Mammal Community Structure through the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

  title={Mammal Community Structure through the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum},
  author={Danielle Fraser and S. Kathleen Lyons},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={271 - 290}
Human-mediated species invasion and climate change are leading to global extinctions and are predicted to result in the loss of important axes of phylogenetic and functional diversity. However, the long-term robustness of modern communities to invasion is unknown, given the limited timescales over which they can be studied. Using the fossil record of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM; ∼56 Ma) in North America, we evaluate mammalian community-level response to a rapid global warming… 
Evaluating the responses of three closely related small mammal lineages to climate change across the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum
Abstract. Interpreting the impact of climate change on vertebrates in the fossil record can be complicated by the effects of potential biotic drivers on morphological patterns observed in taxa. One
The preservation potential of terrestrial biogeographic patterns
It is shown that taphonomic biases related to body size are the biggest barrier to reconstructing biogeographic patterns over extinction events, but that these may be compensated for by both the small mammal record preserved in bird castings, as well as range expansion in surviving species.
Investigating Biotic Interactions in Deep Time.


Palaeocene-Eocene evolution of beta diversity among ungulate mammals in North America
Increase in beta diversity over the Palaeocene–Eocene boundary suggests that over longer time-scales, mass immigration events can lead to greater overall richness and greater heterogeneity, rather than homogeneity, within regional assemblages.
Strong influence of palaeoclimate on the structure of modern African mammal communities
Overall, community structure of African mammals appears to be related to the ecological flexibility of the groups considered here and the regions of continental Africa that they occupy, which indicates that the future redistribution, expansion and contraction of particular biomes due to human activity, such as climate and land-use change, will differentially affect mammal groups that vary in their sensitivity to environmental change.
Diversity dynamics of Miocene mammals in relation to the history of tectonism and climate
The Miocene rodent record suggests that the elevational diversity gradient is a transient feature arising during particular episodes of Earth's history, and interactions between tectonic activity and climate change stimulate diversification in mammals.
The results demonstrate that the use of phylogeny in the study of community evolution is feasible with a number of diverse metrics, and phylogenetic distance between fossil communities provides an important addition to classic turnover metrics.
Macroevolution and climate change influence phylogenetic community assembly of North American hoofed mammals
The loss of numerically dominant nonhypsodont (putatively browsing and mixed feeding) clades and phylogenetically dispersed origination of less speciose clades following the mid Miocene climatic optimum led to an increase in phylogenetic evenness at the regional scale that is well explained by global climate changes.
Diversity dynamics of Phanerozoic terrestrial tetrapods at the local-community scale
It is shown that the local richness of non-flying terrestrial tetrapods has risen asymptotically since their initial colonization of land, increasing at most threefold over the last 300 million years, consistent with a constrained model of diversification.
Phylogeny, niche conservatism and the latitudinal diversity gradient in mammals
It is shown that the slope of the global climate–richness gradient in mammals is driven by aggregating Chiroptera (bats) with their Eutherian sister group, indicating that the evolutionary history should be accounted for as part of any search for causal links between environment and species richness.
The rise and fall of species: implications for macroevolutionary and macroecological studies
  • L. H. Liow, N. Stenseth
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2007
It is proposed that once a species has overcome its initial difficulties in geographic establishment, it rises to its peak geographic extent, however, once this peak value is reached, it will also have a maximal number of species to interact with and the negative of these biotic interactions could then cause a gradual geographic decline.
Climate directly influences Eocene mammal faunal dynamics in North America
3 episodes of significant mammalian reorganization in the Eocene of North America that are considered direct responses to dramatic climatic events are illustrated.
Near-Stasis in the Long-Term Diversification of Mesozoic Tetrapods
This work quantifies patterns of vertebrate standing diversity on land during the Mesozoic–early Paleogene interval, applying sample-standardization to a global fossil dataset containing 27,260 occurrences of 4,898 non-marine tetrapod species and suggests that the gradualistic evolutionary diversification of tetrapods was punctuated by brief but dramatic episodes of radiation.