To save this undefined to your undefined account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Evolutionary progress is a trend that relaxes trade-off rules. It begins with the evolution of a key adaptation. It continues with the spread of the key adaptation as the clade that contains it replaces some older clade that lacks it. Key adaptations are those that allow for improvement in at least one organismal function at a reduced fitness cost in other functions.
Replacement almost certainly involves more than pure chance. It may not often involve competitive extinction. Instead, species from the new clade produce new species to replace already extinct species from the old clade. The key adaptation gives them a higher competitive speciation rate than old-clade sources of replacement. The process, termed incumbent replacement, proceeds at a rate limited by extinction rate. Thus, replacement often seems linked to mass extinction events.
The incumbent-replacement hypothesis explains what we know about the replacement of straight-neck turtles (Amphichelydia) by those that can flex their necks and protect their heads in their shells. This replacement occurred four or five times in different biotic provinces. It happened as long ago as the Cretaceous in Eurasia, and as recently as the Pleistocene in mainland Australia. It was accomplished in Gondwanaland by turtles flexing their necks sideways (Pleurodira), and in the north by those flexing their necks into an S-curve (Cryptodira). As is typical of replacements, amphichelydian replacement took millions of years to accomplish wherever it occurred, and much of it in North America took place in a burst associated with and immediately subsequent to a mass extinction.
The stratigraphic framework for Triassic and Early Jurassic continental strata has greatly changed in recent years. These revised correlations necessitate a review of traditional views of early Mesozoic continental faunal succession and biogeography. We have examined the relationship between tetrapod distribution and paleogeographic context during the Triassic and Early Jurassic on the basis of a data base comprising updated faunal lists for major early Mesozoic assemblages of continental tetrapods. Analysis of these data supports the hypothesis that there were few barriers to biotic interchange among continental tetrapods throughout the Triassic and Early Jurassic. Early Mesozoic tetrapod assemblages are dominated by widely distributed, often cosmopolitan families. Late Triassic patterns of latitudinal variation among tetrapod assemblages appear to be correlated to those seen among terrestrial plants and contrast with the extremely uniform distribution of Early Jurassic continental biotas.
Problems of stratigraphic completeness and poor temporal resolution make analysis of faunal change in terrestrial sequences difficult. The fluvial Neogene Siwalik formations of India and Pakistan are an exception. They contain a long vertebrate record and have good chronostratigraphic control, making it possible to assess the influence of biotic interchange on Siwalik fossil communities. In Pakistan, the interval between 18 and 7 Ma has been most intensively studied and changes in diversity and relative abundance of ruminant artiodactyls and muroid rodents are documented with temporal resolution of 200,000 years. Within this interval, diversity varies considerably, including an abrupt rise in species number between 15 and 13 Ma, followed by a decline in ruminant diversity after 12 Ma and a decline in muroid diversity in two steps at 13 and 10 Ma. Significant changes in relative abundance of taxa include an increase in bovids between 16.5 and 15 Ma, a decrease in tragulids after 9 Ma, and a very abrupt increase in murids at 12 Ma. Megacricetodontine rodents also decrease significantly at 12 Ma, and smaller declines are recorded among myocricetodontine and copemyine rodents after 16 Ma. An increase of dendromurine rodents at 15.5 Ma is also observed. There is also a trend of progressive size increase among giraffoids and bovids throughout the sequence.
We have also investigated relationships between biotic interchange and diversity, body size, and relative abundance, concluding that (1) the rapid increase in ruminant and muroid diversity was largely due to immigration, whereas in situ speciation had only a secondary role; (2) during intervals of increasing diversity, resident lineages did not have higher than average rates of in situ speciation; (3) during intervals with rising diversity, greater extinction did not accompany increased immigration; (4) during intervals with falling diversity, there may have been greater extinction in recently invading lineages; and (5) change in diversity was independent of changes in relative abundance and body size.
The Late Neogene vertebrate fossil record from Yushe Basin presents multiple, superposed assemblages from a single area, spanning roughly the interval of 6–2 Ma. Both large and small mammals show peak species richness in the middle Pliocene but indicate relative faunal stability throughout the Pliocene. Large mammals show turnover, especially extinction, around 5 and 2.5 Ma. Small mammals indicate change (over half of the species and several genera), as well as turnover at the species level, between 4 and 3.4 Ma. The loosely controlled dating of these events does not disprove hypothetical correlation with events in North America and with global climatic shifts. Elements that lack Yushe antecedents, some being long-distance dispersers, appear throughout the section, but with little effect on the resident assemblage. First records of well-documented immigrants (from North America, Europe, Africa, southern Asia, or high latitudes) generally do not coincide with ecomorph extinctions. Early Pliocene exchange between Asia and North America appears to have been balanced in both directions and involved a small proportion of the fauna. Immigration probably was opportunistic and contributed to faunal enrichment. We interpret the Yushe Pliocene mammalian assemblages as representing a fauna that was stable from ca. 5 to 2.5 Ma and changed mainly by additions and congeneric species substitutions.
When the isthmian land bridge triggered the Great American Interchange, a large majority of land-mammal families crossed reciprocally between North and South America at about 2.5 Ma (i.e., Late Pliocene). Initially land-mammal dynamics proceeded as predicted by equilibrium theory, with roughly equal reciprocal mingling on both continents. Also as predicted, the impact of the interchange faded in North America after about 1 m.y. In South America, contrary to such predictions, the interchange became decidedly unbalanced: during the Pleistocene, groups of North American origin continued to diversify at exponential rates. Whereas only about 10% of North American genera are derived from southern immigrants, more than half of the modern mammalian fauna of South America, measured at the generic level, stems from northern immigrants. In addition, extinctions more severely decimated interchange taxa in North America, where six families were lost, than in South America, where only two immigrant families became extinct.
