Chapter

Ecosystem Change through Time

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226649399.003.0009
Ecosystem Change through Time

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This chapter examines ecosystem changes through time and the processes that control these changes. Metacommunity theory predicts many of the spatial and temporal patterns of taxa in regional ecosystems and can be useful for inferring processes of structure and turnover if properly scaled to the fossil record. The fossil record provides a unique perspective that must be reconciled with ecological perspectives. The integration of metacommunity theory with an analysis of environmental distributions of taxa and taxonomic turnover in regional ecosystems, based on a sequence stratigraphic framework, is ripe for future work. Integrating properly scaled metacommunity models with the fossil record should provide a better synthesis of how ecosystems change. Stratigraphic paleobiology will play a key role in this synthesis by providing the data needed to test model predictions.

Keywords: ecosystem; metacommunity theory; temporal pattern; taxa; regional ecosystems; taxonomic turnover; stratigraphic paleobiology

Chapter.  12386 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palaeontology

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