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Evolution and Environment in Tropical America

How were the tropical Americas formed? This ambitious volume draws on extensive, multidisciplinary research to develop new views of the geological formation of the isthmus linking North and South America and of the major environmental changes that reshaped the Neotropics to create its present-day marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

Recent discoveries show that dramatic changes in climate and ocean circulation can occur very quickly, and that ecological communities respond just as rapidly. Abrupt changes in the composition of fossil assemblages, formerly dismissed as artifacts of a poor fossil record, now are seen as accurate records of swift changes in the composition of ocean communities.

The twenty-four contributors use current work in paleontology, geology, oceanography, anthropology, ecology, and evolution to paint this challenging portrait of rapid environmental and evolutionary change. Their conclusions argue for a revision of existing interpretations of the fossil record and the processes—including invading Eurasian peoples—that have produced it.

436 pages | 35 halftones, 31 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1996

Biological Sciences: Evolutionary Biology, Paleobiology, Geology, and Paleontology, Tropical Biology and Conservation

Earth Sciences: Environment, Paleontology

Table of Contents

1: Evolution and Environment: Introduction and Overview
Jeremy B. C. Jackson, Ann F. Budd.
2: The Geologic Evolution of the Central American Isthmus
Anthony G. Coates, Jorge A. Obando.
3: Graphic Correlation of Marine Deposits from the Central American Isthmus: Implications for Late Neogene Paleoceanography
Harry J. Dowsett, Mathew A. Cotton.
4: Biotic and Oceanographic Response to the Pliocene Closing of the Central American Isthmus
Thomas M. Cronin, Harry J. Dowsett.
5: The Oxygen Isotopic Record of Seasonality in Neogene Bivalves from the Central American Isthmus
Jane L. Teranes, Dana H. Geary, Brian E. Bemis.
6: Environmental Changes in Caribbean Shallow Waters Relative to the Closing Tropical American Seaway
Laurel S. Collins
7: Plio-Pleistocene Turnover and Extinctions in the Caribbean Reef-Coral Fauna
Ann F. Budd, Kenneth G. Johnson, Thomas A. Stemann.
8: Speciation, Extinction, and the Decline of Arborescent Growth in Neogene and Quaternary Cheilostome Bryozoa of Tropical America
Alan H. Cheetham, Jeremy B. C. Jackson.
9: Paciphilia Revisited: Transisthmian Evolution of the Strombina Group (Gastropoda: Columbellidae)
Jeremy B. C. Jackson, Peter Jung, Helena Fortunato.
10: Diversity of Pliocene-Recent Mollusks in the Western Atlantic: Extinction, Origination, and Environmental Change
Warren D. Allmon, Gary Rosenberg, Roger W. Portell, Kevin Schindler.
11: Molecular Comparisons of Transisthmian Species Pairs: Rates and Patterns of Evolution
Timothy Collins
12: Late Cenozoic Evolution of the Neotropical Mammal Fauna
S. David Webb, Alceu Rancy.
13: Quaternary Environmental History and Forest Diversity in the Neotropics
Paul A. Colinvaux
List of Contributors

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