Speciation and Stasis in Marine Ostracoda: Climatic Modulation of Evolution

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Science  04 Jan 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4682, pp. 60-63
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4682.60


Morphologic and paleozoogeographic analysis of Cenozoic marine Ostracoda from the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific indicates that climatic change modulates evolution by disrupting long-term stasis and catalyzing speciation during sustained, unidirectional climatic transitions and, conversely, by maintaining morphologic stasis during rapid, high-frequency climatic oscillations. In the middle Pliocene, 4 to 3 million years ago, at least six new species of Puriana suddenly appeared as the Isthmus of Panama closed, changing oceanographic circulation and global climate. Since then morphologic stasis has characterized ancestral and descendant species during many glacial-interglacial cycles. The frequency and duration of climatic events have more impact on ostracode evolution than the magnitude of climatic changes.