Terrestrial Ecosystems Through Time: Evolutionary Paleoecology of Terrestrial Plants and Animals

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Anna K. Behrensmeyer
University of Chicago Press, Aug 15, 1992 - Science - 568 pages
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Breathtaking in scope, this is the first survey of the entire
ecological history of life on land—from the earliest traces
of terrestrial organisms over 400 million years ago to the
beginning of human agriculture. By providing myriad insights
into the unique ecological information contained in the
fossil record, it establishes a new and ambitious basis for
the study of evolutionary paleoecology of land ecosystems.

A joint undertaking of the Evolution of Terrestrial
Ecosystems Consortium at the National Museum of Natural
History, Smithsonian Institution, and twenty-six additional
researchers, this book begins with four chapters that lay out
the theoretical background and methodology of the science of
evolutionary paleoecology. Included are a comprehensive
review of the taphonomy and paleoenvironmental settings of
fossil deposits as well as guidelines for developing
ecological characterizations of extinct organisms and the
communities in which they lived. The remaining three
chapters treat the history of terrestrial ecosystems through
geological time, emphasizing how ecological interactions have
changed, the rate and tempo of ecosystem change, the role of
exogenous "forcing factors" in generating ecological change,
and the effect of ecological factors on the evolution of
biological diversity.

The six principal authors of this volume are all associated
with the Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems program at the
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
  

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Contents

Evolutionary Paleoecology
3
2 The Methods of Evolutionary Paleoecology
5
21 Taphonomy
6
22 Ecological Characterization of Extinct Species
7
Synchronic Features
9
Diachronic Features
11
3 Conclusion
12
References
13
References
199
Paleozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems
207
2 The Ordovician
209
4 The Early to Middle Devonian
212
41 Plants
213
42 Animals
218
43 Synthesis
219
5 The Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous
221

Paleoenvironmental Contexts and Taphonomic Modes
17
2 Coastal Environments
22
22 Beaches
25
23 Lagoons and Other BackBarrier Settings
26
24 Estuaries
27
3 Fluvial and Deltaic Environments
28
Basal Lags and Bars
29
32 Abandoned Channel Fills
34
33 Levees
36
34 Floodplains
37
35 Crevasse Splays
42
36 Interdistributary Bays
43
4 Lacustrine Environments
44
41 OxygenDepleted Large Lakes
47
42 OxygenDepleted Small Deep Lakes
49
43 OxygenDepleted Small Shallow Lakes
50
45 Oxygenated Small Lakes
51
5 Volcanigenic Environmnets
53
51 Explosive Events
55
53 Lacustrine Volcaniclastics
56
6 Eolian Environments
57
62 Loess
59
7 Other Contexts for Organic Preservation
60
71 Traps
61
72 Burrows
67
73 Feces and Regurgitates
68
74 Middens
69
75 Archeological Accumulations
70
76 Springs
71
77 PeatForming Environments
72
78 Charcoal Deposits
74
79 Mud Slides and Flash Floods
75
8 Time and Space Resolution in the Fossil Record
76
81 Time Resolution and Completeness
77
82 Methods for Assessing Time Resolution
78
83 Spatial Resolution
80
84 Resolution in the Taphonomic Modes
81
9 Change Through Time in the Taphonomic Modes
89
92 Consequences of Environmental Change
90
93 Changes in Taphonomic Processes
91
10 Conclusion
93
References
95
Ecological Characterization of Fossil Plants
141
2 Autecology of Extinct Plants
142
22 Inferring Autecology from Living Relatives
150
23 Inferring Autecology from Sedimentary Environment
151
3 Methods of Sampling and Analysis at the Community Level
152
31 Sampling CompressionImpression Assemblages
153
32 Sampling Permineralized Peats
155
34 Taphonomy and Effective Sampling Radius
157
35 Analytical Methods
158
4 Synecology of Extinct Vegetation
159
5 Comparison of Communities Across Time
163
51 Ecological Interpretation of Morphology at the Community Level
164
52 Ecological Categories
167
6 Conclusion
171
References
172
TaxonFree Characterization of Animal Communities
185
2 One Approach to TaxonFree Characterization
187
23 Continuous versus Category Variables
189
24 A Basic Set of Ecological Variables and Categories
190
3 Complementary Approaches and HigherLevel Inferences
198
51 Plants Late Devonian
224
52 Animals
230
53 Synthesis
233
Westphalian and Stephanian
236
61 Plants
237
62 Invertebrates
248
63 Vertebrates
251
64 Synthesis
259
7 The Permian
265
71 Plants
267
72 Arthropods
274
73 Vertebrates
275
74 Synthesis
288
8 Paleozoic Summary and Discussion
291
81 Ecosystem Stability and Persistence
292
82 Conclusions
294
Mesozoic and Early Cenozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems
329
2 Triassic Biotas
331
21 Triassic Vegetation of Laurasia
333
22 Triassic Vegetation of Gondwana
341
23 Triassic Faunas
343
24 Triassic Ecological and Evolutionary Trends
346
3 Jurassic Biotas
350
31 Jurassic Vegetation
351
32 Jurassic Faunas
358
33 Jurassic Ecological and Evolutionary Trends
360
4 Cretaceous Biotas
362
42 Late Cretaceous Vegetation
367
43 Cretaceous Faunas
370
44 Cretaceous Ecological and Evolutionary Trends
372
5 Paleogene Biotas
374
52 PaleoceneEocene Vegetation
376
53 Paleogene Faunas
381
54 Paleogene Ecological and Evolutionary Trends
382
6 Mesozoic and Early Cenozoic Ecological Changes
384
62 Changes in Dispersal
385
63 Changes in Pollination
386
64 Changes in Plant Competition
387
7 Discussion and Conclusion
388
72 LongTerm Effects of Precipitation on PlantHerbivore Dynamics
390
73 Coevolutionary Limits on Vegetational Richness
392
75 Ecological Context and Evolutionary Opportunity
396
References
397
Late Cenozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems
421
2 Synopsis of Late Cenozoic Ecological history
425
22 Ecological Trends of the Late Cenozoic
429
23 Diversity Patterns
440
3 Ecological Histories by Continent
441
32 South America
457
33 Africa
466
34 Eurasia
478
35 Australia
491
4 Patterns and Processes of Ecological Change
499
42 Relationships between Climatic and Ecological Changes
503
43 Megafaunal Extinctions
507
44 PostPleistocene Impact of Humans
511
5 Conclusion
513
References
522
Phanerozoic Geologic Time Scale
545
Taxonomic Name Index
547
Subject Index
553
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