What drives major ecological and evolutionary changes in the seas? To explore this question we documented changes in the abundance of different clams in the Caribbean over the past 11 Myr.
The structure of clam communities shifted dramatically with an increase in the abundance of attached epifaunal bivalves and a decrease in infaunal bivalves. This was driven by the proliferation of coral reefs, ultimately caused by the closure of the Isthmus of Panama.
These data provide a classic case of proximate and ultimate drivers of evolutionary change. Jill Leonard-Pingel was lead author. Pdf forthcoming….