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Project C2: Impact of climatic and environmental variability on faunal composition and distribution of molluscan and mammalian faunas in Eastern Africa

The causal link between climatic and faunal change has been hypothezised for faunal groups of different ecosystems. The aim of this project is to test these hypotheses by detailed analyses of Eastern African terrestrial and lacustrine community structures in a temporal and geographical context. For the terrestrial fauna interpretations are derived mainly from the analysis of ecovariables of mammalian communities, such as feeding habit, body size and locomotion preferences. For the lacustrine molluscan fauna a framework to trace environmental change is available with the utilization of molecular methods and phylogeographic analysis. By combining both strategies we expect to be able to develop a temporally and geographically fine scaled regional East African model of habitat and faunal change which can be linked to models of climate change in the African Mio-Plio-Pleistocene and provide insight into interdependencies of lacustrine and terrestrial evolutionary processes in relation to each other and to climatic change.

 

Project members:

Prof. Dr. F. Schrenk
Dr. C. Albrecht
Dr. O. Kullmer
M. Melcher
R. Schultheiß

Contact information available via Team

A well preserved fish fossil as well as pig and hippo teeth discovered by a colleague of the Geology Department of the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
  Tough roads, many spectators: Four-wheel drive vehicles are minimum requirement for passing dirt roads in order to reach fossil sites in Uganda.