ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS AS INDICATORS OF RECOVERY FROM THE PERMIAN-TRIASSIC MASS EXTINCTION
Ongoing study of Permian-Triassic terrestrial paleoecosystems of the South African Karoo Basin (Roopnarine and Angielczyk, 2012) have shown that prior to the Permian-Triassic extinction (PTME), community dynamics were optimally stable, and resistant to perturbations of primary production. Communities during the PTME, which suffered severe taxon losses, became even more resilient, but less resistant. Taxon richness recovered rapidly during the earliest Triassic, but paleocommunities were neither optimally stable nor resistant. Both stability and resistance, however, were equivalent to pre-PTME communities by the Middle Triassic. Taxon diversification and ecological function were therefore uncoupled in the aftermath, but both PTME recovery and restructuring can be defined relative to a stable, pre-extinction Permian dynamics.
Roopnarine, P. D. and K. D. Angielczyk. 2012. The evolutionary palaeoecology of species and the tragedy of the commons. Biology Letters 8:147-150