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The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE) : definition, concept and duration.

Servais, Thomas and Harper, David A.T. (2018) 'The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE) : definition, concept and duration.', Lethaia, 51 (2). pp. 151-164.


The Ordovician biodiversification has been recognized since the 1960s; the term ‘The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event’, abbreviated by many as the ‘GOBE’, has been used for the past 20 years. The conceptual development and terminology applied to this crucial episode in marine life signify its considerable complexity. The GOBE includes successive biodiversity phases of the pelagic and benthic biotas, possibly decoupled. Put simply, the GOBE can be seen as a sequence of diversifications of the planktonic (late Cambrian–Early Ordovician), level-bottom benthic (Early–Middle Ordovician) and reef communities (Middle–Late Ordovician), although the boundaries of these ‘events’ are diachronous (as for the entire GOBE), and it is logical to assume that these communities co-evolved and interacted. The GOBE also includes several Biotic Immigration Events (BIMEs), such as the ‘Richmondian Invasion’ and the ‘Boda Event’, recording the large-scale dispersal of taxa from one biogeographical area to another. The GOBE is thus the sum of the diversity trends of all individual fossil groups showing rapid increases, diachronously, during different intervals and across different regions. It thus spans the entire Ordovician, capturing the increasing total diversity of marine organisms during the period. The GOBE is not simply one, but many sequential events.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Servais, Thomas & Harper, David A.T. (2018). The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE): definition, concept and duration. Lethaia, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:16 November 2017
Date deposited:06 February 2018
Date of first online publication:22 January 2018
Date first made open access:22 January 2020

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