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Stratigraphic Paleobiology

Laddas ned direkt. Skickas inom vardagar specialorder. Whether the fossil record should be read at face value or whether it presents a distorted view of the history of life is an argument seemingly as old as many fossils themselves.

In the late s, Georges Cuvier argued for a literal interpretation, but in the early s, Charles Lyell's gradualist view of the earth's history required a more nuanced interpretation of that same record. To this day, the tension between literal and interpretive readings lies at the heart of paleontological research, influencing the way scientists view extinction patterns and their causes, eco-system persistence and turnover, and the pattern of morphologic change and mode of speciation.

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With "Stratigraphic Paleobiology", Mark E. Patzkowsky and Steven M. Holland present a critical framework for assessing the fossil record, one based on a modern understanding of the principles of sediment accumulation. Patzkowsky and Holland argue that the distribution of fossil taxa in time and space is controlled not only by processes of ecology, evolution, and environmental change, but also by the stratigraphic processes that govern where and when sediment that might contain fossils is deposited and preserved.

Mathias Harzhauser Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria showed how the use of high-resolution digital surface models can enhance our understanding of ecological and taphonomic pathways during the formation of multiphase time-averaged shell beds. Harzhauser and co-authors applied this pioneering technique to an Early Miocene oyster reef, a shell accumulation covering an area of m 2 with thousands of specimens.

Model estimates of the timing of past production are in good agreement with an independent sea-level curve. Paolo Albano University of Vienna, Austria opened the section of the Symposium dedicated to conservation palaeobiology with a talk on the impact of oil platforms on benthic assemblages in the Persian Arabian Gulf, a semi-enclosed basin that currently hosts the highest concentration of infrastructures for oil and gas extraction in the world.

He showed how the comparison between death assemblages which represent archives of species composition and community states over time and are inert to recent changes and living assemblages can be used to reconstruct the degree of recent, anthropogenic, community disturbances.

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Ivo Gallmetzer University of Vienna, Austria then presented a study on the ecological changes of molluscan communities in the northern Adriatic Sea during the last to 1, years, with the aim of clarifying the timing of major ecological changes in the past and defining pristine benthic communities as references for future conservation and management efforts. The northern Adriatic Sea, with its densely populated shoreline, is among the most degraded of marine ecosystems worldwide and is therefore particularly suited to study ecosystem modification under anthropogenic pressure.

Mairi Best Ocean Observing Consultant, Canada closed the Symposium with a talk on deep sea taphonomy in gas hydrate environments, showing an example from the Barkley Canyon, Canada. She showed data from ongoing observations of experimentally-deployed specimens fresh shells and cellulose using a remotely controlled crawler with camera and sensors, made with the aim of elucidating the formation and evolution of gas hydrate deposits, their distribution through time, and the ecological and taphonomic feedbacks that they generate.

The Palaeontological Association.

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My Account. Article from: Newsletter No. Written by: Silvia Danise.