References

Starr. 1982. Hierarchy Perspectives for Ecological Complexity. Chicago University of Chicago Press. Allmon, W. D. 1992. What, if anything, should evolutionary paleoecology be Palaios 7 557-558. Bambach, R. K. and J. B. Bennington. 1996. Do communities evolve A major question in evolutionary paleoecology. In D. Jablonski, D. H. Erwin, and J. H. Lipps, eds., Evolutionary Paleobiology, pp. 123-160. Chicago University of Chicago Press. Boucot, A. J. 1975. Evolution and...

Late Neogene Faunal Change in the Western Atlantic

The late Cenozoic (i.e., Pliocene-Recent, the last five million years) marine fossil record of the Western Atlantic region, especially in the Caribbean, Central America, and the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States is a particularly appropriate record in which to study the connection between environmental and faunal change because of the dramatic paleoceanographic changes associated with the rise of the Central American Isthmus (CAI). Of special interest in much work on the Western...

C

T Local Stability i Global Stability FIGURE 5.1. Schematic representation of the concepts of local versus global stability. The ball represents the state of a community or species. The amount of stability is related to the propensity of the community to stay in one place in the face of disturbance. (A) A system with high local and global stability. (B) A system with low local and global stability may be representative of a stable system without coordinated turnover among taxa. (C) A system with...

E

Environmental Parameter Environmental Parameter FIGURE 5.2. A two-dimensional schematic to illustrate the difference between (A) a dynamically fragile community versus (B) a robust one. A dynamically fragile community (or species) would be able to exhibit stability within a limited range of environmental conditions, whereas a robust one could withstand a wide range of conditions. (After Begon, Harper, and Townsend 1996) Environmental Parameter Environmental Parameter FIGURE 5.2. A...

Stability Over Neontological Timescales

We are currently in a period of global change in which extinctions and invasions of new habitats are proceeding quickly. Thus, it is clearly important to understand if and how ecosystems react to physical and ecological perturbations. There are documented cases in which the introduction of exotic species into new ecosystems had little effect on the native fauna (e.g., Simberloff 1981), which suggests that stability is quite predominant. In other examples, the introductions have caused local...

Differential Coral Mortality

Observations of interspecific differences in coral mortality support the contention that mortality is a precondition for macroalgal dominance. Branching corals, including the two Acropora species, are particularly susceptible to hurricane damage. Both species were devastated in Discovery Bay by Hurricane Allen (Woodley et al. 1981). Edmunds and Bruno (1996) compared the West Fore Reef at Discovery Bay to other reef sites along the north coast of Jamaica in 1995. Fishing pressure was...

Coral Reproductive Strategies

Corals reproduce asexually, primarily by fragmentation. They also employ two strategies of sexual reproduction broadcast spawning of gametes and release of brooded planula larvae (Szmant 1986 Richmond and Hunter 1990 Smith 1992 Richmond 1997). Slow recovery times of populations of A. palmata, A. cervicornis, and (to a lesser extent) M. annularis complex can be tied to their reproductive strategies. The key to success for A. cervicornis prior to 1980 was rapid growth coupled with reproduction by...

Bambachian Megaguilds

Taxonomic changes within a clade. is nonquantitative, but it is based on well-documented features of the fossil record. In this chapter, we review our method of paleoecological levels and discuss some possible ecological underpinnings that have caused the criteria we use to identify these various levels to be empirically observable features of the fossil record. Similarly, we demonstrate the utility of this approach through comparative analyses of a number of the Big 5 mass extinctions (Raup...

The Ecological Architecture of Major Events in the Phanerozoic History of Marine Invertebrate Life

Droser, Peter M. Sheehan, and George R. McGhee Jr. the history of life is punctuated by mass extinctions, their recoveries, and radiations. Although the recognition and understanding of these events comes largely from taxonomic data, researchers have striven to evaluate changing ecologies associated with these events. However, evolutionary paleoecologists are still in the early stages of recognizing the particular paleoecological patterns that are associated with...

Discussion

Although patterns of relationship shared among populations of a single species should not be used to draw general biogeographic conclusions Brooks and McLennan 1991 , area relationships in A. plicata can be instructive if compared with results of other codistributed species to consider more general biogeographic patterns, patterns of phylogeographic association, and thus also patterns of ecological interaction over long periods of time. To do this, it is necessary to assume that the populations...

Dynamically Fragile versus Dynamically Robust Communities

Communities that are stable only under a limited range of environmental and ecological conditions are considered dynamically fragile, whereas communities that are stable over a wide range of conditions are dynamically robust. Figure 5.2 is a two-dimensional representation of the difference between a dynamically fragile and a dynamically robust system. Of course, a hypervolume with numerous axes would more adequately represent natural environmental conditions. A fragile community is one in which...

The Nutrient Paradox

In ecological time, total taxonomic diversity tends to be inversely correlated with nutrient concentration, a phenomenon known as the nutrient paradox because it seems to contradict our intuition that more resources should permit greater, not less, diversity Rosenzweig and Abramsky 1993 . For example, diversity is relatively low in both eutrophic habitats, such as ponds and estuaries, and in many highly oligotrophic settings, whereas highest taxonomic diversities are observed in communities...

Underpinnings of Mass Extinction Taxonomic and Ecological Decoupling

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this analysis of mass extinctions using our approach of paleoecological levels is the phenomenon that we term taxonomic and ecological decoupling, where the relative level of ecological degradation is not as great as the degree of taxonomic degradation during a mass extinction event Droser et al. 2000 . This ecological decoupling appears to occur at the second paleoecological level. For example, as discussed, the Late Ordovician mass extinction,...

Reclining

General adaptive benthic strategies that are typical of A the Cambrian Evolutionary Fauna and B the Ordovician representatives of the Cambrian and Paleozoic Evolutionary Faunas after Bambach 1983 . The shaded boxes are not biologically practical strategies. Second-level changes from A to B include the addition of new Bambachian megaguilds. Third-level changes include the filling-in of Bambachian megaguilds after Droser and Sheehan 1995 . FIGURE 4.1. General adaptive benthic...

Origin of the Modern Coral Fauna of the Caribbean

The present-day coral fauna of the Caribbean is very unlike that of the Indo-Pacific, although both originated from the same Eocene-Oligocene pantropi-cal species pool. Many of these differences can be traced to two intervals of evolutionary change in the Caribbean A regional extinction in the early Miocene and a period of accelerated turnover during the Plio-Pleistocene. These two formative episodes affected both the taxonomic composition and ecological attributes of the fauna. Following an...

Evolutionary Paleoecology of Caribbean Coral Reefs

Precht ecologists have radically altered their thinking about coral reefs, and those views continue to evolve. Coral reefs, formerly viewed as stable, equilibrial systems Newell 1971 , are now interpreted as nonequilib-rial on ecologically relevant scales of time years to decades and space landscapes to reef systems Grigg and Dollar 1990 Karlson and Hurd 1993 Edmunds and Bruno 1996 Brown 1997 . Increasing awareness of this variability is motivating a strategic...