Biological and ecological experimental studies in laboratory and nature, and their applications to the paleo- and future understanding of marine environments
In order to discuss Earth marine realms and answer questions about biotic evolution and ecosystem functioning in the Past, Present and Future, scientists try to take various laboratory- or natural-based experimental approaches. This includes experiments controlling environmental variables, experiments with stable or radioactive isotopic biomarkers, breeding experiments, genetic analyses (e.g. ancient DNA), or so-called natural laboratories (e.g. the Lessepsian invasion via the Suez Canal or natural CO2 vents functioning as ocean acidification analogues). Altogether, they unriddle faunal and ecosystem functional responses to changing connectivity patterns, habitat change or global change threats. These experimental approaches are effective to make clear how biotic evolution takes place in nature, how ecosystems also act as functional labs and how Earth systems have moved and can move dynamically. They enable us to make more robust projections into the future or decipher past ecosystem trajectories with potential analogues to future change. In this session we welcome contributions that use experimental approaches in this context, but also discussing biogeochemical proxies that fix information of past environmental change during biomineralization in calcareous or siliceous tests.
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