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Journal Article

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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