Why is this research important?
At present, global climate is changing, and numerous animal and plant species vanish swiftly from the Earth's surface. We find ourselves in the middle of a new global extinction event, which specialists already call 'the Sixth Mass Extinction'. It is important, therefore, to realize that understanding patterns and processes of past ecologic crises and biodiversity changes is no longer a matter of purely academic interest. Studies of biotic and biogeochemical change related to deglaciation and extinction events in the geological past may substantially contribute to predictions of the long-term consequences of the current, man-induced crisis.