Biotic consequences of temperature-related stresses across temporal scales

Third Party Funds Group - Sub project

Overall project details

Overall project: FOR 2332: Temperature-related stresses as a unifying principle in ancient extinctions (TERSANE)

Overall project speaker:
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kießling (Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt)


Project Details

Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kießling


Contributing FAU Organisations:
Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt

Funding source: DFG / Forschergruppe (FOR)
Acronym: FOR 2332
Start date: 01/01/2016


Abstract (technical / expert description):


Understanding the physiological constraints of extant species is of critical importance to interpret ancient responses to temperature-related stresses (TRS). Likewise, anticipating the biotic responses to current climate change will benefit from an analysis of biotic responses observed in the geological past. Embedded in the Research Unit TERSANE we propose a project, which explicitly combines neontological and paleontological approaches to assess the consequences of warming, ocean acidification, and various degrees of hypoxia for marine life. The project focuses on the compilation and analysis of large datasets and has three main components: (1) A meta-analysis of (a) extant organisms will summarize experimental and observational data on responses and critical limits of marine organisms to quantify the sensitivities of higher, fossilizable taxa to warming, ocean acidification, and hypoxia and their synergies, and (b) a meta-analysis of fossil observations will focus on assessing the veracity of the Lilliput effect, the reduction of body sizes in the aftermath of mass extinctions, which is sometimes thought to be related to TRS. (2) The analysis of primary occurrence data from the fossil record will evaluate the physiological and biogeographic selectivity of the end-Permian and Early Jurassic extinction events to test if the physiological principles derived from modern observations scale up to selective extinction risk in the face of extreme climate change. (3) The assessment of ancient rates of climate and environmental changes from local sections is critical to test if these rates were genuinely lower than over the last 50 years, or if the apparently lower rates observed in the past are just statistical artifacts due to the different time scales. A scaling-adjusted rate estimate will help making our findings relevant for modern climate change ecology. These three components will finally be integrated to evaluate the commonality of patterns and eco-physiological selectivity of extinctions as visible in paleo- and extant data.



External Partners

Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI)

Last updated on 2018-22-11 at 18:01