Closest project: Ecophysiological signals of plant fossils as indicators of climatic and atmospheric change during the Paleogene
In this project the cooperation partner team studied the response of vegetation to Paleogene climate development. The Paleogene (about 66 – 23 million years B.P.) was a time of extraordinarily strong climatic and environmental changes. During this period, the Earth´s climate experienced a major global cooling and shifting from more or less icefree greenhouse conditions during the Paleocene/Eocene towards substantial glaciation of Antarctica during the Oligocene. These environmental changes should be clearly visible in distinct adaptation of land plants, i. e. in changes of various morphological leaf traits and corresponding adaptations of leaf functions. To detect and study these changes, we will measure, collect and analyse responsive leaf traits of fossil leaves stored in museum collections covering the whole Paleogene. Additionally, isotope data which provide information on ecophysiological parameters of plants will be obtained. The data will then be thoroughly analysed statistically to detect changes of ecophysiological parameters and/or correlations between parameters through time. Data from the considered material will also allow for calculating gas and heat exchange of the various taxa. The expected results will substantially contribute to our knowledge on climate-biosphere interactions. Furthermore, we intend to establish and intensify cooperation between the applying institutions with respect to collection-based research on long-term impact of environmental change on plant ecophysiology. The project increased visibility of collection-based research and aimed fostering further networking structures towards future expansions of the suggested initiative.
Duration: 2013 – 2017; Third-party funding: http://www.volkswagenstiftung.de
Roth-Nebelsick, A., Grein, M., Traiser, C., Moraweck, K., Kunzmann, L., Kovar-Eder, J., Kvaček, J., Stiller, S., Neinhuis, C. (2017): Functional leaf traits and leaf economics in the Paleogene — A case study for Central Europe. – Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimat., Palaeoecol. 472: 1-14.
Moraweck, K., Grein, M., Konrad, W., Kovar-Eder, J., Kvaček, J., Neinhuis, C., Roth-Nebelsick, A., Traiser, C., Kunzmann, L. (2019): Leaf traits of long-ranging Paleogene species and their relationship with depositional facies, climate and atmospheric CO2 level. Palaeontographica B 298 (4-6): 93-172. [doi.org/10.1127/palb/2019/0062]