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Week

   6      So  sorry  for  the  extreme  lateness,  had  serious  issues  with  inability  to  
access  zimbra.      
 
Life  in  Sea,  Terrestrialization  
 
Life  in  sea:  more  stable,  buoyancy,  thermal  buffer,  osmotic  pressure,  pH.  
 
Greater  species  richness  at  tropics  
 
Photosythesis  limited  to  upper  level  of  sea  
 
Beneath  this,  detritovores  and  predators  of  detritovores,  except  very  deep  
communities  at  vents  and  cold  seeps  based  on  chemosynthetic  organisms.      
 
Extreme  variation  in  habitat  of  intertidal  organisms  
 
Expansion:    
Initially,  only  sediment-­‐water  interface  colonized  
 
Stromatolites  first  reefs,  then  Archaeocyatha  (in  Cambrian,  now  extinct),  then  
sponge  and  coralline  algae  reefs.  
 
Coral  reefs  dominate  from  Ordivician  (460  mya)  to  now  
 
Nekton  (swimming)  vs  Plankton  (floating)  
 
Infauna  (late  infauna  destroys  original  fossils),  and  stalked  and  free  floating  
organisms.  
 
 
Important  Points:  
More  species  today  than  ever  before,  but  fewer  phyla!  
 
Diversity  rebounds  to  greater  than  initial  richness  after  mass  extinctions  
 
Most  extant  life  originated  in  Cambrian  
 
Marine  organisms  distributed  along  gradients  
 
 
 
Terrestrialization:  
 
Sepkoski’s  fauna:  Cambrian  (primitive  mollusks,  trilobites,  and  crinoids),  Paleozoic  
(cephlopods,  corals,  primitive  echinoderms),  Modern  (crustaceans,  vertebrates,  
bivalves.  
 
 

 
Importance  of  cyanobacteria,  in  water  in  stromatolites  and  on  land  (remember  
crunchy  desert  crust=cyanobacteria)  
 
Lichens!    Symbiotic  plant/  fungi  that  break  down  rocks,  stabilize  soil.  
 
Fungi  decompose  things.    Critical  to  nitrogen  fixation,  nutrient  cycling.  
 
Plants:    remember  phylogeny  

 
 
 
 
Original  bareness,  2d  nature  of  land,  as  plants  evolved  increased  3dimensionality  
Mimics  evolution  of  amphibians  in  innovation  of  not  needing  water  to  reproduce  
 
Significance  of  wind  pollination  by  gymnosperms  
 
Angiosperms:  use  wind,  water,  animals  for  dispersal  
 
Worms  burrow  down,  colonize  earth  
 
Arthropods  colonize  everything  
 
Terrestrialization  
Embryonic  and  amphibian  limb  development  mimics  evolution  of  limb  development  
May  supplement  fossil  record,  which  is  relatively  poor.  
 
Key  innovation:  amniotic  egg  
 
 
 
Bhushan  and  Miserez  papers:  Biomimetics    and  Bioengineering  
 
Biomimetics:  mimicking  nature.    Evolution  has  resulted  in  incidental  innovations  
useful  for  technology  and  human  society.      Micro  and  macro  scale.  
 
Much  to  learn  from  many  organisms  (need  to  preserve  them)  
 
Nature  “engineers”  solutions  to  complex  problems  that  trouble  humans  today.  
 
Janvier  paper:  Terrestrialization  
 
Need  to  adapt  to:  gravity,  UV  light,  high  O2  levels,  lack  of  water,  locomotion,  
reproduction  without  water.      
 
Transition  of  plants  from  water  to  land  clearer  in  terms  of  living  transitional  forms  
for  plants  than  animals,  but  few  transitional  fossils  of  plants  exists  (difficult  to  
preserve)  
 
No  completely  terrestrial  organisms  seems  to  have  completely  re-­‐adapted  to  aquatic  
lifestyle  (except  perhaps  planorbid  snails)  
 
Problems  with  concept  of  “conquest”  of  land  
 
Only  certain  taxa  ever  terrestrialized,  mostly  vertebrates,  arthropods,  
embryophytes,  fungi.  
 
Padolfi  paper:    Paleoecology  of  coral  reefs.  
 
Latitudinal  range  limits  for  reefs  vary  with  climate  
 
Reefs  very  important  in  niche  creation  (importance  of  3d  structure).  
 
Locations  of  top  reef  biodiversity  have  varied  over  time,  but  reef  growth  rate  not  
necessarily  dependent  on  diversity  
 
Anthropogenic  effects  (such  as  overexploitation,  pollutions,  etc)  on  reefs  
unprecedented,  so  coral  vulnerability  cannot  be  determined.  
 
Corals  serve  as  paleoproxies  of  climate  change:    reef  cores  record  surface  
temperatures,  rainfall,  river  discharge