Silurian trilobites of the central United States belong to a series of temporally-successive associations which appeared abruptly, maintained taxonomic stasis for a time, and then disappeared abruptly. Their disappearance resulted from global perturbations of short-term duration and moderate magnitude, which caused substantial taxonomic replacement but no reorganization of major ecosystems. The most significant extinction and replacement in Silurian trilobite associations in the study area occurs near the Llandovery-Wenlock boundary. This turnover in trilobite associations appears to correspond to Jeppsson's Ireviken Event in his model of oceanic and climatic cyclicity. Major sea-level changes earlier in the Llandovery did not have a similar impact on trilobite associations.