T131. Phylogenetic Paleoecology; Macroecology within an Evolutionary Framework

Curtis R. Congreve, James C. Lamsdell
Sponsors: Paleontological Society; Paleontological Research Institution
This session will focus on the integration of phylogenetic datasets with paleoecology to understand broad topics in the history of life, including the relationship between ecology/biogeography and evolutionary rates, community assembly, and extinction/radiation selectivity.
Invited speakers: Blaire Van Valkenburgh, UCLA and A. Michelle Lawing, Texas A&M University.
Paleontology, Phylogenetic/Morphological Patterns | Paleontology, Paleoecology/Taphonomy | Paleontology, Diversity, Extinction, Origination
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The new and emerging field of phylogenetic paleoecology leverages the evolutionary relationships among species to explain temporal and spatial changes in species diversity, abundance, and distribution in deep time. This field is poised for rapid progress as knowledge of the evolutionary relationships among fossil species continues to expand. In particular, this approach will lend new insights to many of the long-standing questions in evolutionary biology, such as (1) the relationships among character change, ecology, and evolutionary rates, (2) the processes that determine the evolutionary relationships among species within communities and along environmental gradients, and (3) the phylogenetic signal underlying ecological selectivity in background and mass extinctions and in major evolutionary radiations. This symposium would focus on the many different ways paleontologists can incorporate evolutionary and phylogenetic datasets with paleoecology to understand broad topics in the history of life, including (but not limited to) the importance of biogeographic patterns in dictating evolutionary change, the extent of niche conservatism in the history of life, selectivity patterns of major extinctions and radiations,  onshore-offshore patterns of faunal succession, and the identification of environmental or geographic hotspots of diversification in the fossil record. Potential invited speakers would speak on diverse topics such as the application of models to investigate directional selection, biogeographic complexity as a speciation motor, and ecological bottlenecks from macroevolutionary ratchets. This symposium would bring together leading scientists in the fields of paleoecology with experts in phylogenetic methods, generating a forum in which these researchers can discuss and synthesize these disparate research paradigms, as well as develop new techniques for combining these two different datasets, in the effort to better understand broad-scale changes in the history of life within a more pluralistic hierarchical framework. There is the potential for speakers at the symposium submit their research to a proposed special volume.