Chapter

Punctuated Equilibrium versus Community Evolution

Arthur J. Boucot

in The Paleobiological Revolution

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226748610
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226748597 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226748597.003.0024
Punctuated Equilibrium versus Community Evolution

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This chapter examines punctuated equilibrium and compares it to the idea of community evolution that emerged from ecological study of the fossil record. It identifies what is believed to be the weakness of the punctuated equilibrium theory and argues that community evolution is based on a more reliable empirical foundation. This chapter explains how punctuated equilibrium fails the sampling test because it assumes that there are only two rate modes characterizing species-level evolution and that newly evolved allopatric taxa have the inherent capability of reinvading the region of the parent species' environment.

Keywords: punctuated equilibrium; community evolution; fossil record; sampling test; species-level evolution; allopatric taxa; parent species

Chapter.  9690 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Palaeontology

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