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Konigshof P.,Senckenberg Institute | Nesbor H.-D.,Hessisches Landesamt fur Umwelt und Geologie | Flick H.,Carl Orff Ring 5
Gondwana Research

New data from the Rheinisches Schiefergebirge in Germany offer insights into a complex marine basinal facies setting on the southern shelf area of the Old Red Continent. This interdisciplinary approach has the aim of providing a reconstruction of depositional and palaeoecological conditions of volcanic island induced reef growth during the Middle Devonian time. Devonian volcanic activity culminated in a Givetian-Frasnian phase producing mainly alkali-basaltic to basanitic melts. Some volcanic buildups reached sea level and gave rise to the development of reefs during times of reduced volcanic activity. Reef communities in the Lahn syncline were dominated by corals and stromatoporoids. In terms of conodont stratigraphy they began to flourish during the Middle varcus-subzone in the Givetian and lasted until the Late falsiovalis-subzone in the Frasnian. A facies model is presented for the entire area that clarifies the association of volcanism and reef development. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

In the year 1992 a lichen monitoring program in Hesse started to assess the effects of air pollution. The mapping of lichens at long-term monitoring sites (LMS) is conducted every five years following the lichen mapping guideline VDI 3957 Part 13. Since the early 1990s the lichen species composition has changed considerably. The proportion of acidophytes decreased reflecting reduced sulphur dioxide immission. Conversely, the relevance of species with sensitivity towards air-borne contaminants (reference species) has increased. The greatest enhancement can be recognized for those lichen species that are promoted by eutrophication. This documents the rising effects of airborne nitrogen compounds. However, the lichen species diversity at the individual LMS did not develop in the same way. For LMS characterized by high immission loads at the beginning of the survey, a strong increase of the air quality index until 2007 is observed. In contrast, LMS that were lowly polluted initially show a stagnating or slightly decreasing air quality index over time. Source

Gebhardt H.,Landesanstalt fur Umwelt | Rammert U.,Landesamt fur Landwirtschaft | Schroder W.,University of Vechta | Wolf H.,Hessisches Landesamt fur Umwelt und Geologie
Umweltwissenschaften und Schadstoff-Forschung

Background, aim and scope The use of biomonitoring is proposed for the identification, assessment and documentation of climate change impacts on the biosphere as requested in the German "National Adaptation Strategy" (BMU 2009), because • this method succeeds to present climatic changes in especially sensitive areas of Germany including their habitats, ecosystems, and species, • it can reveal relevant information about the migration and dispersal of new pests and diseases threatening humans, animals and plants, • it can provide politicians with information, documents and a basis for decision support to assess climate change impacts and • it is possible to develop new and to evaluate the effectiveness of existing adaptive measures. It is proposed to use the term .,climate biomonitoring" for biomonitoring methods that are able to indicate climate change effects. For several reasons (e.g. unified methods, common data basis, cost reduction) all federal states should participate in it. Today, bioindication is an indispensable method for the early detection of changes in the biosphere, giving information about special hazards (early warning system). Climate biomonitoring preferably makes use of already existing monitoring systems and data collections. Materials and methods Climate biomonitoring refers back to accepted and tested methods of bioindication to assess environmental changes. Existing methods are enhanced and supplemented in order to meet the particular needs for the indication of climate change conditions. On the basis of an evaluation of relevant and actual monitoring programs on state and national level we identify relevant impacts of climate change and programs providing relevant data, and we propose evaluation methods. Additionally, other data sources are described, that may enable further in depth assessments. Results An overview table systematically lists the monitoring programs on national and state level and shows their relevance for an assessment of climate change impacts on the biosphere. The relevance of the proposed approach is shown by an overview about the data sources as well as a presentation of first evaluation results. The need for further research and development and proposals for an enhancement of data provision and data exchange are given. Examples for the use and optimization of the method as well as further possibilities of development and ways to close knowledge gaps will be elaborated in further publications. Discussion This method provides the basis for a description of the changes caused by climate change as well as the development of scenarios and prognoses for a future assessment of climate change impacts. Furthermore, the secondary effects of climate change can be assessed using bioindication, especially the effectiveness of adaptation measures. For some climate bioindicators, the causal link between climate change effects and indicator response are sufficiently proven (eg. the reaction of spring time plant phenology), other cases still require cause effect studies to separate climate effects from those of other agents. The findings from climate biomonitoring are meant to be the basis for activities in order to develop both adequate strategies for adaptation and measures to avoid or to mitigate the effects of climate change. Also an appropriate advice for politicians, information of the public and the fulfillment of reporting obligations are intended. Conclusions Climate biomonitoring is shown to be an efficient method to demonstrate climate change impacts in especially sensitive areas of Germany concerning habitats, biocenoses and species distribution. First evaluations have already proven effects of climate change on the biotic environment. Since several years already, plant phenology provides valuable background data. It is possible to supplement these background data by joining them spatially with data from other relevant monitoring programs and other information (like topographic data). This enables us to identify and assess climate change based effects in disease dispersal and other phenomena as well as the evaluation of measures. Recommendations and perspectives It is recommended to secure a harmonized application of this method by the federal agencies and the state level actors, to improve the exchange of data and methods, to identify, access and use additional data sources, to develop the method further, and to publish respective results and knowledge. Since climate biomonitoring offers many advantages it may be assumed that it will be established internationally as a solid method of assessing the impacts of climate change on our living environment. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Eckelmann K.,GeoPlasma Laboratory | Nesbor H.-D.,Hessisches Landesamt fur Umwelt und Geologie | Konigshof P.,Senckenberg Naturmuseen und Forschungsinstitute | Linnemann U.,GeoPlasma Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
Gondwana Research

