Biogeography and Plate Tectonics

Developments in Palaeontology and Stratigraphy

Book 10
Elsevier
Free sample

One needs to look at only a small portion of the enormous literature on plate tectonics published in the last 15 years to realize that there are many differences between the various reconstructions that have been presented. It becomes obvious that, although there is a general agreement about the presence of an assembly of continents (a Pangaea) in the early Mesozoic, there is considerable disagreement among earth scientists as to the configurement of the assembly and the manner and timing of the subsequent dispersal. While the revolution in geophysics was taking place, systematic work in paleontology and neontology was being carried out. This book is an attempt to incorporate the biological evidence into the theory of plate tectonics.

The author traces the changing relationships among the various biogeographic regions and demonstrates how such changes may often be correlated with the gradual geographic alteration of the earth's surface. He analyses recent information about the distribution of widespread groups of terrestrial and freshwater vertebrates, invertebrates and plants, and discusses the biogeographical effects of the movement of oceanic plates.

It is particularly important to obtain dependable information about certain critical times in the history of continental relationships. We need to know when the terrestrial parts of the earth were broken apart and when they were joined together. The present investigation makes it clear that we cannot depend entirely on evidence from plate tectonics nor will purely biological evidence suffice. This book thus provides much of interest to systematists working on contemporary groups of plants and animals, paleontologists, evolutionary biologists, and professors teaching courses in biogeography.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Elsevier
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Published on
Aug 1, 1987
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Pages
203
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ISBN
9780080868516
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Earth Sciences / Geography
Science / Earth Sciences / Geology
Science / Paleontology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book presents both state-of-the art knowledge from Recent coral reefs (1.8 million to a few centuries old) gained since the eighties, and introduces geologists, oceanographers and environmentalists to sedimentological and paleoecological studies of an ecosystem encompassing some of the world's richest biodiversity. Scleractinian reefs first appeared about 300 million years ago. Today coral reef systems provide some of the most sensitive gauges of environmental change, expressing the complex interplay of chemical, physical, geological and biological factors. The topics covered will include the evolutionary history of reef systems and some of the main reef builders since the Cenozoic, the effects of biological and environmental forces on the zonation of reef systems and the distribution of reef organisms and on reef community dynamics through time, changes in the geometry, anatomy and stratigraphy of reef bodies and systems in relation to changes in sea level and tectonics, the distribution patterns of sedimentary (framework or detrital) facies in relation to those of biological communities, the modes and rates of reef accretion (progradation, aggradation versus backstepping; coral growth versus reef growth), the hydrodynamic forces controlling water circulation through reef structures and their relationship to early diagenetic processes, the major diagenetic processes affecting reef bodies through time (replacement and diddolution, dolomitization, phosphatogenesis), and the record of climate change by both individual coral colonies and reef systems over the Quaternary.* state-of-the-art knowledge from Recent corals reefs
* introduction to sedimentological and paleoecological studies of an ecosystems encompassing some of the world's richest biodiversity.
* authors are internationally regarded authorities on the subject
* trustworthy information
South American ecosystems suffered one of the greatest biogeographical events, after the establishment of the Panamian land bridge, called the “Great American Biotic Interchange” (GABI). This refers to the exchange, in several phases, of land mammals between the Americas; this event started during the late Miocene with the appearance of the Holartic Procyonidae (Huayquerian Age) in South America and continues today. The major phases of mammalian dispersal occurred from the Latest Pliocene (Marplatan Age) to the Late Pleistocene (Lujanian Age). The most important and richest localities of Late Miocene-Holocene fossil vertebrates of South America are those of the Pampean region of Argentina. There are also several Late Miocene and Pliocene localities in western Argentina and Bolivia. Other important fossils have been collected in localities of Pleistocene age outside Argentina: Tarija (Bolivia), karstic caves of Lagoa Santa and the recently explored caves of Tocantins (Brasil), Talara (Perú), La Carolina (Ecuador), Muaco (Venezuela), and Cueva del Milodon (Chile), among others. The book discusses basic information for interpreting the GABI such as taxonomic composition (incorporating the latest revisions) at classical and new localities for each stage addressing climate, environments, and time boundaries for each stage. It includes the chronology and dynamics of the GABI, the integration of South American mammalian faunas through time, the Quaternary mammalian extinctions and the composition of recent mammalian fauna of the continent.
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