A geographic test of species selection using planktonic Foraminifera during the Cretaceous/Paleogene mass extinction

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doi: 10.1666/10010.1
Author(s): Powell, Matthew G.; MacGregor, Johnryan
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Juniata College, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Huntingdon, PA, United States
Volume Title: Paleobiology
Source: Paleobiology, 37(3), p.426-437. Publisher: Paleontological Society, Lawrence, KS, United States. ISSN: 0094-8373 CODEN: PALBBM
Note: In English. 56 refs.; illus., incl. 1 table
Summary: Species selection has received a great deal of theoretical attention but it has rarely been empirically tested. It is important to determine the level of selection that operated during a particular extinction event because it can help distinguish between traits that were actually responsible for extinction and those that were merely correlated with it. Here, we present a test that can help distinguish between organismal and species-level selection, which we demonstrate using the high-resolution fossil record of planktonic foraminifera species recorded in deep-sea sediment cores. Our test examines the fate of survivors and victims during the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) mass extinction within single geographic regions, where all individuals experience the same selection pressures. Selection at the organismal level implies that individual members of surviving species are more fit than those of victimized species, and therefore should be more likely to survive in affected areas; conversely, selection at the species level implies individuals will suffer equally within an affected area. We find that survivors of the mass extinction suffered very high extirpation rates in cores where the overall extinction rate was high, indicating that individual members of the surviving species were generally no more fit than individual members of extinct species. Rather, these species were able to survive because they possessed advantageous species-level traits, such as larger geographic ranges and greater abundances than victimized species. This geographic pattern of extirpation suggests that selection operated at the species, rather than organismal, level during the K/Pg mass extinction of planktonic foraminifera.
Year of Publication: 2011
Research Program: IODP Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 10 Paleontology, Invertebrate; Atlantic Ocean; Biologic evolution; Blake Nose; Blake Plateau; Cenozoic; Cretaceous; Equatorial Pacific; Extinction; Faunal studies; Foraminifera; Indian Ocean; Integrated Ocean Drilling Program; Invertebrata; K-T boundary; Kerguelen Plateau; Leg 113; Leg 119; Leg 120; Leg 130; Leg 132; Leg 171B; Leg 198; Lower Paleocene; Mass extinctions; Maud Rise; Mesozoic; Microfossils; Natural selection; North Atlantic; North Pacific; Northwest Pacific; ODP Site 1049; ODP Site 1050; ODP Site 1052; ODP Site 1209; ODP Site 1210; ODP Site 1211; ODP Site 1212; ODP Site 689; ODP Site 690; ODP Site 738; ODP Site 750; ODP Site 807; ODP Site 810; Ocean Drilling Program; Ontong Java Plateau; Pacific Ocean; Paleocene; Paleoecology; Paleogene; Planktonic taxa; Protista; Rates; Shatsky Rise; Southern Ocean; Stratigraphic boundary; Tertiary; Upper Cretaceous; Weddell Sea; West Pacific
Coordinates: N153133 N153224 W0584207 W0585106
S573533 S573531 E0811426 E0811422
N313400 N374800 E1624600 E1571500
N295500 N300900 W0760600 W0763800
Record ID: 2011055254
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