DISPARITY: MORPHOLOGICAL PATTERN AND DEVELOPMENTAL CONTEXT

DOUGLAS H. ERWIN
2007 Palaeontology  
The distribution of organic forms is clumpy at any scale from populations to the highest taxonomic categories, and whether considered within clades or within ecosystems. The fossil record provides little support for expectations that the morphological gaps between species or groups of species have increased through time as it might if the gaps were created by extinction of a more homogeneous distribution of morphologies. As the quantitative assessments of morphology have replaced counts of
more » ... r taxa as a metric of morphological disparity, numerous studies have demonstrated the rapid construction of morphospace early in evolutionary radiations, and have emphasized the difference between taxonomic measures of morphological diversity and quantitative assessments of disparity. Other studies have evaluated changing patterns of disparity across mass extinctions, ecomorphological patterns and the patterns of convergence within ecological communities, while
doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2006.00614.x fatcat:4wvcqj7c4vbvrhv2x6qba3dcl4