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Article Reference The European Mesonychid Mammals: Phylogeny, Ecology, Biogeography, and Biochronology
Here we review the fossil record of European mesonychids, which are known only through the genera Dissacus and Pachyaena from Thanetian and Ypresian localities (from MP6 to MP10 reference-levels). We describe two new species, Dissacus rougierae, sp. nov., and Dissacus raslanloubatieri, sp. nov., respectively from Palette (Ypresian, ≈MP7) and from La Borie (Ypresian, ≈MP8 + 9). We also describe new specimens of D. europaeus from Berru (Thanetian, ≈MP6). The evolution of the geographic distribution of the European mesonychids is characterized by three phases: (1) the mesonychid Dissacus appeared in Europe during the Thanetian (≈ 57–58 Mya), probably due to dispersal from North America; D. europaeus survived the PETM event (≈ 56 Mya) and possibly experienced a dwarfism; (2) the large mesonychid Pachyaena migrated into Europe shortly after the Paleocene-Eocene boundary (≈ 55 Mya), but it was restricted to northwestern Europe, while Dissacus is recorded at this time only in southwestern Europe (Palette); and (3) Pachyaena rapidly disappeared from European environments, while Dissacus subsequently dispersed into northwestern Europe (≈ 54–52 Mya). We performed phylogenetic analyses in order to identify the relationships of the new species among mesonychids. It seems that the mesonychids went through two radiative events: the first during the Paleocene, the second mostly during the early Eocene. The first one corresponds to the diversification of Dissacus, while the latter resulted in the appearance of the most specialized mesonychids, such as Pachyaena and Mesonyx.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017
Inproceedings Reference Dating the latest appearance of Neanderthals in Belgium
Belgium represents a key region for studying the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition (MUPT) in North-West Europe. This area sits at the crossroads between Palaeolithic cultural facies with influences from eastern, western and southern Europe intermingling during the Late Middle Palaeolithic and the MUPT. Until recently, a temporal gap believed to be around 4ka (ca 42-38 ky calBP) existed between the Late Mousterian and the earliest dated Aurignacian settlements in the region [1, 2]. The dates obtained on Neanderthal remains from Spy fell into this gap, making them the latest Neanderthals in the region [3]. Including the dates from Spy, a gap of two millennia remained between the dates on Neanderthals and the beginning of the Aurignacian. Based on this chronological evidence, the transition from Neanderthals to Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) in this region was believed to have been without contact between species. AMH would have settled in an area Neanderthals abandoned long before. As part of the PalaeoChron project, we have redated the Neanderthal specimens from Spy (tooth, maxilla and scapula), Engis 2 (skull and tooth) and Fond-de-Forêt (femur), using the compound specific radiocarbon dating method in place at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit. This method is based on the extraction of the amino acid hydroxyproline that occurs in mammalian collagen using preparative liquid chromatography. This method is more efficient than others in eliminating modern carbon contamination such as conservation materials. In this presentation, we report the new radiocarbon dates obtained on the Belgian Neanderthal specimens. These results show how much impact sample preparation can have on the AMS measurement when specimens have been heavily preserved with conservation materials, which is often the case for human remains. These results also now place the Belgian Neanderthal remains from Spy, Engis and Fond-de-Forêt in their proper chronometric context and allow us to refine our understanding of the disappearance of Neanderthals in north-western Europe and integrate this with other evidence for the human occupation of this region during the Palaeolithic.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019
Article Reference Diversity of strophomenid, orthotedid and orthid brachiopods in the Uppermost Famennian (“Strunian"; Upper Devonian) of the Avesnois (Northern France)
In order to contribute to assessment of the aftermath of the Hangenberg Biological Crisis that took place at the top of the Famennian (Upper Devonian), the strophomenid, orthotetid and orthid brachiopods from the ‘Strunian’-aged Etroeungt Limestone Formation (Avesnois, northern France) are described. The Avesnois is the historical type area of the ‘Strunian’, traditionally considered as the last Famennian substage. Although they are sometimes abundant in the studied sections, their generic and specific diversity is very low in the Etroeungt Limestone Formation. Moreover, the majority of the species belong to long-ranging genera (Leptagonia, Schellwienella?, Schizophoria, Aulacella).
Located in Library / No RBINS Staff publications
Inbook Reference Les restes d'animaux
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2021
Book Reference Bedforms as Benthic Habitats: Living
on the Edge, Chaos, Order and Complexity
Bedforms as benthic habitats are studied increasingly as acquisition and analysis of acoustic data improve in capturing, visualizing and quantifying terrain variables on various scales. However, feedback mechanisms between geomorphology and benthos are not always clear and complexity increases where humans also affect the benthos-landscape relationship. Based on research-oriented seabed mapping along the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS), a synthesis is provided on where increased biodiversity has been observed in relation to active bedforms.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017
Book Reference Building a 4D Voxel-Based Decision Support System for a Sustainable Management of Marine Geological Resources
For sustainable management of marine geological resources, a geological knowledge base is being built for the Belgian and southern Netherlands part of the North Sea. Voxel models of the subsurface are used for predictions on sand and gravel quantities and qualities, to ensure long-term resource use. The voxels are filled with geological data from boreholes and seismic lines, but other information can be added also. The geology provides boundary conditions needed to run environmental impact models that calculate resource depletion and regeneration under various scenarios of aggregate extraction. Such analyses are important in monitoring progress towards good environmental status, as outlined in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. By including uncertainty, data products can be generated with confidence limits, which is critical for assessing the significance of changes in the habitat or in any other resource-relevant parameter. All of the information is integrated into a cross-domain, multi-criteria decision support system optimised for user-friendliness and online visualisation.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017
Article Reference Cryptic diversity and ecosystem functioning: a complex tale of differential effects on decomposition
Marine ecosystems are experiencing accelerating population and species loss. Some ecosystem functions are decreasing and there is growing interest in the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The role of cryptic (morphologically identical but genetically distinct) species in this biodiversity-ecosystem functioning link is unclear and has not yet been formally tested. We tested if there is a differential effect of four cryptic species of the bacterivorous nematode Litoditis marina on the decomposition process of macroalgae. Bacterivorous nematodes can stimulate or slow down bacterial activity and modify the bacterial assemblage composition. Moreover, we tested if interspecific interactions among the four cryptic species influence the decomposition process. A laboratory experiment with both mono- and multispecific nematode cultures was conducted, and loss of organic matter and the activity of two key extracellular enzymes for the degradation of phytodetritus were assessed. L. marina mainly influenced qualitative aspects of the decomposition process rather than its overall rate: an effect of the nematodes on the enzymatic activities became manifest, although no clear nematode effect on bulk organic matter weight loss was found. We also demonstrated that species-specific effects on the decomposition process existed. Combining the four cryptic species resulted in high competition, with one dominant species, but without complete exclusion of other species. These interspecific interactions translated into different effects on the decomposition process. The species-specific differences indicated that each cryptic species may play an important and distinct role in ecosystem functioning. Functional differences may result in coexistence among very similar species.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2016
Article Reference Active dispersal is differentially affected by inter- and intraspecific competition in closely related nematode species (vol 124, pg 561, 2016)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2016
Article Reference Bostryx hennahi (Gray, 1828) the largest Chilean bulimulid (Mollusca: Pulmonata) rediscovered among Tillandsia communities in northern Chile
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2016
Article Reference The land Mollusca of Saint Kitts and Nevis (Lesser Antilles), with description of a new species
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2016