Taxonomy and temporal diversity patterns

TitleTaxonomy and temporal diversity patterns
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsRobeck HE, Maley CC, Donoghue MJ
KeywordsBiological Sciences, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, PALEONTOLOGY

Temporal diversity patterns have traditionally been analyzed by counting the number of families or genera present over a series of time periods. This approach has been criticized on the grounds that paraphyletic taxa might introduce artifacts. Sepkoski and Kendrick (1993) simulated phylogenetic trees and different classifications of those trees and concluded that paraphyletic taxa need not be rejected. We have reimplemented their model, extended it, and carried out statistical analyses under a variety of experimental conditions. Our results show that the focus on monophyly vs. paraphyly is misplaced. Instead, it appears that the number of groups in the classification and the distribution of the sizes of those groups have dramatic effects on the recovery of diversity information. Furthermore, the influence of these factors depends on whether the fossil record represents a low- or high-frequency sampling of lineages. When sampling is good, the best results are achieved by classification

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