Spatial bias in the marine fossil record

PloS One
Daril A Vilhena, Andrew B Smith

Abstract

Inference of past and present global biodiversity requires enough global data to distinguish biological pattern from sampling artifact. Pertinently, many studies have exposed correlated relationships between richness and sampling in the fossil record, and methods to circumvent these biases have been proposed. Yet, these studies often ignore paleobiogeography, which is undeniably a critical component of ancient global diversity. Alarmingly, our global analysis of 481,613 marine fossils spread throughout the Phanerozoic reveals that where localities are and how intensively they have been sampled almost completely determines empirical spatial patterns of richness, suggesting no separation of biological pattern from sampling pattern. To overcome this, we analyze diversity using occurrence records drawn from two discrete paleolatitudinal bands which cover the bulk of the fossil data. After correcting the data for sampling bias, we find that these two bands have similar patterns of richness despite markedly different spatial coverage. Our findings suggest that i) long-term diversity trends result from large-scale tectonic evolution of the planet, ii) short-term diversity trends are region-specific, and iii) paleodiversity studies mus...Continue Reading

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Citations

Feb 19, 2016·Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society·Jonathan P TennantGregory D Price
Aug 5, 2015·Ecology·Simon A F Darroch, Peter J Wagner
Feb 14, 2018·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Emma M DunneR J Butler
May 1, 2019·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Meng ChenGregory P Wilson
Jan 26, 2016·PLoS Biology·Roger B J BensonGraeme T Lloyd
Jun 18, 2020·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Bethany J AllenAlexander M Dunhill
Apr 25, 2020·Science·R A CloseR J Butler
Jan 5, 2021·Royal Society Open Science·Joseph A BonsorNatalie Cooper
Feb 25, 2021·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Lewis A JonesPeter A Allison

Related Concepts

Fossils
Brachiopoda
Marine Hydrobiology
Oceanography
Paleontology
Sampling Error
Biodiversity
Spatial Analysis
Space-Time Geography
Spatial Distribution

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