Evol Ecol Res 1: 641-650 (1999)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Species–time curves and population extremes: Ecological patterns in the fossil record

Michael L. McKinney1* and Daniel L. Frederick2

1Departments of Geology and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 and 2Department of Geology and Geography, Austin Peay University, Clarksville, TN 37040, USA

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: mmckinne@utk.edu


Accumulation of species in geological time follows species–time curves that are similar to species–area curves, as predicted by Preston. The z-values of these fossil species–time curves range from 0.30 to 0.36, similar to species–area curves produced by sampling islands and other widely separated habitats. We suggest that such z-values in species–time curves occur because the episodic nature of fossil deposition essentially produces temporal ‘islands’ of widely spaced samples. We also find that marine fossil species tend to exhibit increased variation of abundance with time (reddened spectra) in ways that are consistent with marine abundance patterns measured across much shorter ecological time-scales. This adds further support to the view that physical parameters in the ocean vary over larger temporal and spatial scales than on land, including geological scales.

Keywords: fossil, population, species–area, species–time.

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        © 1999 Michael L. McKinney. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

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