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On the expected distribution of species' ranges

  • Carl F. Koch (a1) and John P. Morgan (a2)

Abstract

A method is provided to calculate the expected distribution of species' ranges for use as a basis of comparison for paleontological interpretation of species' range charts. If the method is used for such studies, the possibility of suggesting an environmental or biological cause for observed patterns, when in fact no such cause exists, will be diminished. The method is applied to a large, well-studied fossil data set to illustrate some possible species' range patterns which result only from sample size inequities. As examples, stepwise extinction and species richness patterns are predicted for situations where, in reality, none exist.

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References

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Paleobiology
  • ISSN: 0094-8373
  • EISSN: 1938-5331
  • URL: /core/journals/paleobiology
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