Adjusting global extinction rates to account for taxonomic susceptibility

  title={Adjusting global extinction rates to account for taxonomic susceptibility},
  author={Steve C. Wang and Andrew M. Bush},
Abstract Studies of extinction in the fossil record commonly involve comparisons of taxonomic extinction rates, often expressed as the percentage of taxa (e.g., families or genera) going extinct in a time interval. Such extinction rates may be influenced by factors that do not reflect the intrinsic severity of an extinction trigger. Two identical triggering events (e.g., bolide impacts, sea level changes, volcanic eruptions) could lead to different taxonomic extinction rates depending on… 

Paleontological baselines for evaluating extinction risk in the modern oceans

It is shown that over 23 million years, taxonomic membership and geographic range size consistently explain a large proportion of extinction risk variation in six major taxonomic groups and intrinsic risk provides a prehuman baseline for considering current threats to marine biodiversity.

Does extinction wield an axe or pruning shears? How interactions between phylogeny and ecology affect patterns of extinction

The model suggests that it is very improbable without both high overall extinction intensities and high congruence between ecology and phylogeny to cause extinctions of large clades.

Extinction intensity, selectivity and their combined macroevolutionary influence in the fossil record

This work proposes the geometric mean of extinction intensity and selectivity as a metric for the influence of extinction events and provides an avenue for quantifying the risk posed by the emerging biodiversity crisis that goes beyond a simple projection of taxonomic losses.

Phylogenetic Conservatism of Extinctions in Marine Bivalves

When analyzed using a standardized taxonomy within a phylogenetic framework, extinction rates of marine bivalves estimated from the fossil record for the last ~200 million years show conservatism at multiple levels of evolutionary divergence, both within individual families and among related families.

How predictable is extinction? Forecasting species survival at million-year timescales

  • P. SmitsS. Finnegan
  • Environmental Science
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B
  • 2019
A tenet of conservation palaeobiology is that knowledge of past extinction patterns can help us to better predict future extinctions. Although the future is unobservable, we can test the strength of

Analysis of periodicity of extinction using the 2012 geological timescale

Analysis of two independent data sets with increased taxonomic resolution using the revised 2012 timescale reveals that an extinction periodicity first detected by Raup and Sepkoski (1984) for only the post-Paleozoic actually runs through the entire Phanerozoic.

Local and global abundance associated with extinction risk in late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic gastropods

It is found that global genus occurrence frequency is inversely associated with extinction risk in 15 of 16 stages examined, and survivorship patterns in late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic gastropods suggest that abundance has been a more important influence on extinction risk through the Phanerozoic than previously appreciated.

Assessing the role of abundance in marine bivalve extinction over the post-Paleozoic

It is shown that abundance was an important factor in the extinction dynamics of marine bivalve genera over the post-Paleozoic, with rare and abundant genera exhibiting rates elevated over those of genera of moderate abundance.

A geographic test of species selection using planktonic foraminifera during the Cretaceous/Paleogene mass extinction

A test that can help distinguish between organismal and species-level selection is presented, which is demonstrated using the high-resolution fossil record of planktonic foraminifera species recorded in deep-sea sediment cores and finds that survivors of the mass extinction suffered very high extirpation rates in cores where the overall extinction rate was high.

Paleoecologic Megatrends in Marine Metazoa

This review examines changes in ecological composition in the context of changes in taxonomic composition, as represented by a more detailed version of Sepkoski's evolutionary fauna analysis.



The effect of geographic range on extinction risk during background and mass extinction

  • J. PayneS. Finnegan
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2007
This work evaluated the selectivity of genus survivorship with respect to geographic range by using a global database of fossil benthic marine invertebrates spanning the Cambrian through the Neogene periods, showing that wide geographic range has been significantly and positively associated with survivorship for the great majority of Phanerozoic time.

On the declining extinction and origination rates of fossil taxa

  • C. M. Pease
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1992
Although the per-stage rates of bivalve families and marine invertebrate genera decline toward the recent, the magnitudes of these declines are entirely consistent with what the present model predicts sampling biases will produce, and there is no need to postulate a biological explanation for these patterns.

Lessons from the past: Biotic recoveries from mass extinctions

  • D. Erwin
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2001
Empirical studies reveal a more complex dynamic, including positive feedback and an exponential growth phase during recoveries, which is far from a model of refilling ecospace, which must be rebuilt during recovery.

Geologic constraints on the macroevolutionary history of marine animals.

  • S. Peters
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2005
This work compares the rates of expansion and truncation of preserved marine sedimentary basins to rates of origination and extinction among Phanerozoic marine animal genera and suggests that the processes responsible for producing variability in the sedimentary rock record, such as plate tectonics and sea-level change, may have been dominant and consistent macroevolutionary forces throughout the Phanrozoic.

Volatility and the Phanerozoic decline of background extinction intensity

Simulations of branching evolution obtained the expected relationships among prob- abilities, volatilities, and longevities for the entire range of possible probabilities, and these relationships were compared to those obtained from the empirical record to support the inference that the observed decline of background extinction intensity can be explained largely by the loss of high-probability groups to induced volatility.

Decoupling of taxonomic and ecologic severity of Phanerozoic marine mass extinctions

There have been five major mass extinctions among the marine biota during the ∼0.6 b.y. history of metazoan life on Earth. These mass extinctions have been ranked from the largest to the smallest by

Declining Phanerozoic background extinction rates: effect of taxonomic structure?

It is suggested that the lower family extinction rates may reflect increases in the number of species per family, on the geological time scale, with higher species/family ratios being an inevitable consequence of the increase in species richness3 and the geometry of the branching evolutionary tree4.

Geographic variation in turnover and recovery from the Late Ordovician mass extinction

Abstract Understanding what drives global diversity requires knowledge of the processes that control diversity and turnover at a variety of geographic and temporal scales. This is of particular

Phanerozoic trends in background extinction: Consequence of an aging fauna

If the probability of extinction for a family decreases through its own history, then overall changes in background-extinction rate are a function of a changing familial age distribution, and in geologic stages where there is a preponderance of young families, extinction rates can be predicted to be higher than in times where there are a plethora of older families.

Confidence intervals for pulsed mass extinction events

A method for computing confidence intervals for the time or stratigraphic distance separating two extinction pulses in a pulsed extinction event, taking into account the incompleteness of the fossil record is introduced.