sFOSSIL - Integrating Phylogenies, Fossils and Earth System Dynamics

First meeting: 05.-08.05.2014

Jan Schnitzler
Andreas Mulch

iDiv member:
Alexandra Müllner-Riehl

Project summary:
Present-day patterns of biodiversity are the result of long-term dynamics of speciation, adaptation, changing geographic ranges, and ultimately extinction. These dynamics are directly influenced by Earth surface processes that generate landscape and climate changes, environmental gradients and physical habitats, and thus set the stage for species evolution. However, a lack of integration between biological and geological sciences has impeded our understanding of how geology and climate collectively influence evolutionary processes. This workshop aims at developing a general analytical framework for the integration of biological information from both extant and extinct species with Earth surface processes to better understand the co-evolution of landscapes and life. We build on recent methodological developments, extensive compilations of species occurrences, traits, and advanced reconstructions of Earth surface processes. Data on extant and extinct species are becoming increasingly comparable because considerable efforts have been made to adjust for biases in the fossil record, and new molecular techniques and comprehensive fossil data sets now allow for integrated investigations of many taxa. With the advances of stratigraphic dating techniques and added sources of proxy information on past regional environments, isotope geochemistry provides new opportunities to more accurately describe and study Earth surface process histories of key regions for evolution. The integration of phylogenetic, fossil and environmental information will result in a new field of research at the interface between biological and geological sciences and provide a new trajectory for a better understanding of the fundamental processes shaping temporal and spatial dynamics of Life on Earth.

Alexandre Antonelli (University of Gothenburg); Katrin Boehning Gaese (Biodiversity & Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)); Lara Budic (University of Freiburg); Jussi Eronen (Biodiversity & Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)); Susanne Fritz (Biodiversity & Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)); Catherine Graham (Stony Brook University); Carina Hoorn (University of Amsterdam); Christine Janis (Brown University); Michelle Lawing (Texas A&M University); Lee Hsiang Liow (University of Oslo); Alexandra Muellner-Riehl (Leipzig University); Andreas Mulch (Biodiversity & Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)); Eva Niedermeyer (Biodiversity & Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)); Pasquale Raia (University of Naples); Björn Reu (Leipzig University); Jan Schnitzler (Biodiversity & Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)); Daniele Silvestro (Gothenburg University)

Meeting report


Fritz, Susanne A., et al. (2016). Twenty-million-year relationship between mammalian diversity and primary productivity. PNAS. see here

Antonelli, A., et al. (2018) Geological and climatic influences on mountain biodiversity. Nature Geoscience volume 11, pages 718–725. see here

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