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✸ ✸ Tectonic and Geomorphic Drivers to Global Biodiversity

Highlights International Connections
Event Date | 2023/06/01 Address | Cisco Webex

High biodiversity is closely related to tectonic activity through well-understood processes of habitat creation through mountain building, topographic modification and topographic impacts on climate. However, tectonic processes and accompanying geomorphic surface processes can also lead to an increase in diversification rates through processes of habitat fragmentation. Surface uplift and surface deformation occur through tectonic processes such as faulting and crustal thickening and changes in the Earth’s surface are modified through geomorphic and climatic processes. Surface change is time dependent with complex, non-linear responses that result in complex space-time patterns of habitat creation, fragmentation and recombination. Fragmentation leads to speciation and recombination leads to an increase in diversity. Prof. Sean Willett explores these concepts with a series of examples of specific tectono-geomorphic scenarios, documented with geologic and biologic data and quantified through newly-developed numerical models of coupled tectonics, landscape evolution and biological clade evolution and dispersion. Examples include mountain-building through convergent orogenic wedge formation (Taiwan, Italy), rifting and the formation of rift escarpments (Madagascar), and strike-slip tectonics (Hengduan Mts, China).

Activity Goals aligned with SDGs Projects

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy Goal 13: Climate action


Science Cultivation、International Connections

Type of event




- Future Earth Taipei and Taipei Hub - IYBSSD@Taiwan - Center for Sustainability Science

Academia Sinica

Event Audience

To discuss the relationship between tectonic activity and biodiversity through habitat fragmentation and diversification rates.


Telephone Number




nDuring the meeting, Professor Sean Willett introduced the concept of association between high biological diversity and geological activities. The results of the meeting include a deeper understanding of how geological activity affects biological diversity models. Discuss the following main points and achievements:

The formation and changes of habitats: determine that geological activities play a key role in the formation of habitat formation through mountain construction, terrain changes, and impact on climate. This understanding provides the basis for further exploring the relationship between geological processes and biological diversity.

The crushing and diversification of habitats: The meeting emphasized that the geological process can not only create habitats, but also cause habitat crushing. This crushing process is recognized as a promoting factor for species differentiation, because the isolated ethnic group adapts to its unique environment. Participants realized that this crushing eventually led to an increase in biodiversity.

Geological Geological Scene: Professor Willett proposed a series of specific examples to illustrate the concept discussed. These examples include the construction of mountains in Taiwan and Italy through the convergence of mountains, the formation of a break and a broken cliff in Madagascar, and the performance of China's slippery structure in the Hengduan Mountains. Geological and biological data collected in these areas are used to support the relationship between geological processes and biological diversity models proposed.

Number of Participants51

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