Understanding the drivers of macroevolutionary trends through the Phanerozoic has been a central question in paleobiology. Increasingly important is understanding the regional and environmental variation of macroevolutionary patterns and how they are reflected at the global scale. Here we test the role of biotic interactions on regional ecological patterns during the Mesozoic marine revolution. We test for escalatory trends in Jurassic marine benthic macroinvertebrate ecosystems using occurrence data from the Paleobiology Database parsed by region and environment. The escalation hypothesis posits that taxonomic groups that could adapt to intense predation and bioturbation proliferated, whereas groups unable to adapt were reduced in diversity and abundance or driven to extinction. We tested this hypothesis in five regions during Jurassic stages and among four depositional environments in Europe. Few escalatory trends were detected, although at least one escalatory trend was observed in every region, with the greatest number and strongest trends observed in Europe. These trends include increases in shallow infauna and cementing epifauna and occurrences of facultatively mobile invertebrates and decreases in pedunculate, free-lying, and sessile epifauna. Within Europe, escalatory trends occur in shallow-water environments but also in deeper-water environments, where they are predicted not to occur. When regional trends are aggregated, trends in Europe drive the global signal. The results of this study suggest that while evidence of escalation is rare globally, it is plausible that escalation drove macroevolutionary patterns in Europe. Furthermore, these results underline the need to dissect global fossil data at the regional scale to understand global macroevolutionary dynamics.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 43 • No. 4