Geobiology is an interdisciplinary field of research, the methodologies of Geosciences iwS and biology, linked together, to explore interactions between the biosphere and lithosphere on the one hand, the Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere other. The goal is a holistic picture of the Earth system and its development in space and time. The holistic approach of Geobiology is the attempt, complex problems that go beyond the content, methods and objectives of individual bio - or geo-scientific sub-disciplines to solve.

While the geosciences contribute knowledge about the Earth's history, about fossil Live worlds on endogenous and exogenous dynamics, about plate tectonics, on the formation conditions, physical and chemical properties of minerals and rocks in the common area of ​​research, the biology examines the biosphere and its sub- units, such as ecosystems, populations, individuals, genes, etc. It gives an insight into the dynamics and functioning of extant living systems.


One focus of Geobiology is the Geomicrobiology, which examines the interaction between bacteria and minerals / rocks as substrate. Additional research topics include the origin of life, the conditions for life on planetary worlds, life under extreme environmental conditions (eg at hydrothermal vents ) and the " co-evolution " of organisms and abiotic earth, to the increase in the complexity and diversity of living systems to development of man and his culture led. In these questions reveals the relationship to Astrobiology, but still relies on other natural sciences such as astronomy and planetary science as a basis.

Among other things, the following disciplines of geosciences iwS and have the biology portion of Geobiologic Research: Palaeontology and palaeoecology, biogeography and paleobiogeography, climatology and paleoclimatology, Biogeomorphologie, pedology, landscape ecology and geo-ecology, biogeochemistry, geomicrobiology, physiology and genetics.

Geobiology in the strict sense

' Geobiology ' also refers to a biological research that deals with the distribution and spatial arrangement of organisms and communities depending on their constitution and the environment.

The Geobiology i.e.S. can be divided into two sub-disciplines: Geobotany and Geozoologie. It is also closely related to biogeography, a subdiscipline of geography. The competence areas of both sciences have a great similarity.

Work directions of Geobiology i.e.S. are:

  • The customer site, which deals with the spread of animal and plant communities. When working methods the complex diagnosis and the Flore analysis are available.
  • The animal and plant ecology, which deals with the relationship of animals and plants with each other and the interactions of organisms with their environment. When working methods the location analysis, ecosystem modeling, the material balance and the biomonitoring are available.
  • The palaeobiogeography. She has the geological causes of the development and distribution of animals and plants as objects of research. The working methods are among the available radiocarbon dating (also called C14 method), the pollen analysis and dendrochronology available.
  • The Biozönologie, which deals with the formation and spread of animal and plant communities. The working methods are Phytosociological recordings, succession analysis and vegetation mapping available.

See also: biogeography, landscape ecology.