Punctuated equilibrium in a neontological context
2010 (English)In: Theory in biosciences, ISSN 1431-7613, E-ISSN 1611-7530, Vol. 129, no 2-3, 103-111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The theory of punctuated equilibrium, which proposes that biological species evolve rapidly when they originate rather than gradually over time, has sparked intense debate between palaeontologists and evolutionary biologists about the mode of character evolution and the importance of natural selection. Difficulty in interpreting the fossil record prevented consensus, and it remains disputed as to what extent gradual change in established species is responsible for phenotypic differences between species. Against the historical background of the concept of evolution concentrated in speciation events, we review attempts to investigate tempo and mode of evolution using present-day species since the introduction of the theory of punctuated equilibrium in 1972. We discuss advantages, disadvantages, and prospects of using neontological data, methodological advances, and the findings of some recent studies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2010. Vol. 129, no 2-3, 103-111 p.
extinction, macroevolution, microevolution, speciation
Ecology Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35396DOI: 10.1007/s12064-010-0087-7ISI: 000283360400004PubMedID: 20514523OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-35396DiVA: diva2:344028