Ecosystem resilience and recovery from the Permo-Triassic crisis (EcoPT)
- Start date: 1 January 2017
- End date: 31 December 2021
- Funder: NERC
- Primary investigator: Professor Paul Wignall
- Co-investigators: Dr Alex Dunhill, Dr Daniel Hill, Dr Robert Newton
Eco-PT is a NERC-funded project that forms a component of the Biosphere Evolution, Transition and Resilience (BETR) programme that runs from 2017-2021.
The Eco-PT is a large research group spread over many institutes in the UK and China. The UK team includes Paul Wignall, Alan Haywood, Dan Hill, Alex Dunhill, Rob Newton, Bethany Allen and Jacopo dal Corso at the University of Leeds, Mike Benton, Armin Esler and Tom Stubbs at the University of Bristol, Barry Lomax and Matthew Kent at the University of Nottingham, Wes Fraser at Oxford Brookes University, Mark Hounslow at the University of Lancaster and Jason Hilton at the University of Birmingham. The Chinese partners are mostly based at the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) where the large team is lead by Professors Tong Jinnan and Chen Zhong-Qiang, but also includes Liu Jun at the Institute for Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing.
The principal aims of Eco-PT is to determine the cause of the Permo-Triassic mass extinction, especially in terrestrial settings and investigate the nature of ecosystem rebuilding in its aftermath. Projects include seeking sulphur isotopic evidence for atmospheric impact of the Siberian Traps eruptions in terrestrial settings in North China, investigating the nature of the crisis in shallow-marine to terrestrial transitional settings, using proxies for ozone cover to see if UV radiation played a role in the crisis and climate modelling of the super-greenhouse world. Macroevolutionary and macroecological recovery process will investigate a number of factors such as trends in trait changes and morphospace occupation.