Examining trophic networks at the beginning of tetrapod terrestrialisation
The Late Devonian period marked the apogee of the terrestrialisation process with the establishment of complex continental ecosystems. Tetrapods followed plant and arthropod invasions on land, which changed Earth’s continental ecosystems forever. Their complete terrestrialisation has only been recorded by the Carboniferous and Late Devonian periods, which represent ideal starting points to help us understand this significant process. The EU-funded TNT project examines the trophic relationships in eight crucial and diverse Devonian vertebrate assemblages containing tetrapods. It blends calcium isotope analyses with statistical analyses of ecomorphological characters to reconstruct the trophic position and interactions and the palaeoecology of Late Devonian vertebrates under different environments and climates. TNT will estimate the predation pressures on tetrapods and ascertain whether they were a driving force for their terrestrialisation.
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