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Theoretical diversity of the marine biosphere

  • Michał Kowalewski (a1) and Seth Finnegan (a2)

Extract

In considering the history of biodiversity paleontologists have focused on exploratory investigations of empirical data derived from the fossil record. Starting with the pioneering work of Philips (1860), and continuing at an increasing pace through today, this inductive approach has dominated diversity research. In contrast, deductive theoretical considerations that focus on the expected history of biodiversity, and develop independently of empirical knowledge, have remained under-explored. Appreciating the need for a nomothetic paleobiology (Gould 1980), we here reconsider the history of biodiversity, using deductive models constrained by a few, self-evident parameters. This analysis centers on the marine fossil record, the primary target of most previous empirical studies on the geological history of global biodiversity (e.g., Valentine 1969; Raup 1972, 1976; Sepkoski et al. 1981; Alroy et al. 2008).

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Theoretical diversity of the marine biosphere

  • Michał Kowalewski (a1) and Seth Finnegan (a2)

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