Evolutionary Paleoecology: The Ecological Context of Macroevolutionary Change

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Warren D. Allmon, David J. Bottjer
Columbia University Press, 2001 - Science - 357 pages

One of the most important questions we can ask about life is "Does ecology matter?" Most biologists and paleontologists are trained to answer "yes," but the exact mechanisms by which ecology matters in the context of patterns that play out over millions of years have never been entirely clear. This book examines these mechanisms and looks at how ancient environments affected evolution, focusing on long-term macroevolutionary changes as seen in the fossil record.

Evolutionary paleoecology is not a new discipline. Beginning with Darwin, researchers have attempted to understand how the environment has affected evolutionary history. But as we learn more about these patterns, the search for a new synthetic view of the evolutionary process that integrates species evolution, ecology, and mass extinctions becomes ever more pressing. The present volume is a benchmark sampler of active research in this ever more active field.

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About the author (2001)

Warren D. Allmon is director of the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca, New York, and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. He is coeditor of Causes of Evolution: A Paleontological Perspective.David J. Bottjer is professor of earth sciences at the University of Southern California and the editor (with Richard K. Bambach) of two Columbia University Press book series: Critical Moments in Paleobiology and Earth History and Perspectives in Paleobiology and Earth History. He has also been editor of the journal Palaios and currently is one of the editors of the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

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