The following important hypotheses, which have motivated the construction of the BREEMECO project proposal and may strongly affect interdisciplinary research activities (from geochemistry, through paleoecology, sedimentology, mineralogy), will be tested within the project:
1. Recognition of two thermal episodes in shallow-water and pelagic deposits from Dinaridic foreland basin.
2. Interpretation of the amplitude of changes caused by the Early Eocene Climate Optimum (EECO) event in shallow benthic foraminiferal (SBF) and nannoplankton assemblages, with emphasis on distribution of geochemical parameters (micro and trace elements) and heavy mineral composition in deposits.
3. Definition of Lutetian cooling episode in both lithofacies (shallow-water and pelagic), responses of larger benthic (LBF), smaller benthic (SBF) and planktonic foraminifera (PF), recovery of some life habitats within PF and SBF dwelling environments. The key issues here: ( i) Why switch in dominance of certain LBF? (ii) How can great thickness of the Lutetian pelagic deposits for? Did higher terrigenous influx and change in the accommodation settings provoke that or was it for the changes in sea-bottom characteristics? The answers would come from analysis of mineralogical and sedimentological composition of pelagic/hemipelagic deposits and the rate of weathering on the land.
4. Recognition of the consequence of Middle Eocene Climate Optimum (MECO) effect on benthos communities. Aside from assemblage’s interpretation, geochemical analysis of Nuttallides sp. tests and sedimentological and mineralogical studies of bulk sediments should reveal model how changes took place.
5. The future composition of benthic community in the Northern Adriatic Sea may be predicted by the effects of the EECO and MECO made on benthic organisms. Already registered 500 years hypoxia along with more often abrupt seasonal perturbations have and would affected benthic life, so information obtained from studying records of these thermal episodes can be used in comprehension of possible changes.