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Was marine faunal diversity in the Pleistocene affected by changes in sea level?

  • Kurt P. Wise (a1) and Thomas J. M. Schopf (a1)

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We have investigated whether changes in marine faunal diversity during the Pleistocene would have been affected by changes in sea level. Our estimate of changes in area of shallow marine seas between low stand and high stand of sea level (approximately 200 m) leads to a prediction of approximately a 25% change in species diversity, 10% change in generic diversity and less than a 5% change in familial diversity. This agrees with the observation that large scale generic or familial changes have not been widely noted for the Pleistocene. As in other intervals of geologic time, changes in the sizes of faunal provinces owing to changes in sea level are less likely to be the significant factor in changing marine diversity than are changes in the number of faunal provinces.

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Was marine faunal diversity in the Pleistocene affected by changes in sea level?

  • Kurt P. Wise (a1) and Thomas J. M. Schopf (a1)

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