Environmental determinants of extinction selectivity in the fossil record

  title={Environmental determinants of extinction selectivity in the fossil record},
  author={Shanan E. Peters},
  • S. Peters
  • Published 31 July 2008
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • Nature
The causes of mass extinctions and the nature of biological selectivity during extinction events remain central questions in palaeobiology. Although many different environmental perturbations have been invoked as extinction mechanisms, it has long been recognized that fluctuations in sea level coincide with many episodes of biotic turnover. Recent work supports the hypothesis that changes in the areas of epicontinental seas have influenced the macroevolution of marine animals, but the extent to… 

The Shifting Balance of Diversity Among Major Marine Animal Groups

  • J. Alroy
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2010
Future assemblies of animals following mass extinction cannot be predicted by analyses of Phanerozoic fossils, and the current global crisis may permanently alter the biosphere’s taxonomic composition by changing the rules of evolution.

Evidence for extinction selectivity throughout the marine invertebrate fossil record

A method for detecting random extinction is used to demonstrate that during both background and mass extinction times, extinction of marine invertebrate genera has been nonrandom with respect to species richness categories of genera.

Plate tectonic regulation of global marine animal diversity

Results suggest that continental fragmentation, particularly during the Mesozoic breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea, has exerted a first-order control on the long-term trajectory of Phanerozoic marine animal diversity.

Climate change and the latitudinal selectivity of ancient marine extinctions

Abstract. Geologically rapid climate change is anticipated to increase extinction risk nonuniformly across the Earth's surface. Tropical species may be more vulnerable than temperate species to

Decreasing Phanerozoic extinction intensity as a consequence of Earth surface oxygenation and metazoan ecophysiology

It is found that although continental configuration, the efficiency of the biological carbon pump in the ocean, and initial climate state all impact the magnitude of modeled biodiversity loss across simulated warming events, atmospheric oxygen is the dominant predictor of extinction vulnerability.

Exploring the Ecological Dynamics of Extinction

Extinction events are defined by taxonomic impact, however the ­ecological impact of extinction has been difficult to quantify and therefore less understood. Measuring taxonomic membership and

Mass extinctions alter extinction and origination dynamics with respect to body size

Not only do mass extinction events shift the marine biosphere into a new macroevolutionary regime, the dynamics of recovery from mass extinction also appear to play an underappreciated role in shaping the biosphere in their aftermath.

Post-extinction recovery of the Phanerozoic oceans and biodiversity hotspots

The fossil record of marine invertebrates has long fuelled the debate as to whether or not there are limits to global diversity in the sea1–5. Ecological theory states that, as diversity grows and

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

The geological completeness of paleontological sampling in North America

Abstract A growing body of work has quantitatively linked many macroevolutionary patterns, including short- and long-term changes in biodiversity, rates of taxonomic extinction and origination, and



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.

Genus extinction, origination, and the durations of sedimentary hiatuses

  • S. Peters
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • 2006
Abstract Short-term variations in rates of taxonomic extinction and origination in the fossil record may be the result of true changes in rates of turnover, variable rates of fossil preservation, or

Extinction of Perched Faunas

Regression of epicontinental seas could cause extinction of benthic marine organisms simply by destruction of their habitat, but many widespread regressions have occurred without a concomitant event

The case for sea-level change as a dominant causal factor in mass extinction of marine invertebrates

  • A. Hallam
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 1989
A correlation between global marine regressions and mass extinctions has been recognized since the last century and received explicit formulation, in a model involving habitat-area restriction, by

Environmental determinants of marine benthic biodiversity dynamics through Triassic–Jurassic time

The relationship between biodiversity dynamics and environments in the data set is governed by the partitioning of higher taxa within environmental categories and not directly due to greater chances of origination in particular settings, and an indirect environmental control on evolutionary rates is proposed.

Origination and Extinction through the Phanerozoic: A New Approach

  • M. Foote
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    The Journal of Geology
  • 2003
Observed first and last appearances of marine animal and microfossil genera in a way that explicitly takes incompleteness and its variation into consideration allows estimates of true rates of origination and extinction throughout the Phanerozoic.

Mass Extinctions and Their Aftermath

In this text the demise of the dinosaurs is put into the proper context of other extinction events and all proposed extinction mechanisms - climate change, meteorite impact, volcanisms - are critically assessed.

A kinetic model of Phanerozoic taxonomic diversity; III, Post-Paleozoic families and mass extinctions

The good fit of this model to data on Phanerozoic familial diversity suggests that many of the large-scale patterns of diversification seen in the marine fossil record of animal families are simple consequences of nonlinear interrelationships among a small number of parameters that are intrinsic to the evolutionary faunas and are largely (but not completely) invariant through time.

When bivalves took over the world

Abstract The end-Permian mass extinction is commonly portrayed not only as a massive biodiversity crisis but also as the time when marine benthic faunas changed from the Paleozoic Fauna, dominated by


A review of different methods of tabulating data from the Sepkoski database reveals 18 intervals during the Phanerozoic have peaks of both magnitude and rate of extinction that appear in each tabulating scheme, demonstrating that mass extinctions are not a homogeneous group of events.