The purpose of the GAARAnti project is to unravel couplings between deep Earth dynamics and evolutionary processes through an innovative and original multi-disciplinary study combining Earth and Life sciences. This innovative approach will reconcile biological and geological clocks and timeframes through the combined use of radiochronological methods, biostratigraphy and phylogenetic inferences, to constrain the Cenozoic paleo-biogeography of the Antillean arc. The GAARAnti project will generate novel collaborative works between geologists/marine geophysicists and biologists/paleontologists and new results by constraining the pattern, timing, and dynamics of biodiversity in Lesser Antilles at the Cenozoic scale. This will in turn allow untangling biotic and geological constraints that forced such history. In the frame of the ongoing debate about the Cenozoic origin of terrestrial organisms of the Greater Antilles, GAARAnti will focus on the role of subduction dynamics onto the evolution of emergent areas as a promoter or an antagonist of the dispersal of the terrestrial fauna. Although it is now widely admitted that most components of Antillean terrestrial communities originated from South and Central America, the mechanisms (dispersal vs vicariance) responsible for the observed evolution and its precise timing are still highly debated. Previous studies have mainly addressed this question through Earth sciences or Life sciences separately. We are confident and deeply believe that our innovative and original multi-disciplinary approach within the GAARAnti project will generate major advances in the knowledge of Cenozoic Antillean biodiversity dynamics.
The project is organized in five tightly interconnected scientific tasks and a supplementary management task including annual meetings (Task 0). Task 1, based on fieldworks, will quantify past emergent areas through Cenozoic times, and estimate the timing and duration of land emersion periods (amplitude and rate of vertical motions) both being key constraints for paleo-geographic reconstructions. Task 2 will estimate divergence times among living, recently extinct, and fossil mammals from the Lesser Antilles. We will then clarify the pattern and timing of mammalian dispersals into the Caribbean and propose paleo-biogeographic models. Task 3 will refine the knowledge of the poorly known structure of both the Aves Ridge and the Lesser Antilles back-arc domains, i.e., the most probable dispersal pathways. This task is connected to the GARANTI marine cruise project, taking place in May-June 2017 and aiming at acquiring a large dataset of Wide Angle Seismic (WAS) and Multi-Channel Seismic (MCS) lines and dredged/cored samples. Onshore-offshore correlations will be realized to establish paleogeographic reconstructions at the scale of the Eastern Caribbean. In Task 4, we will perform 2D/3D numerical and analog models of subduction in order to simulate surface response (topographic variations) to deep processes and to propose a global framework for the geodynamic evolution of the Lesser Antilles arc during the Cenozoic. Task 5 is a central and federative task in the project aiming at (1) establishing palinspastic reconstructions, (2) testing the influence of abiotic (temperature, eustasy, continental domain surfaces) vs biotic variables (species diversity, clade diversity, clade-specific shifts) based on birth-death models and (3) develop new mixed models to test the link between abiotic and biotic variables (to be assembled during the project) and the macroevolutionary dynamics of studied groups in the Antilles.
Beyond the novel expected scientific outcomes, the GAARAnti project will promote the preservation of both the geological and paleontological patrimony of the Antilles by disseminating results through local institutions of scientific popularization that are associated to the projects and through collaborations with local primary and high schools and Guadeloupe ESPE.
Monsieur Philippe Münch (Géosciences Montpellier)
L'auteur de ce résumé est le coordinateur du projet, qui est responsable du contenu de ce résumé. L'ANR décline par conséquent toute responsabilité quant à son contenu.
GM Géosciences Montpellier
ISEM Institut des Sciences de L'Evolution de Montpellier
Aide de l'ANR 490 114 euros
Début et durée du projet scientifique : septembre 2017 - 48 Mois