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Zürich, Switzerland

Xing Y.,UniversitatZurich | Onstein R.E.,UniversitatZurich | Carter R.J.,UniversitatZurich | Stadler T.,ETH Zurich | Linder H.P.,UniversitatZurich

The magnitude and extent of global change during the Cenozoic is remarkable, yet the impacts of these global changes on the biodiversity and evolutionary dynamics of species diversification remain poorly understood. To investigate this question, we combine paleontological and neontological data for the angiosperm order Fagales, an ecologically important clade of about 1370 species of trees with an exceptional fossil record. We show differences in patterns of accumulation of generic diversity, species richness, and turnover rates for Fagales. Generic diversity evolved rapidly since the Late Cretaceous and peaked during the Eocene or Oligocene. Turnover rates were high during periods of extreme global climate change, but relatively low when the climate remained stable. Species richness accumulated gradually throughout the Cenozoic, possibly at an accelerated pace after the Middle Miocene. Species diversification occurred in new environments: Quercoids radiating in Oligocene subtropical seasonally arid habitats, Casuarinaceae in Australian pyrophytic biomes, and Betula in Late Neogene holarctic habitats. These radiations were counter balanced by regional extinctions in Late Neogene mesic warm-temperate forests. Thus, the overall diversification at species level is linked to regional radiations of clades with appropriate ecologies exploiting newly available habitats. © 2014 The Author(s) Evolution., © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution. Source

Klug C.,UniversitatZurich | Kroger B.,Museum For Naturkunde Humboldt Universitatzu Berlin | Kiessling W.,Museum For Naturkunde Humboldt Universitatzu Berlin | Mullins G.L.,Museum For Naturkunde Humboldt Universitatzu Berlin | And 4 more authors.

Traditional analyses of Early Phanerozoic marine diversity at the genus level show an explosive radiation of marine life until the Late Ordovician, followed by a phase of erratic decline continuing until the end of the Palaeozoic, whereas a more recent analysis extends the duration of this early radiation into the Devonian. This catch-all approach hides an evolutionary and ecological key event long after the Ordovician radiation: the rapid occupation of the free water column by animals during the Devonian. Here, we explore the timing of the occupation of the water column in the Palaeozoic and test the hypothesis that ecological escalation led to fundamental evolutionary changes in the mid-Palaeozoic marine water column. According to our analyses, demersal and nektonic modes of life were probably initially driven by competition in the diversity-saturated benthic habitats together with the availability of abundant planktonic food. Escalatory feedback then promoted the rapid rise of nekton in the Devonian as suggested by the sequence and tempo of water-column occupation. Devonian, diversity, ecology, food webs, nekton, plankton, radiation. © 2009 The Authors, Journal compilation © 2009 The Lethaia Foundation. Source

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