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High ecological complexity in benthic Ediacaran communities.
Nat Ecol Evol. 2018 10; 2(10):1541-1547.NE

Abstract

A long-running debate over the affinities of the Neoproterozoic 'Ediacara biota' has led to contrasting interpretations of Ediacaran ecosystem complexity. A 'simple' model assumes that most, if not all, Ediacaran organisms shared similar basic ecologies. A contrasting 'complex' model suggests that the Ediacara biota more likely represent organisms from a variety of different positions on the eukaryotic tree and thus occupied a wide range of different ecologies. We perform a quantitative test of Ediacaran ecosystem complexity using rank abundance distributions (RADs). We show that the Ediacara biota formed complex-type communities throughout much of their stratigraphic range and thus likely comprised species that competed for different resources and/or created niche for others ('ecosystem engineers'). One possible explanation for this pattern rests in the recent inference of multiple metazoan-style feeding modes among the Ediacara biota; in this scenario, different Ediacaran groups/clades were engaged in different methods of nutrient collection and thus competed for different resources. This result illustrates that the Ediacara biota may not have been as bizarre as it is sometimes suggested, and provides an ecological link with the animal-dominated benthic ecosystems of the Palaeozoic era.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA. simon.a.darroch@vanderbilt.edu.University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

30224815

Citation

Darroch, Simon A F., et al. "High Ecological Complexity in Benthic Ediacaran Communities." Nature Ecology & Evolution, vol. 2, no. 10, 2018, pp. 1541-1547.
Darroch SAF, Laflamme M, Wagner PJ. High ecological complexity in benthic Ediacaran communities. Nat Ecol Evol. 2018;2(10):1541-1547.
Darroch, S. A. F., Laflamme, M., & Wagner, P. J. (2018). High ecological complexity in benthic Ediacaran communities. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2(10), 1541-1547. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0663-7
Darroch SAF, Laflamme M, Wagner PJ. High Ecological Complexity in Benthic Ediacaran Communities. Nat Ecol Evol. 2018;2(10):1541-1547. PubMed PMID: 30224815.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - High ecological complexity in benthic Ediacaran communities. AU - Darroch,Simon A F, AU - Laflamme,Marc, AU - Wagner,Peter J, Y1 - 2018/09/17/ PY - 2018/03/05/received PY - 2018/08/08/accepted PY - 2018/9/19/pubmed PY - 2019/4/27/medline PY - 2018/9/19/entrez SP - 1541 EP - 1547 JF - Nature ecology & evolution JO - Nat Ecol Evol VL - 2 IS - 10 N2 - A long-running debate over the affinities of the Neoproterozoic 'Ediacara biota' has led to contrasting interpretations of Ediacaran ecosystem complexity. A 'simple' model assumes that most, if not all, Ediacaran organisms shared similar basic ecologies. A contrasting 'complex' model suggests that the Ediacara biota more likely represent organisms from a variety of different positions on the eukaryotic tree and thus occupied a wide range of different ecologies. We perform a quantitative test of Ediacaran ecosystem complexity using rank abundance distributions (RADs). We show that the Ediacara biota formed complex-type communities throughout much of their stratigraphic range and thus likely comprised species that competed for different resources and/or created niche for others ('ecosystem engineers'). One possible explanation for this pattern rests in the recent inference of multiple metazoan-style feeding modes among the Ediacara biota; in this scenario, different Ediacaran groups/clades were engaged in different methods of nutrient collection and thus competed for different resources. This result illustrates that the Ediacara biota may not have been as bizarre as it is sometimes suggested, and provides an ecological link with the animal-dominated benthic ecosystems of the Palaeozoic era. SN - 2397-334X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/30224815/High_ecological_complexity_in_benthic_Ediacaran_communities_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0663-7 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -