Field of Science

The Future Direction of Late Triassic Terrestrial Ecosystem Research

Here is an excellent synthesis by Randall Irmis and Jessica Whiteside of ongoing and future research in the Late Triassic, particularly in North America. These are topics of great interest to me and Jeff Martz right now and we have a paper in press that will delve into our side of this research.  We are also working closely with colleagues such as Randy and Jessica on some aspects of this work and I am proud that Petrified Forest National Park is one of the settings for this exciting research.

It is a Spotlight article so there is no abstract. You can e-mail Randall Irmis for a PDF.

This excerpt makes a key point that I have been a strong proponent for:

"The key for understanding Late Triassic terrestrial ecosystems is that all of these new studies focus on stratigraphic sections where multiple different research approaches can be applied to maximize the data recovered from the same area."

Instead  of various researchers working haphazardly, conducting different studies on different outcrops, coordinating this research instead with everyone working in the same areas under the same detailed stratigraphic foundation allows for a final amalgamation of data leading to stronger supported interpretations for all parties involved. This is exactly what has been going on at the Petrified Forest over the last few years and the story coming out of the rocks and fossils is just amazing.

Irmis, R. B., and J. H. Whiteside. 2010. Newly integrated approaches to studying Late Triassic terrestrial ecosystems. Palaios 25:689-691. DOI: 10.2110/palo.2010.S06

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