The southern Rheinisches Schiefergebirge, which is part of the Rhenohercynian zone of the Central European Variscides, exhibits several allochthonous units: the Gießen-, and the Hörre nappe, and parts of the Frankenbach imbrication zone. These units were thrust over autochthonous and par-autochthonous volcano-sedimentary complexes of the Lahn and Dill-Eder synclines. This paper reports a representative data set of U-Pb LA-SF-ICP-MS ages of 1067 detrital zircon grains from Devonian and Lower Carboniferous siliciclastic sediments of the autochthonous and the allochthonous areas, respectively. The cluster of U-Pb ages from the allochthonous units points to a provenance in the Saxothuringian zone. Zircon populations from the Saxothuringian zone are representative of a Gondwanan hinterland and are characterized by age clusters of ~. 530-700. Ma, ~. 1.8-2.2. Ga, ~. 2.5-2.7. Ga, and ~. 3.0-3.4. Ga. Further samples were taken from the autochthonous and par-autochthonous units of the Lahn-Dill and Kellerwald areas. A Lower Devonian sandstone sample from the Siegen anticline provides a reference for siliciclastic sediments derived from the Old Red Continent. These samples show a provenance representative of Laurussia with debris primarily derived from Baltica and Avalonia. U-Pb zircon age clusters occur at ~. 400-450. Ma, 540-650. Ma, 1.0-1.2. Ga, ~. 1.4-1.5. Ga, ~. 1.7-2.2. Ga, and 2.3-2.9. Ga. Provenance analysis and geochemical data of the Rhenohercynian zone provide new information on the evolution of magmatic arcs in the Mid-Paleozoic. The data set constrains top-SE and top-NW directed subduction of the oceanic crust of the Rheic Ocean. Subduction-related volcanism lasted from the Early Devonian to the Early Carboniferous and thus confirms the existence of the Rheic Ocean until the Early Carboniferous. The tectonic model outlined for the Rhenohercynian zone suggests a wide Rheic Ocean. © 2013 International Association for Gondwana Research. Source

Foster J.S.,University of Florida | Foster J.S.,Kennedy Space Center | Radtke G.,Hessisches Landesamt fur Umwelt und Geologie | Golubic S.,Boston University
Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences

The search for modern stromatolites was initiated by geologists in an attempt to understand the processes that governed the Earth for about five sixths of the history of Life. Entire land- and seascapes dominated by stromatolites are rare in the modern world of plants and animals. © 2011 Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Source

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