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Intraspecific morphological variation of Agnostus pisiformis, a Cambrian Series 3 trilobite-like arthropod
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9007-4369
(English)In: Lethaia: an international journal of palaeontology and stratigraphy, ISSN 0024-1164, E-ISSN 1502-3931Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The study of evolution in a palaeontological context is chiefly the study of change in shape and form. This requires data sets that quantify morphology and morphological variation. Historically morphology has been described using discrete characters or more recently using various morphometric approaches. Elliptical Fourier analysis (EFA) is an approach to quantifying morphology that results in the production of large data sets of elliptical Fourier descriptors (EFDs), which are highly suitable to multivariate analysis. EFA is used in this paper to quantify the shape and describe the ontogeny of Agnostus pisiformis (Wahlenberg 1818: Nova Acta Regiae Societatis Scientiarum Upsaliensis 8, 1), a trilobite-like arthropod of Cambrian Series 3, from three coeval localities in Sweden. An ontogenetic difference was detected between geographically distant populations from Västergötland and Skåne in Sweden. These differences are probably the result of environmental dysoxic stress leading to increasing phenotypic variation. These findings illustrate the utility of EFA applied to the study of fossil organisms; permitting studies of such high resolution that multiple assemblages of the same species can be comparatively studied to achieve a more detailed understanding of their morphological and ontogenetic variation.

Keyword [en]
Agnostus pisiformis, Alum Shale, elliptical Fourier analysis, intraspecific variation, morphometrics
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319483DOI: 10.1111/let.12201OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-319483DiVA: diva2:1086961
Available from: 2017-04-05 Created: 2017-04-05 Last updated: 2017-04-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Morphometric analysis of Cambrian fossils and its evolutionary significance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Morphometric analysis of Cambrian fossils and its evolutionary significance
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) is currently emerging as a theoretical alternative to the Modern Synthesis (MS) in which to frame evolutionary observations and interpretations. These alternative frameworks differ fundamentally in their understanding of the relative roles of the genotype, phenotype, development and environment in evolutionary processes and patterns. While the MS represents a gene-centred view of evolution, the EES instead emphasizes the interactions between organism, development and environment. This novel theoretical framework has generated a number of evolutionary predictions that are mutually incompatible with the equivalent of the MS. While research and empirical testing has begun on a number of these in a neontological context, the field of palaeontology has yet to contribute meaningfully to this endeavour. One of the reasons for this is a lack of methodological approaches capable of investigating relevant evolutionary patterns in the fossil record. In this thesis morphometric methods capable of providing relevant data are developed and employed in the analysis of Cambrian fossils. Results of these analyses provide empirical support for the process of evolution through phenotypic plasticity and genetic assimilation hypothesized by the EES. Furthermore, theoretical revision to the species concept in a palaeontological context is suggested. Finally, predictions of the EES specific to the fossil record are made explicit and promising directions of future research are outlined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 63 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1506
Keyword
Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, phenotypic plasticity, genetic assimilation, phenotypic accommodation, Agnostus pisiformis, Mackinnonia, elliptical fourier analysis, species concept
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319487 (URN)978-91-554-9894-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-02, Norrlands 1 & 2, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-12 Created: 2017-04-10 Last updated: 2017-05-16

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