Marine fossils reveal that it took millions of years for ecosystems to recover from the asteroid impact widely believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs.
In addition to killing the dinosaurs, the impact caused many other species to go extinct, including 90 percent of calcifying plankton a type of phytoplankton that produce calcium carbonate shells, a team led by Sarah Alvarez of the University of Gibraltar reports in the journal Nature.
Such phytoplankton are important to the ocean food web but are also useful to palaeontologists because their shells leave easy-to-study fossils.
Using 54 metres of core sample from the Shatsky Rise, 1,500 kilometres east of Japan, Alvarezs team painstakingly teased out 700,000 plankton fossils from a 13-million-year time span, beginning shortly before the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) extinction, as the dino-killing event is known to geologists.
This allowed them to obtain a remarkable glimpse into how a marine ecosystem reboots following a mass extinction. We wanted to find out how long the ocean ecosystems took to recover and how this happened, Alvarez says.
They also wanted to see how the recovery related to the restoration of the carbon cycle, in which phytoplankton grow in surface waters, then die and sink to the depths, carrying their stored carbon with them a major part of the Earths carbon cycle in which they help remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
One thing the scientists found was that while most species of phytoplankton went extinct, others rebounded rapidly. But for the first 1.8 million years, their numbers and types varied wildly. Those that were present were also unusually tiny.
At the same time, the amounts of carbon reaching the seafloor (measured by prior researchers) were low, meaning that the carbon cycle wasnt functioning all that well, says Alvarezs co-author, Andy Ridgwell, a climate scientist at the University of California, Riverside.
When the carbon cycle did recover, it corresponded to stabilisation of the ecosystem, as well as a shift to larger (and presumably healthier) cells. But interestingly, this occurred millions of years before plankton had recovered to anything close to their pre-extinction levels of biodiversity.
The result is a mix of good news and bad news for those worried about extinctions caused by such human activities as habitat destruction and anthropogenic climate change.
The good news is that an ecosystem can lose a lot of diversity and still be functional, as was the case 1.8 million years after the K/Pg mass extinction.
From that point of view, Ridgwell says, the climate trolls would be right in saying that high biodiversity doesnt matter.
But, he says, to function, an ecosystem has to have the species needed to do the job, and its not obvious which ones are lynchpins until its too late.
You could look at biodiversity as a backup, he says. The key to preserving biodiversity is that the system could collapse if you remove the right [or wrong] piece, and if you dont know the right piece you cant risk losing things.
And if a collapse does occur, recovery could take a long time 1.8 million years in the case of the K/Pg extinction.
Not to mention that utilitarian values arent the only ones. Theres also all those things about beauty, Ridgwell says. Everything you cant quantify in terms of dollars or petagrams of carbon.
Other scientists are impressed.
Beyond the importance for understanding the K/Pg event, studies like this one I find to be sobering cautionary tales that warn how very long earth systems can take to recover from perturbations, says Ken MacLeod of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
This paper represents an enormous amount of work, adds Sean Gulick, a geophysicist at the University of Texas, Austin.
