University of Oulu

Muñoz-Martín, O., García-Girón, J. (2023). Can the Fate of the Non-avian Dinosaurs Help us to Predict the Consequences of the Ongoing Biodiversity Crisis?. In: Benítez-Andrades, J.A., García-Llamas, P., Taboada, Á., Estévez-Mauriz, L., Baelo, R. (eds) Global Challenges for a Sustainable Society . EURECA-PRO 2022. Springer Proceedings in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Springer, Cham.

Can the fate of the non-avian dinosaurs help us to predict the consequences of the ongoing biodiversity crisis?

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Author: Muñoz-Martín, Olga1; García-Girón, Jorge1,2
Organizations: 1Department of Biodiversity and Environmental Management, Universidad de León, Campus de Vegazana, 24007, León, Spain
2Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2025-06-12


The ongoing biodiversity crisis has urged the scientific community to concentrate more research efforts on the mechanisms underlying the mass extinctions that have repeatedly affected our planet in deep time. This work implements a novel combination of palaeoecological and statistical routines to assess disruptions in the trophic architecture of non-avian dinosaur communities across the latest Cretaceous (83.6–66.0 Mya) of North America. Using these extinct beasts as model organisms, this work aims at increasing our ability to predict the susceptibility of ecological communities to extinction events under different levels of environmental disturbance. There was a trophic shift in the large, bulk-feeding herbivorous ornithischians and theropod carnivores during the Campanian–Maastrichtian transition that led to a simplification of North American terrestrial food webs several million years before the asteroid impact. Their disappearance during the Maastrichtian (72.0–66.0 Mya) made terrestrial communities more prone to extinction in the aftermath of the Chicxulub impact, which suggests that conservation schemes should pay special attention to keystone species in present-day food webs. In conclusion, palaeoecological transitions in the fossil record provide a valuable source of information for predicting the potential consequences of large-scale disturbances on contemporary biodiversity.

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Series: Springer proceedings in earth and environmental sciences
ISSN: 2524-342X
ISSN-E: 2524-3438
ISSN-L: 2524-342X
ISBN: 978-3-031-25840-4
ISBN Print: 978-3-031-25839-8
Pages: 259 - 272
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-25840-4_30
Host publication: Global challenges for a sustainable society : EURECA-PRO the European University for Responsible Consumption and Production
Host publication editor: Benítez-Andrades, José Alberto
García-Llamas, Paula
Taboada, Ángela
Estévez-Mauriz, Laura
Baelo, Roberto
Conference: EURECA-PRO Conference on Responsible Consumption and Production
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
Copyright information: © The Authors, under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.