From Individual Collections to Global Diversity

Mark E. Patzkowsky and Steven M. Holland

in Stratigraphic Paleobiology

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226649375
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226649399 | DOI:
From Individual Collections to Global Diversity

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This chapter reviews how the diversity of individual samples can be measured and how diversity is built upward, ultimately to global diversity. Fluctuations in global diversity reflect the processes that operate at smaller spatial scales. Whittaker recognized that diversity is a continuum that changes as scale of observation increases and that diversity levels have diffuse boundaries and intergrade. Dissecting diversity at the regional scale illuminates the importance of regional environmental and biotic processes in shaping diversity on local, regional, and global scales. Partitioning diversity over spatial and temporal scales is a powerful approach for addressing many questions in stratigraphic paleobiology. This approach can have its greatest effect in understanding the factors that determine how diversity is distributed among depositional environments and depositional basins, and across latitudes, and in understanding how local and regional ecosystems respond to extinction events, diversification, and biotic invasion.

Keywords: diversity; global diversity; fluctuations; continuum; intergrade; partitioning diversity; stratigraphic paleobiology

Chapter.  9323 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palaeontology

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