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Generation and Maintenance of Gradients in Taxonomic Diversity

Francis G. Stehli, Robert G. Douglas and Norman D. Newell
Science
New Series, Vol. 164, No. 3882 (May 23, 1969), pp. 947-949
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1726241
Page Count: 3
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Generation and Maintenance of Gradients in Taxonomic Diversity
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Abstract

Latitudinal gradients in diversity of organisms represent an equilibrium distribution for at least the last 270 $\times $ 10$^{6}$ years. Faunas endemic to tropical regions evolved significantly faster than extra-tropical faunas. The latitude-dependent difference in rates of evolution also represents an equilibrium condition for at least the last 270 $\times $ 10$^{6}$ years and has consequences for paleontological correlation of rocks because the attainable resolution depends on rate of evolution and will thus be greater in tropic regions than in extra-tropical ones.

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