This paper presents a two-phase ecogeographic model to explain the asymmetrical results of the land-mammal interchange. During the humid interglacial phase, the tropics were dominated by rain forests, and the principal biotic movement was from Amazonia to Central America and southern Mexico. During the more arid glacial phase, savanna habitats extended broadly right through tropical latitudes. Because the source area in the temperate north was six times as large as that in the south, immigrants from the north outnumbered those from the south. One prediction of this hypothesis is that immigrants from the north generally should reach higher latitudes in South America than the opposing contingent of land-mammal taxa in North America. Another prediction is that successful interchange families from the north should experience much of their phylogenetic diversification in low latitudes of North America before the interchange. Insofar as these predictions can be tested, they appear to be upheld.
When the Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia opened about 3.5 Ma during the early Pliocene, cool-temperate and polar marine species were able to move between the North Pacific and Arctic-Atlantic basins. In order to investigate the extent, pattern, and dynamics of this trans-Arctic interchange, I reviewed the Recent and fossil distributions of post-Miocene shell-bearing Mollusca in each of five northern regions: (1) the northeastern Atlantic (Lofoten Islands to the eastern entrance of the English Channel and the northern entrance of the Irish Sea), (2) northwestern Atlantic (southern Labrador to Cape Cod), (3) northeastern Pacific (Bering Strait to Puget Sound), (4) northwestern Pacific (Bering Strait to Hokkaido and the northern Sea of Japan), and (5) Arctic (areas north of the Lofoten Islands, southern Labrador, and Bering Strait).
I have identified 295 molluscan species that either took part in the interchange or are descended from taxa that did. Of these, 261 are of Pacific origin, whereas only 34 are of Arctic-Atlantic origin. Various analyses of the pattern of invasion confirm earlier work, indicating that there is a strong bias in favor of species with a Pacific origin.
A geographical analysis of invaders implies that, although trans-Arctic interchange contributed to a homogenization of the biotas of the northern oceans, significant barriers to dispersal exist and have existed for trans-Arctic invaders within the Arctic-Atlantic basin. Nevertheless, trans-Arctic invaders in the Atlantic have significantly broader geographical ranges than do taxa with a pre-Pliocene history in the Atlantic.
Among the possible explanations for the asymmetry of trans-Arctic invasion, two hypotheses were explicitly tested. The null hypothesis of diversity states that the number of invaders from a biota is proportional to the total number of species in that biota. Estimates of Recent molluscan diversity show that the North Pacific is 1.5 to 2.7 times richer than is the Arctic-Atlantic, depending on how faunistic comparisons are made. This difference in diversity is much smaller than is the asymmetry of trans-Arctic invasion in favor of Pacific species. Rough estimates of regional Pliocene diversity suggest that differences in diversity during the Pliocene were smaller than they are in the Recent fauna. The null hypothesis was therefore rejected.
The hypothesis of ecological opportunity states that the number of invaders to a region is proportional to the number of species that became extinct there. The post-Early Pliocene magnitude of extinction was lowest in the North Pacific, intermediate in the northeastern Atlantic, and probably highest in the northwestern Atlantic. The absolute number and faunistic importance of post-Early Pliocene invaders (including trans-Arctic species, as well as taxa previously confined to warm-temperate waters and western Atlantic species that previously occurred only in the eastern Atlantic) was lowest in the North Pacific, intermediate in the northeastern Atlantic, and highest in the northwestern Atlantic. Further support for the hypothesis of ecological opportunity comes from the finding that hard-bottom communities, especially those in the northwestern Atlantic, show a higher representation of molluscan species of Pacific origin, and are likely to have been more affected by climatic events, than were communities on unconsolidated sandy and muddy bottoms. Support for the hypothesis does not rule out other explanations for the observed asymmetry of trans-Arctic invasion.
A preliminary study of species-level evolution within lineages of trans-Arctic invaders indicates that anagenesis and cladogenesis have been more frequent among groups with Pacific origins than among those with Atlantic origins, and that the regions within the Arctic-Atlantic basin with the highest absolute number and faunistic representation of invaders (western Atlantic and Arctic) are the regions in which speciation has been least common among the invaders. The asymmetry of invasion is therefore distinct from the asymmetry of species-level evolution of invaders in the various northern marine regions.
Patterns of bipolar or antitropical distributions occur in a diverse array of marine invertebrate, vertebrate, and plant groups in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Available geologic and paleontological evidence does not support vicariance as a process in the creation of these distributions but instead favors biotic interchange between hemispheres. Moreover, the timing of these events suggests several breaches (both northward and southward) of the tropics rather than a single event. The fossil record is extremely important in delimiting potential hypotheses and allowing correlation with vicariance events. The congruence of some interchanges with major regional tectonic activity and others with Pleistocene glaciations is not surprising and argues for a plurality of mechanisms. Extinction of endemic taxa following interchange among marine invertebrates is rare, and none of the antitropical distributions reviewed here suggests that the arrival of a taxon in the adjoining hemisphere resulted in the extinction of an endemic taxon. Instead, interchange and endemic taxa coexist. In contrast to the extinction patterns, the patterns of radiations are extremely diverse with some immigrant taxa undergoing remarkable radiations, whereas other taxa are represented by single species. Temperate nearshore rocky communities in both the northern and southern hemispheres appear to be mosaics of species that share common ancestry (because of interchange), are cosmopolitan, and have independent origins within the region. Although some communities appear to be organized around products of interchange (e.g., kelp forests of California and Chile), only the taxa have immigrated; linkages and interactions between species are independent and locally derived.