Phanerozoic marine diversity: rock record modelling provides an independent test of large-scale trends

Andrew B. Smith, Graeme T. Lloyd, Alistair J. McGowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sampling bias created by a heterogeneous rock record can seriously distort estimates of marine diversity and makes a direct reading of the fossil record unreliable. Here we compare two independent estimates of Phanerozoic marine diversity that explicitly take account of variation in sampling-a subsampling approach that standardizes for differences in fossil collection intensity, and a rock area modelling approach that takes account of differences in rock availability. Using the fossil records of North America and Western Europe, we demonstrate that a modelling approach applied to the combined data produces results that are significantly correlated with those derived from subsampling. This concordance between independent approaches argues strongly for the reality of the large-scale trends in diversity we identify from both approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4489-4495
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B : biological sciences
Volume279
Issue number1746
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • diversity
  • evolution
  • sampling bias
  • rock record
  • invertebrates
  • fossil record

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