Reconstruction of climate and hidden biodiversity in lakes: development of innovative paleoapproaches

aims and scope

Increase of temperature and biodiversity loss are major threats in the early warning systems of the planet, the high-altitude ecosystems. The analysis of sediment records provides evidence on past response of species to climatic changes, offering a unique framework to anticipate/expand our ability to manage these ecosystems. Among the commonly used paleoindicators, the analysis of cladoceran sub-fossils has relied on classical morphological counting. However, recent advances in mass spectrometry, which now need much lower sample sizes, and in molecular biology, with the use of sedimentary DNA, offer unprecedented opportunities to develop innovative approaches based on these REMAINS.


Cladocera are small crustaceans (see picture of the living animal below), which play a pivotal role in the pelagic food web and have a strong link with abiotic environmental variables. Moreover, they are the only zooplankton group that is most readily preserved and identified in sediments (see pictures of sub-fossils below)




Our proyect will use Cladocera (Crustacea: Branchiopoda) as a model taxon to develop new techniques to infer changes in climate and biodiversity in the past,  and the sensitive paleorecords of Sierra Nevada (Spain) to apply and validate our findings.