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      Species richness in marine benthic habitats through the Phanerozoic

      Paleobiology
      Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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          Abstract

          The distribution of numbers of species and the median number of species from 386 selected fossil communities are tabulated for high stress, variable nearshore, and open marine environments during the Lower, Middle, and Upper Paleozoic, the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic. The number of species always increases from high stress to variable nearshore to open marine environments. Within-habitat variation in number of species is small for long intervals of the Phanerozoic. The median number of species in communities from high stress environments remains fixed at about 8 from the Cambrian to the Pleistocene. In open marine environments, the median is near 30 for the Middle and Upper Paleozoic and almost the same for the Mesozoic. Increases of 50% in median number of species between the Lower and Middle Paleozoic and 2 times between the Mesozoic and Cenozoic occur in open marine environments with parallel, but less pronounced, increases in variable nearshore environments. Conditions controlling overall within-habitat species richness changed at those times. These changes do not correlate directly with evolution of new major taxa, change in physical conditions, predation, space availability or oxygen supply. They may be related to changes in resource availability influenced by factors such as the developing terrestrial flora, to lag-time inherent in the evolutionary process of diversification, or to as yet undetermined factors. Although provinciality determines total species richness for the biosphere, the within-habitat data suggest that the number of marine invertebrate species in the world has increased since the Middle Paleozoic, contrary to Raup's (1976b) contention, but possibly only by about 4 times, not the order of magnitude or more suggested by Valentine (1970).

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          The operated Markov´s chains in economy (discrete chains of Markov with the income)

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            Competition, Disturbance, and Community Organization: The Provision and Subsequent Utilization of Space in a Rocky Intertidal Community

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              Dominance and Diversity in Land Plant Communities: Numerical relations of species express the importance of competition in community function and evolution.

              Most plant communities consist of several or many species which compete for light, water, and nutrients. Species in a given community may be ranked by their relative success in competition; productivity seems to be the best measure of their success or importance in the community. Curves of decreasing productivity connect the few most important species (the dominants) with a larger number of species of intermediate importance (whose number primarily determines the community's diversity or richness in species) and a smaller number of rare species. These curves are of varied forms and are believed to express different patterns of competition and niche differentiation in communities. It is probably true of plants, as of animals, that no two species in a stable community occupy the same niche. Evolution of niche differentiation makes possible the occurrence together of many plant species which are partial, rather than direct, competitors. Species tend to evolve also toward habitat differentiation, toward scattering of their centers of maximum population density in relation to environmental gradients, so that few species are competing with one another in their population centers. Evolution of both niche and habitat differentiation permits many species to exist together in communities as partial competitors, with distributions broadly and continuously overlapping, forming the landscape's many intergrading communities.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Paleobiology
                Paleobiology
                Cambridge University Press (CUP)
                0094-8373
                1938-5331
                1977
                April 08 2016
                1977
                : 3
                : 2
                : 152-167
                Article
                10.1017/S0094837300005236
                086385d4-891d-4971-9cf4-f2f39b9e3899
                © 1977

                https://www.cambridge.org/core/terms


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