Initiative: Research in Museums

Project: Ecophysiological signals of plant fossils as indicators of climatic and atmospheric change during the Paleogene

Project goals

In this project we intend to study the response of vegetation to Paleogene climate development. During the Paleogene, major changes in temperature, humidity and CO2 occurred which should be clearly visible in distinct changes of various morphological leaf traits and corresponding adaptations of leaf functions. For this purpose, we will measure, collect and analyse responsive leaf traits of fossil leaves stored in museum collections covering the whole Paleogene. Additionally, isotope data which provide information on ecophysiological parameters will be obtained. The data will then be thoroughly analysed statistically to detect changes of parameters and/or correlations between parameters through time. Data from the considered material will also allow for calculating gas and heat exchange of the various taxa. With this project we also intend to strengthen collection-based research on long-term impact of environmental change on ecophysiology.

Project partners

- National Museum, Prague (NMP)
- Senckenberg Natural History Collections, Dresden (MMG)
- State Museum of Natural History, Stuttgart (SMNS)
- Technical University, Dresden (TUD)

Further information about the project

- coming soon; the portal is under construction!


PD Dr. Anita Roth-Nebelsick
Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Paläontologie
Rosenstein 1
D-70191 Stuttgart
email: anita.rothnebelsick(at)

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