Please note that this session was withdrawn and is no longer available in the respective programme. This withdrawal might have been the result of a merge with another session.


How do Earth surface processes, climate, and biodiversity interact during mountain building?

Mountainous landscapes exhibit large climatic and ecological gradients. They are also primary sites of erosion, sedimentation, tectonic activity and high biodiversity. This suggests a causal relationship between mountain building, Earth surface processes, climate dynamics, and evolutionary and ecological processes leading to high diversity.

The co-evolution of landscapes, climate and life across mountain ranges and their associated lowlands are shaped by the interactions and feedbacks between biotic and abiotic (i.e., tectonic, climatic, and surface) processes during mountain building over geological time scales.

On the one hand, these interactions include feedbacks between abiotic processes such as tectonically controlled surface uplift and climate change. For example, surface uplift enhances orographic precipitation, which in turn focuses erosion, thus affecting upper crustal cooling and leading to changes in surface uplift rates. On the other hand, biotic processes are linked through the responses of organisms to their abiotic environment. For example, the steep climatic gradients in tropical mountain ranges often select for specific species to occur in different elevations.

Interdisciplinary community efforts have focussed on improving our understanding of these interactions between abiotic and biotic processes. Recent studies demonstrated the dampening effect of vegetation on erosion and evaporation at orogen-scale, and the role of tectonically controlled surface uplift, climate and landscape evolution in creating ecological niches and promoting speciation.

In this session, we welcome contributions that explore and quantify the interactions and feedbacks between tectonically controlled surface uplift, surface processes, climate, and/or biodiversity during mountain formation from a modeling and proxy data perspective. This session is not only meant as a forum to discuss these interactions within an Earth system framework, but also an opportunity to nurture new collaborations that bridge the fields of climatology, geosciences and life sciences.

Co-organized by
Convener: Maud J.M. Meijers | Co-conveners: Lydian BoschmanECSECS, Paul EizenhöferECSECS, Susanne A. Fritz, Sebastian G. Mutz