A3: RAPID CLIMATE CHANGE AS TRIGGER OF LONG-TERM BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM CHANGES
The Quaternary (since 1.8 million years) has been affected by extreme climate variability on different time scales. Its glacial and inter-glacial cycles have had dramatic impacts on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. As the current biodiversity of these ecosystems is partly the result of high cyclical adaptational and migrational stress, a better understanding of biodiversity variability during the Quaternary should help drawing prospects for future climate-related biodiversity loss. Little is known however about natural and climate-driven biodiversity dynamics in the Quaternary. The purpose of our research is therefore to improve the current understanding of these dynamics by conducting analyses along a transect from terrestrial to shallow marine (reef) and open marine (nekton and benthos) ecosystems. In this regard, these projects are spatially and temporally complementary to project group A2.