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Climate change and the selective signature of the Late Ordovician mass extinction

Finnegan, Seth and Heim, Noel A. and Peters, Shanan E. and Fischer, Woodward W. (2012) Climate change and the selective signature of the Late Ordovician mass extinction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109 (18). pp. 6829-6834. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC3345012. doi:10.1073/pnas.1117039109.

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Selectivity patterns provide insights into the causes of ancient extinction events. The Late Ordovician mass extinction was related to Gondwanan glaciation; however, it is still unclear whether elevated extinction rates were attributable to record failure, habitat loss, or climatic cooling. We examined Middle Ordovician-Early Silurian North American fossil occurrences within a spatiotemporally explicit stratigraphic framework that allowed us to quantify rock record effects on a per-taxon basis and assay the interplay of macrostratigraphic and macroecological variables in determining extinction risk. Genera that had large proportions of their observed geographic ranges affected by stratigraphic truncation or environmental shifts at the end of the Katian stage were particularly hard hit. The duration of the subsequent sampling gaps had little effect on extinction risk, suggesting that this extinction pulse cannot be entirely attributed to rock record failure; rather, it was caused, in part, by habitat loss. Extinction risk at this time was also strongly influenced by the maximum paleolatitude at which a genus had previously been sampled, a macroecological trait linked to thermal tolerance. A model trained on the relationship between 16 explanatory variables and extinction patterns during the early Katian interval substantially underestimates the extinction of exclusively tropical taxa during the late Katian interval. These results indicate that glacioeustatic sea-level fall and tropical ocean cooling played important roles in the first pulse of the Late Ordovician mass extinction in Laurentia.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle CentralArticle
Fischer, Woodward W.0000-0002-8836-3054
Additional Information:© 2012 National Academy of Sciences. Freely available online through the PNAS open access option. Edited by Richard K. Bambach, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., and accepted by the Editorial Board March 6, 2012 (received for review October 14, 2011). Published online before print April 17, 2012. This manuscript benefitted greatly from reviews by Steve Holland and an anonymous reviewer. We thank other workers who contributed relevant data to the Paleobiology Database, especially S. Holland, M Patzkowsky, K. Layou, A. Stigall, W. Kiessling, M. Hopkins, A.I. Miller, M. Foote and J. Alroy. This work was supported by Agouron Institute and National Science Foundation (EAR-1053523) awards to WWF. This is Paleobiology Database contribution #154. Author contributions: S.F., N.A.H., S.E.P., and W.W.F. designed research; performed research; analyzed data; and wrote the paper.
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Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:climate change; stratigraphy; sea level; Hirnantian; marine invertebrates
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Paleobiology Database Contribution154
Issue or Number:18
PubMed Central ID:PMC3345012
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120523-112613585
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Official Citation: Seth Finnegan, Noel A. Heim, Shanan E. Peters, and Woodward W. Fischer Climate change and the selective signature of the Late Ordovician mass extinction PNAS 2012 109 (18) 6829-6834; published ahead of print April 17, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1117039109
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31614
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:24 May 2012 15:38
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 19:56

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