Tom Hoyle, Ecosystems of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea in a changing climate, PhD thesis defense on 29 March 2019.
The Black Sea became connected to, and then disconnected from, the Mediterranean Sea several times during the last 430,000 years. These switches affected dinoflagellate communities, causing extinctions, disappearances and reappearances of certain species over time. We also demonstrate a major disruption to dinoflagellate communities caused by the flooding of marine water into the Caspian Sea at a time known as the Plio-Pleistocene transition (approx. 2.7 million years ago). Current evidence suggests that the source of the water could have been the Arctic Ocean. Conversely, the flooding appears to have had a moderating effect on land plants, providing moisture needed to sustain broad leaved forests even at a time of cooling and drying of climate globally. This demonstrates the importance of landlocked seas in controlling environments in the central parts of large landmasses such as Eurasia.
Dissertation in Open Access available via the UU repository.