Research strategy in paleosynecology of marine benthos

Antoni Hoffman


Strategia badawcza w paleosynekologii morskiego bentosu

Evolutionary-ecological models relating the process of speciation and species extinction to a framework delimited by the structure of ecosystem, can be corroborated and tested by paleosynecologists. Despite severe methodological limitations of each paleoecological interpretation, the fossil record may under favorable taphonomic conditions enable an insight into the structure of ancient communities and ecosystems. The optimum strategy of research is to focuse at first on the recognition of empirical associations of organisms and thereafter, to evaluate their relations to environmental parameters. When this is accomplished, one may attempt to analyse the ecological structure of communities. Such an analysis should involve descriptions of both the autecology of dominant community members, and the taxonomic, trophic, and spatial structure of community. At last, communities can be compared to their extinct and extant analogues.

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