The rise and demise of biodiversity hotspots. A geologist's perspective

Frank P. Wesselingh

Le vendredi 13 mars 2015 - Grande salle de réunion du CEFE - 11h30

Biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems is facing severe losses world-wide. But in order to understand the se-verity of the anthropogenic impact we must understand the resilience of faunas and processes that drive faunal turnover. Fossil lake systems are an ideal model system to study drivers of biodiversity change in the geological record. Not only to assess the development of biodiversity in such lake systems itself but also the landscape context of such change. In this talk we will look at the origin of the Amazonian megadiversity with a major role of a huge Miocene megalake Pebas. Furthermore we will explore the rise and demise of the unique endemic brackish water biota of the Caspian-Black Sea biota in the past two million years. Finally we will look into a record of marginal marine biodiversity (North Sea Basin, 2-4 million years ago). Component processes of biodiversity change or turnover (immigration, evolution and extinction/extirpation) can be distinguished and provide insights into driving processes behind biodiversity change. The geological perspective shows that turnover is a process of all times, but that the current rates are unprecedented and should be of great concern.Recent publications:
Renema W, (…) Wesselingh FP et al. (2008). Hopping Hotspots: global shifts in marine biodiversity. Science 321: 654-657.
Hoorn C, Wesselingh FP et al. (2010). The development of the Amazonian mega-wetland (Miocene; Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia). In: Hoorn C & Wesselingh FP (eds.). Amazonia, landscape and species evolution. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 123-142.
Joordens JCA, D’Errico F, Wesselingh FP et al. (2014), Homo erectus at Trinil on Java used shells for tool pro-duction and engraving, Nature. doi:10.1038/nature13962.