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Title: Possible pitfalls in the procedure for paleobiodiversity-dynamics analysis
Authors: Ruban, Dimitry A.
van Loon, A.J. (Tom)
Keywords: biodiversity
Lazarus taxa
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM
Citation: Geologos vol. 14 (1), pp.37-51.
Abstract: The changes in the diversity of specific taxa during certain parts of the geological past (paleobiodiversity dynamics) can, in principle, be established by counting the number of the fossil taxa present (worldwide or in a specific study area) in rocks dated for the time interval under study. Numerous obstacles are present, however, for instance in the form of lacking field data, disappeared collections, ambiguous identifications, temporary ‘disappearence’ of taxa, and dating problems. One major problem is the fact that, particularly in regional studies in some countries, a local, regional or national chronostratigraphic terminology is used rather than the chronostratigraphy recommended by the International Stratigraphic Commision of the International Union of Geological Sciences. This hampers international correlation and makes precise global paleodiversity-dynamics analyses extremely difficult. A reliable insight into the true paleodiversity dynamics requires not only that the various problems are recognized, but also that their consequences are eliminated or, if this is impossible, minimized. This is particularly important if the effects of mass extinctions on fauna and flora are investigated. Each analysis of paleobiodiversity-dynamics analysis of phenomena related to mass extinctions should therefore try to quantify the impact that missing data or inaccuracies of any kind may have on the final results; such an analysis should, in addition, try to find a solution for the major problems, so as to avoid significant inaccuracies of the calculated values. Large electronic databases can help, since about a decade, to diminish possible errors in diversity estimates. Paleobiodiversity should preferably be expressed in the form of values with a certain band with, indicating the inaccuracy, rather than in the form of exact values.
ISBN: 978-83-232187-4-6
ISSN: 1426-8981
Appears in Collections:Geologos, 2008, 14, 1

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