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Habitat breadth and geographic range predict diversity dynamics in marine Mesozoic bivalves

Sabine Nuernberg and Martin Aberhan
Habitat breadth and geographic range predict diversity dynamics in marine Mesozoic bivalves
Paleobiology (June 2013) 39 (3): 360-372


Numerous environmental and intrinsic biotic factors have been sought to explain patterns in diversity and turnover. Using taxonomically vetted and sampling-standardized data sets of more than 50,000 taxonomic occurrences in the Paleobiology Database (PaleoDB) we tested whether habitat breadth predicts genus durations and diversity dynamics of marine Mesozoic bivalves, and whether this effect is independent of the well-known positive relationship between geographic range and longevity. We defined the habitat breadth of a genus as a function of its realized ranges in water depth, substrate type, and grain size of the substrate. Our analysis showed that mean values of extinction and origination rates are significantly higher for narrowly adapted genera compared to broadly adapted genera, with differences being evident in all analyzed stratigraphic intervals. Linear models showed that both geographic range and habitat breadth have an independent effect on genus durations and on diversity dynamics. These results reaffirm the role of geographic range and furthermore suggest that habitat breadth is an equally important key predictor of extinction risk and origination probability in Mesozoic marine bivalves. Habitat generalists, regardless of their geographic range, are generally less prone to extinction. Conversely, widely distributed genera that are more specialized may be more endangered than one would expect from their geographic range alone. Extinction rates tend to be higher for specialized genera in both background and mass extinctions, suggesting that wide habitat breadth universally buffers against extinction. The trajectories of origination rates through time differ from those of extinction rates. Whereas there is no pronounced ecological selectivity in origination in the Triassic and most of the Jurassic, Cretaceous origination rates are higher for specialized genera. This may best be explained by diversity-dependence. When diversity levels reach a critical point a further increase in diversity is achieved by elevated origination rates of more specialized forms.

ISSN: 0094-8373
EISSN: 1938-5331
Serial Title: Paleobiology
Serial Volume: 39
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Habitat breadth and geographic range predict diversity dynamics in marine Mesozoic bivalves
Affiliation: Humboldt University Berlin, Leibniz Institute for Research on Evolution and Biodiversity, Berlin, Germany
Pages: 360-372
Published: 201306
Text Language: English
Publisher: Paleontological Society, Lawrence, KS, United States
References: 62
Accession Number: 2013-047955
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, The Paleontological Society. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201330
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