Geerat Jacobus Vermeij

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Localized ecological systems are known to shift abruptly and irreversibly from one state to another when they are forced across critical thresholds. Here we review evidence that the global ecosystem as a whole can react in the same way and is approaching a planetary-scale critical transition as a result of human influence. The plausibility of a(More)
By combining data from a variety of sources we explore patterns of evolution and speciation in Nucella, a widely studied genus of shallow-water marine neogastropods. We present a hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships for all of the currently recognized species of northern hemisphere Nucella, based on an analysis of 718 base pairs of nucleotide sequence(More)
To determine how historical processes, namely speciation, extinction, and dispersal, have contributed to regional species diversity patterns across the marine tropics, we examined the biogeographical history of a circumtropical genus of intertidal gastropods. A species-level phylogeny of Nerita, representing approximately 87% of extant species, was(More)
Here I advocate a comparative and systematic approach in which invasion (the extension of species ranges to areas not previously occupied by that species) is studied from the perspective of individual species as well as of the regions and biotas that export and receive invaders. In order to go beyond the particulars of invasion, it is important to ask: (1)(More)
Many events in the history of life are thought to be singular, that is, without parallels, analogs, or homologs in time and space. These claims imply that history is profoundly contingent in that independent origins of life in the universe will spawn radically different histories. If, however, most innovations arose more than once on Earth, histories would(More)
species have been vilified for driving beloved ‘native’ species to extinction and generally polluting ‘natural’ environments. Intentionally or not, such characterizations have helped to create a pervasive bias against alien species that has been embraced by the public, conservationists, land managers and policy-makers, as well by as many scientists,(More)
Insects and flowering plants have rarely invaded the sea. Explanations for this have traditionally centered on the unique shortcomings of these groups in the marine environment. We show, however, that transitions among terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments are infrequent in all major plant and animal clades except tetrapod vertebrates. In(More)
About 3 million years ago (Ma), the Isthmus of Panama joined the Americas, forming a land bridge over which inhabitants of each America invaded the other-the Great American Biotic Interchange. These invasions transformed land ecosystems in South and Middle America. Humans invading from Asia over 12000 years ago killed most mammals over 44 kg, again(More)