In a book review published in 1982, the late Peter Williamson characterized paleoecology as “a poor-man's applied ecology performed on inadequate data.” Whether or not this incendiary remark was justified at the time, there is no disputing that in the years since 1982 paleoecology has provided much insight into the nature of biotic interactions and community structure. As a recent and obvious example, the debate over coordinated stasis has forced us to consider macroecological dynamics at spatial and temporal scales greater than those of the community. Disagreement over these ideas has led to research on how and why fossil assemblages...

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