8th to 12th January, 2015 - Bayreuth, Germany

PS3 Paleobiogeography: The Importance of Fossil Data to Species Biogeography Past, Present, and Future

Saturday, 08:30-11:15, Audimax


  • Alycia Stigall, Ohio University, USA
  • Corinne Myers, Harvard University, USA

The fossil record is a rich source of data about the impact of environmental change on biotic systems. Whereas modern investigations can take a detailed look at how species respond to these changes, biologists are limited in temporal scope; i.e., studies may span decades, but species can persist for 2–10 Myrs. The fossil record provides a 544-Myr history illustrating how species have responded to environmental changes across their entire lifetimes. However, paleontological data have not been fully integrated within many aspects of modern biogeographic theory. The long temporal record preserved in the geological record provides an opportunity to explore the thousand-year or longer implication of changes observed in the modern world, such as global warming, sea level rise and fall, and species invasions. Utilization of Pleistocene and Quaternary fossils, notably fossil pollen, have resulted in innovative analyses and very significant interpretations, yet paleobiogeographic investigation into older parts of the fossil record are far less common. This under-utilization partly reflects methodological challenges (e.g., lack of, or inaccuracy in, climate models extending to deep time) and partly an historical expectation that detailed analyses were precluded by incompleteness in the fossil record. Both of these limitations have been mitigated over the past several decades. Recent efforts in stratigraphic correlation via sequence stratigraphy and global correlation efforts have provided a robust and detailed temporal framework for analysis in many time intervals. Furthermore, many “modern” biogeographic methods, such as species distribution modeling and phylogenetic biogeographic methods, have been adapted for use with fossil data. These advances provide a framework within which an unprecedented level of synthesis may be achieved between paleo— and neo—biogeography. This symposium will highlight those linkages, quantitative techniques, and the novel interpretations that can arise from such analyses.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Catherine Badgley, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, USA
    "Continental Gateways And The Dynamics Of Mammalian Faunal Change" 
  • Wolfgang Kiessling, Chair for Palaeobiology, GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Section Palaeoenviromental Research, Universität Erlangen, Germany
    "Biogeographic structure of marine benthic assemblages over the last 300 Million years" 
  • Thomas Denk, Paleobiology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm
    "Do we need fossils for historical biogeography?"
  • Thomas Servais (and David Harper), CNRS - University Lille, France
    "Origin of biogeography: 500 million years ago?" 

08:30PS3.1: Alycia Stigall et al.: Paleobiogeography: The importance of fossil data to species biogeography past, present, and future
08:45PS3.2: Thomas Servais et al.: Origin of biogeography: 500 million years ago?
09:10PS3.3: Wolfgang Kiessling et al.: Biogeographic structure of marine benthic assemblages over the last 300 Million years
09:35PS3.4: Thomas Denk: Do we need fossils for historical biogeography?
10:00Coffee Break (Foyer Audimax)
10:30PS3.5: Andrea Sánchez Meseguer et al.: Integrating fossils, phylogenies, and niche models into biogeography to reveal ancient evolutionary history: The case of Hypericum (Hypericaceae)
10:50PS3.6: Catherine Badgley: Continental gateways and the dynamics of mammalian faunal change

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