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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 409:301-303 (2010)  -  DOI:

Expanding the envelope: linking invertebrate bioturbators with micro-evolutionary change

Deena Pillay*

Marine Research Institute, Zoology Department, University of Cape Town, PB X3, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa

ABSTRACT: Research on the influence of bioturbators has advanced considerably over the last decade. Their link to evolutionary change, especially their hypothesized role in the Cambrian explosion, has generated particular interest. This macro-evolutionary link, however, only partially reveals the role of bioturbators in evolution. A closer inspection of the literature shows that bioturbators may potentially play a greater role in this regard, especially at the micro-evolutionary scale, in which they indirectly influence the selective pressure on co-occurring species and, consequently, the evolution of novel morphologies, behavioural and social interactions. Such effects are absent in current thinking, but need to be integrated in order to reveal the full sphere of influence of bioturbators.

KEY WORDS: Bioturbation · Evolution · Elite structures · Cambrian explosion · Symbiosis

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Cite this article as: Pillay D (2010) Expanding the envelope: linking invertebrate bioturbators with micro-evolutionary change. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 409:301-303.

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