Community evolution and stratigraphy
published: Jan 27, 1982
ArtNo. ESP026001101011, Price: 29.00 €
Community evolution has been invoked to justify the ecostratigraphic approach to time correlation of strata. The status of ecological communities, however, is in hot dispute. Three lines of argument can be developed to support the view that communities are merely epiphenomena rather than evolving entities. Communities are only weakly integrated as a rule because environmental disturbances do not allow them to achieve equilibrium. They cannot be strongly integrated because coevolution among competitors is at best infrequent. The assumption of their reality relies upon the concept of group selection which is refuted by the evolutionary theory. Consequently, the so-called community evolution cannot provide any reliable time markers. The only possible advantage of ecostratigraphy is in its emphasis on stratigraphic boundaries being preferably traced at important events in geobiologic history.