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POLLEN RECORDS OF LATE QUATERNARY VEGETATION CHANGE: PLANT COMMUNITY REARRANGEMENTS AND 229 EVOLUTIONARY IMPLICATIONS and then shows the grouping of trees into communities whose upper size is determined by the area over which organisms interact directly with each other (Figure 13.6). Modern vegetation maps illustrate the different areas for vegetation regions (Figure 13.2), and Figure 13.4 and estimates from Webb (1988) for the time scale of recent formations fix the time scale for formations (see earlier discussion). The assumption that units with smaller areas exist for shorter times leads to the alignment of ecological units. This alignment illustrates the assumed role of orbital forcing in setting the upper age limit for the phenomena. Were the time scale of orbital forcing to change, then the age limit for formations should be changed. An alignment of evolutionary phenomena was constructed by plotting the temporal and spatial dimensions of genetically related units from individuals up through all levels of taxonomic units. The estimates from the fossil record for the average longevity of each species is 1 to 10 m.y. This fact leads to the evolutionary units being plotted along a different slope from the ecological units. The average pollen dispersal distance sets the size of demes for wind-pollinated trees (Levin and Kerster, 1975; Bradshaw and Webb, 1985). Incipient species represent genetically distinct populations that are evident today or at any time, but disappear within 1000 to 10,000 yr and therefore never fully qualify as species. Stanley (1979) defined them as aborted species. In general, higher taxonomic units such as families will be longer lived and more widely distributed than lower units such as genera, species, populations, or demes. A major result from constructing this figure is its illustration of how the ecological and the evolutionary axes diverge. The observations and theory underlying this divergence have been discussed in the previous section. Such figures as this should be useful in designing studies of how ecological processes influence evolution. These studies should lead to revisions in this figure as better understanding is obtained of the time constants and spatial coverage for each unit plotted. SPACE-TIME PERSPECTIVE When the temporal sequence of maps for spruce pollen is stacked to form a box, the contours among maps can be connected to form a three-dimensional surface in space and time (Webb, 1988; Banchoff, 1990). If contours for several abundance levels are connected, then we have a four-dimensional plot with abundance (a), varying in space (x, y), and time (t). Various cross sections can be removed from this box, such as maps and latitude-time or longitude-time plots. 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