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Geobios Mem Spec. 1997;20:397-406.

Comparative diversification dynamics among palaeocontinents during the Ordovician Radiation.

Author information

1
Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, OH 45221-0013, USA. arnold.miller@uc.edu
2
U Cincinnati, OH

Abstract

The Ordovician Radiation was among the most extensive intervals of diversification in the history of life. However, a delineation of the proximal cause(s) of the Radiation remains elusive. Any such determination should involve an analysis of geographic overprints on diversification: did the Radiation occur randomly around the world or, alternatively, was it focused in particular geographic or depositional regimes? Here, I present a comparative evaluation of Ordovician diversification among several palaeocontinents to determine whether biotas associated with certain palaeocontinents exhibited different diversification patterns than others; in part, this involves a numerical "correction" to raw diversity trajectories. Clear disparities among palaeocontinents are indicated by the data, which appear to reflect differences in the extent of siliciclastic input partly in association with tectonic activity. Further testing will be required to fully substantiate the implication that siliciclastic influx was a predominant factor in the Ordovician Radiation, affecting a variety of higher taxa among all three Phanerozoic evolutionary faunas.

PMID:
11541286
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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