See original here:
- [2020 Outlook] Indian startup ecosystem raring to break new ground in the new year - YourStory - January 2nd, 2020
- [2020 Outlook] What investors expect for the Indian startup ecosystem in the year ahead - YourStory - January 2nd, 2020
- Chuck Todd Finds All the Disinformation In 'Ecosystem Problem' on the Right - NewsBusters - January 2nd, 2020
- THE CONNECTIVITY B2B ECOSYSTEM: How 5G and next-gen networks are transforming the role telecoms play in enterp - Business Insider India - January 2nd, 2020
- Looking back at the Indian startup ecosystem in 2019 - YourStory - January 2nd, 2020
- 2019 In Review: Key Milestones That Indian Startup Ecosystem Achieved This Year - Inc42 Media - January 2nd, 2020
- Vivo, OPPO and Xiaomi Partner to Bring New Wireless File Transfer System to Global Consumers - PRNewswire - January 2nd, 2020
- Bringing start-ups and corporates together to foster maritime innovation - Riviera Maritime Media - January 2nd, 2020
- Regional disparities in the Indian innovation ecosystem - Forbes India - January 2nd, 2020
- Fixing the rot in Indias financial ecosystem - The New Indian Express - January 2nd, 2020
- The inside story of the AppStore, Salesforces Marc Benioff, and a gifted URL to Steve Jobs - 9to5Mac - January 2nd, 2020
- 2019 In Review: The Best Of Inc42 - Inc42 Media - January 2nd, 2020
- For 2020, Cross River Bank Says It Will Increase Collaboration to Grow New Jersey's Fintech Ecosystem - njtechweekly.com - January 2nd, 2020
- As healthcare moves to the home, CISOs can't be 'Dr. No' - MobiHealthNews - January 2nd, 2020
- The story of why Marc Benioff gifted the AppStore.com domain to Steve Jobs - TechCrunch - January 2nd, 2020
- NBCs Ben Collins to Chris Hayes: Trump Retweets Shady Accounts Because He Listens to Alternate Ecosystem Where Hes God Emperor - Mediaite - January 2nd, 2020
- The moon and Earths ecosystem - OrissaPOST - January 2nd, 2020
- Frontline Systems Launches Analytic Solver V2020: Tool for Analytics-Powered Decision Models in the Microsoft Ecosystem - PR Web - January 2nd, 2020
- Time to stop playing with acronyms and create vibrant eco system in North East - Economic Times - December 21st, 2019
- What You Can Do to Build an Innovative Ecosystem - CMSWire - December 21st, 2019
- TrueFort Expands Fortified Ecosystem with Infoblox and Others - Business Wire - December 21st, 2019
- Driving up the value of AI starts with building an ecosystem - CIO Dive - December 21st, 2019
- OKEx Research: Ecosystem, and Innovative Products - newsBTC - December 21st, 2019
- The Unter-class is the Whole Ecosystem - Fairplanet - December 21st, 2019
- Paige Raises $45M to Expand AI-Native Digital Pathology Ecosystem to Accelerate Biomarker Discovery - HIT Consultant - December 21st, 2019
- Dotscience Gains Momentum in the MLOps Ecosystem and Accelerates Deployment of Machine Learning Models into Production with New Technology... - December 21st, 2019
- Rakshit Shetty talks about 'Avane Srimannarayana' and the eco-system that enables his work - The Hindu - December 21st, 2019
- Are Apple Macs worth the money? - scallywagandvagabond - December 21st, 2019
- Silicon Labs and Z-Wave Alliance Expand Smart Home Ecosystem by Opening Z-Wave to Silicon and Stack Suppliers - PRNewswire - December 21st, 2019
- Transforming the insurance sector to an Open API Ecosystem - Finextra - December 21st, 2019
- Apple Issues New Blow To Google With This Bold Security Move - Forbes - December 21st, 2019
- Why the $52K Mac Pro is important for everyone who cares about the survival of the Mac ecosystem - ZDNet - December 21st, 2019
- The Top 3 Fintech Stocks to Buy in 2020 - Motley Fool - December 21st, 2019
- GW addresses report recommendations to improve research - GW Hatchet - December 21st, 2019
- Hyundai teases flying car concept ahead of CES - Autoblog - December 21st, 2019
- N.S. won't protect land with 'globally rare' ecosystem that company eyes for golf resort - CBC.ca - December 21st, 2019
- OPPO announces three initiatives to co-build new intelligent service ecosystem with developers & partners - United News of India - December 21st, 2019
- Ecosystem | Definition of Ecosystem by Merriam-Webster - November 21st, 2019
- Ecosystem - Wikipedia - November 21st, 2019
- Has Arm Discovered the Ecosystem Keys? - The Next Platform - November 21st, 2019
- Integrating Global Seagrass and Mangrove Ecosystem Observations - Eos - November 21st, 2019
- The collapse of the information ecosystem poses profound risks for humanity - The Guardian - November 21st, 2019
