effect hypothesis

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A model proposed in 1980 by the palaeontologist Elisabeth Vrba to account for evolutionary trends. She proposed that a species, occupying a restricted ecological niche, would continually give rise to daughter species by punctuated equilibrium. These new species would have a variety of characteristics; but because of the features of the particular ecological niche, only species that possessed a particular suite of characters would survive; the surviving species would speciate in their turn, with the same result, and at each level the lineage appears to be ‘pushed’ further and further in a given direction.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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