Abstract

Changes in genus diversity within higher taxa of marine animals on the temporal scale of a few million years are more strongly correlated with changes in extinction rate than with changes in origination rate during the Paleozoic. After the Paleozoic the relative roles of origination and extinction in diversity dynamics are reversed. Metazoa as well as individual higher taxa shift from one mode of diversity dynamics to the other. The magnitude of taxonomic rates, the relative variance of origination and extinction rates, and the presence or absence of a long-term secular increase in diversity all fail to account for the shift in importance of origination and extinction in diversity changes. Origination and extinction rates both tend to be diversity-dependent, but different modes of diversity-dependence may contribute to the change in diversity dynamics from the Paleozoic to the post-Paleozoic. During the Paleozoic, there is a weak tendency for extinction rates to be more diversity-dependent than origination rates, whereas after the Paleozoic the two rates are about equally diversity-dependent on average.

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