

Droser, M.L., Bottjer, D.J., Sheehan, P.M. & McGhee, G.R. Jr. 2000. Decoupling of taxonomic and ecologic severity of Phanerozoic marine mass extinctions. Geology 28, 675-8.

Frakes, L.A., Francis, J.E. & Syktus, J.I. 1992. Climate Modes of the Phanerozoic. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Hammer, 0. & Harper, D.A.T. 2005. Paleontological Data Analysis. Blackwell Publications, Oxford, UK.

Harper, E.M. 2006. Dissecting post-Palaeozoic arms races. Palaeogeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 232, 322-43.

Hoffman, P.F., Kaufman, A.J., Halverson, G.P. & Schrag, D.P. 1998. A Neoproterozoic snowball Earth. Science 281, 1342-6.

Hollingworth, N. & Pettigrew, T. 1988. Zechstein reef fossils and their palaeoecology. Palaeontological Association Field Guides to Fossils 3, 75.

Hollingworth, N. & Pettigrew, T. 1998. Zechstein Reef Fossils and their Palaeoecology. Palaeontological Association, London.

Jablonski, D. & Bottjer, D.J. 1990. The origin and diversification of major groups: environmental patterns and macro-evolutionary lags. In Taylor, P.D. & Larwood, G.P. (eds) Major Evolutionary Radiations. Systematics Association Special Volume 42. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 17-57.

Johnson, M.E. & Baarli, B.G. 1999. Diversification of rocky-shore biotas through geologic time. Geobios 32, 257-73.

Kidwell, S.M. & Brenchley, P.J. 1994. Patterns in bio-clastic accumulations through the Phanerozoic: changes in input or in destruction. Geology 22, 1139-43.

Lovelock, J. 1998. The Ages of Gaia. Bantam Books, New York.

McGhee, G.R. Jr., Sheehan, P.M., Bottjer, D.J. & Droser, M.L. 2004. Ecological ranking of Phanerozoic biodiversity crises: ecological and taxonomic severities are decoupled. Palaeogeogra-phy, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 211, 289-97.

McKerrow, W.S. 1978. Ecology of Fossils. Duckworth Company Ltd., London.

Olsen, P.E., Remington, C.L., Cornet, B. & Thomson, K.S. 1978. Cyclic change in Late Triassic lacustrine communities. Science 201, 729-32.

Olsen, P.E., Shubin, N.H. & Anders, M.H. 1987. New Early Jurassic tetrapod assemblages constrain Trias-sic-Jurassic tetrapod extinction event. Science 237, 1025-8.

Pickerill, R.K. & Brenchley, P.J. 1991. Benthic macro-fossils as palaeoenvironmental indicators in marine siliciclastic environments. Geoscience Canada 18, 119-38.

Schmidt, D.N., Thierstein, H.R. & Bollmann, J. 2004. The evolutionary history of size variation of planktic

References foraminiferal assemblages in the Cenozoic. Palaeo-geography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 212, 159-80.

Seilacher, A., Reif, W.-E. & Westphal, F. 1985. Sedimen-tological, ecological and temporal patterns of fossil Lagerst├Ątten. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 311, 5-23.

Sepkoski, J.J. Jr. 1981. A factor analytical description of the Phanerozoic marine fossil record. Paleobiology 7, 36-53.

Sheehan, P.M. 2001. The history of marine biodiversity. Geological Journal 36, 231-49.

Sheldon, P.R. 1996. Plus (a change - a model for stasis and evolution in different environments. Palaeogeog-raphy, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 127, 209-27.

Staff, G.M., Stanton, R.J. Jr., Powell, E.N. & Cummins, H. 1986. Time-averaging, taphonomy, and their impact on paleocommunity reconstruction: death assemblages in Texas bays. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 97, 428-43.

Twitchett, R.J. 2006. Palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology and palaeoenvironmental analysis of mass extinction events. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 232, 190-213.

Whittington, H.B. 1980. The significance of the fauna of the Burgess Shale, Middle Cambrian, British Columbia. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 91, 127-48.

Wilson, E.O. 1992. The Diversity of Life. Belknap Press, University of Harvard, Cambridge, MA.

Wilson, M.A. 1985. Disturbance and ecological succession in an Upper Ordovician cobble-dwelling hardground fauna. Science 228, 575-7.

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