Bambach, R. K., and Bennington, J Bret, 1996. Do communities evolve? A major question in evolutionary paleoecology. In Evolutionary Paleobiology: Essays in Honor of James Valentine. D. Jablonski, D. H. Erwin, and J. H. Lipps, eds., University of Chicago Press., pp. 123-160.


Chapter seven of Jim Valentine's classic book, Evolutionary Paleoecology of the Marine Biosphere, is titled "Community Ecology and Evolution" (Valentine 1973, 269?336). The first 62 pages of the chapter are about various general properties of community ecology and paleoecology, the next three and a half pages concern evolution of species within communities, and only the last two and a half pages focus on communities through geologic time. Valentine headed this short concluding section, "Many More Data Are Needed On Fossil Communities." Two decades later the data exist to deal more explicitly with the question of community evolution (105 of the 123 references used in this paper postdate the writing of Valentine's book). We hope to use these data to answer the question, do communities evolve? The focus in this paper is primarily on marine paleoecology in parallel with Valentine's original subject.