Delayed biological recovery from extinctions throughout the fossil record

Citation
Jw. Kirchner et A. Well, Delayed biological recovery from extinctions throughout the fossil record, NATURE, 404(6774), 2000, pp. 177-180
Citations number
19
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Multidisciplinary,Multidisciplinary,Multidisciplinary
Journal title
NATURE
ISSN journal
0028-0836 → ACNP
Volume
404
Issue
6774
Year of publication
2000
Pages
177 - 180
Database
ISI
SICI code
0028-0836(20000309)404:6774<177:DBRFET>2.0.ZU;2-O
Abstract
How quickly does biodiversity rebound after extinctions? Palaeobiologists h ave examined the temporal, taxonomic and geographic patterns of recovery fo llowing individual mass extinctions in detail(1-5), but have not analysed r ecoveries from extinctions throughout the fossil record as a whole. Here, w e measure how fast biodiversity rebounds after extinctions in general, rath er than after individual mass extinctions, by calculating the cross-correla tion between extinction and origination rates across the entire Phanerozoic marine fossil record. Our results show that extinction rates are not signi ficantly correlated with contemporaneous origination rates, but instead are correlated with origination rates roughly 10 million years later. This lag ged correlation persists when we remove the 'Big Five' major mass extinctio ns, indicating that recovery times following mass extinctions and backgroun d extinctions are similar. Our results suggest that there are intrinsic lim its to how quickly global biodiversity can recover after extinction events, regardless of their magnitude. They also imply that today's anthropogenic extinctions will diminish biodiversity for millions of years to come.