Editors: Simonetta Monechi, Rodolfo Coccioni, and Michael Rampino
Can large ecosystem perturbations, rapid turnovers, and evolutionary novelties explain and be associated with large-scale climate changes, geological events, and extraterrestrial impacts? This volume identifies the causes that have influenced and accelerated events and processes of biological systems. Several papers show the interaction between major environmental perturbations and faunal and floral modifications in the marine record, providing a very detailed documentation of paleobiological changes. Some chapters offer case studies on a large spectrum of ecosystem changes with various causes and consequences, focusing on the Paleocene-Eocene transition and on the Late Devonian extinction. Others issues concern effects of the early Aptian Oceanic Anoxic Event, the aftermath of a minor extraterrestrial impact event in the U.S. gulf coastal plain, and the hypothesis of an overall evolutionary strategy of the coccolithophores toward smaller size concomitant with the inception of the Pleistocene global cooling.