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Earth History Change: The Pacemaker of Evolution

  • Bruce S. Lieberman (a1)

Abstract

Paleobiogeography is the discipline that aims to uncover correlations between Earth history (geological and climatic) change and evolution by focusing on how biotas evolve across geographic space. Phylogenetic biogeographic methods applied to fossil taxa, especially those methods based on a modified version of Brooks Parsimony Analysis, have shown potential for uncovering the relationship between Earth history change and evolution. Two processes have an important role in shaping the evolution of biotas across geographic space: these are vicariance and geodispersal. Approaches to biogeographic analysis in the fossil record have uncovered evidence linking some of the key episodes in the history of life, including the Cambrian radiation, to the major geological changes that were occurring at the time. They also have shown that in different time periods with different Earth history signatures the corresponding evolutionary and biogeographic signatures are different. Promising new areas in paleobiogeography include expanded application of phylogenetic approaches and the use of Geographic Information Systems.

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Earth History Change: The Pacemaker of Evolution

  • Bruce S. Lieberman (a1)

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