Ecologically diverse clades dominate the oceans via extinction resistance

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Science  28 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6481, pp. 1035-1038
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax6398

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Resisting extinction

Prevailing evolutionary wisdom tells us that ecological differentiation leads to speciation. Whether this pattern can be seen over paleontological time, however, has been difficult to test. Knope et al. looked at a dataset of thousands of modern and extinct marine groups and found the relationship to be more complex than expected. Ecological diversification is associated with lower rates of origination, and the taxonomical richness seemingly associated with these groups is due to resistance to extinction. Furthermore, the researchers found that the strong association between ecological differentiation and taxonomic diversity is a recent development shaped by extinction events over time.

Science, this issue p. 1035

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