- Dreamforce 2019: Salesforce Outlines Initiatives To Ignite Ecosystem Growth - CRN: The Biggest Tech News For Partners And The IT Channel - November 21st, 2019
- Ten Predictions On The Future Of Work, VC And The Tech Ecosystem For 2020 And Beyond - Forbes - November 21st, 2019
- Galt Earth Day: Lucero Farms partners with the ecosystem - The Galt Herald - November 21st, 2019
- Why Your Organization Needs an Innovation Ecosystem - Harvard Business Review - November 21st, 2019
- Ecosystem Kickstarter is a cardboard structure that fights soil erosion - Dezeen - November 21st, 2019
- Sapiens Expands Its Partnership Ecosystem With Lightico to Enhance Digital Customer Interactions for the Insurance Market - MarTech Series - November 21st, 2019
- How human and animal excrement harm the planet's ecosystem - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - November 21st, 2019
- Working in Partnership to Power the News Ecosystem - Reuters - November 21st, 2019
- Mellanox, JVP To Develop Haifa's Tech And Innovation Ecosystem With $14M Investment | Technology News - NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News - November 21st, 2019
- Oracle's Aubrey Hawes on Open Banking and ecosystem building - Tearsheet - November 21st, 2019
- Vermont Futures Project recommends strengthening the innovation ecosystem - Vermont Biz - October 24th, 2019
- Android 9 was installed on less than a quarter of the ecosystem as Android 10 launched - The Verge - October 24th, 2019
- Leave those fall leaves for a nicer lawn and a healthier ecosystem - Greater Greater Washington - October 24th, 2019
- Innovation and safety: creating a safer road transport ecosystem - Intelligent Transport - October 24th, 2019
- Inmar Expands Innovator Ecosystem with Acquisition of Digitus Solutions - Yahoo Finance - October 24th, 2019
- Plasan Introduces the StreetDrone Open Autonomy Platform to Israel - Army Technology - October 24th, 2019
- Investing In The Nonprofit Ecosystem - Forbes - October 24th, 2019
- 35 New Integration Partners Join Thriving Clio App Ecosystem - Yahoo Finance - October 24th, 2019
- Trump Wants Loggers to Tear Through This Pristine Forest. If It Happens, the Ecosystem Will Be in Chaos. - Mother Jones - October 24th, 2019
- Treating the IT Ecosystem as an Actual Ecosystem - MarketScale Industries - October 24th, 2019
- Identity and Access Management for Healthcare getting it right to support clinical workflows Part Two - HealthLeaders Media - October 24th, 2019
- Understanding Startup Investment Dynamics Within The Logistics Ecosystem - Benzinga - October 24th, 2019
- Understanding the Decentralized Finance Ecosystem: Part 2 Top DeFi Projects - Bitcoin & Crypto Guide - Altcoin Buzz - October 24th, 2019
- Indian startups have raised a record $11.3B this year - TechCrunch - October 24th, 2019
- Global Access Control Ecosystem, 2019 | 5 Year Forecasts of Unit Sales & Revenues for Smart Door Locks, Video Doorbells, and Smart Garage Door... - October 24th, 2019
- Restoration Agriculture: A New Approach to Growing Food - WCAI - October 24th, 2019
- Yurok Tribes Connection to Klamath River Weakens as Ecosystem Declines - The LumberJack - October 24th, 2019
- For the love of learning: Moglix boss is a fan of NYC's startup ecosystem, LA's diversity - Economic Times - October 24th, 2019
- The Value Of Pollinators To The Ecosystem And Our Economy - Forbes - October 16th, 2019
- Stanford trustees hear annual report from president, discuss the university's research ecosystem, sustainability solutions - Stanford University News - October 16th, 2019
- Op-ed | The space industry: A closer look at the new ecosystem - SpaceNews - October 16th, 2019
- Merged Mining in Bitcoin: Contributing to Sustainability on the Bitcoin ecosystem - Equities.com - October 16th, 2019
- China has built 'massive global data-collection ecosystem' to boost its interests - The Guardian - October 16th, 2019
- SoftAtHome Welcomes Aerial Technologies to Software Ecosystem to Accelerate Innovation in the Digital Home - Multichannel News - October 16th, 2019
- Biopharma Leaders to Discuss and Share Insights on the Regional Biopharma Ecosystem at LeadingBiotech's NY/NJ CEO Conference - Yahoo Finance - October 16th, 2019
- Huawei, HKT, and GSA Jointly Release the Indoor 5G Scenario Oriented White Paper at 2019 MBBF - GlobeNewswire - October 16th, 2019
- Ecosystem creation vital ahead of 5G Orange SVP - Mobile World Live - October 16th, 2019
- Zoomtopia 2019 Showcases Expanded Unified Communications Platform and Ecosystem, and New Technologies to Empower Communications - Yahoo Finance - October 16th, 2019