Niche evolution and phylogenetic community paleoecology of Late Ordovician crinoids

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.


Download Preprint


Selina R. Cole, David Wright


Fossil crinoids are exceptionally suited to deep-time studies of community paleoecology and niche partitioning. By merging ecomorphological trait and phylogenetic data, this study summarizes niche occupation and community paleoecology of crinoids from the Bromide fauna of Oklahoma (Sandbian, Upper Ordovician). Further, patterns of community structure and niche evolution are evaluated over a ~5 million-year period through comparison with the Brechin Lagerstätte (Katian, Upper Ordovician). We establish filtration fan density, food size selectivity, and body size as major axes defining niche differentiation, and niche occupation is strongly controlled by phylogeny. Ecological strategies (i.e., adaptive zones) were relatively static over the study interval at high taxonomic scales, but niche differentiation and specialization increased in most subclades. Changes in disparity and species richness indicate the transition between the early-middle Paleozoic Crinoid Evolutionary Faunas was already underway by the Katian due to ecological drivers and was not triggered by the Late Ordovician mass extinction.



Biodiversity, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Paleobiology, Paleontology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Crinoidea, disparity, functional ecology, niche differentiation, paleobiology, Phylogenetic comparative methods


Published: 2021-09-27 21:51


CC-By Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Data and Code Availability Statement:
Supplemental methods, figures, and all data and R scripts needed to reproduce analyses will be made available upon publication.