Rodents & climate. 1. A model for stimating past temperatures using arvicolids (Mammalia: Rodentia)

Université Montpellier 2 Sciences et Techniques, Montpelhièr, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology (Impact Factor: 2.34). 02/1997; 128(1-4):187-206. DOI: 10.1016/S0031-0182(96)00038-7


Analysis of 253 extant mammalian local faunas shows that the number of arvicoline species in each fauna is related to temperature parameters. The very high correlation allows us to propose a method to estimate the temperature for fossil faunas bearing arvicoline species from temperate areas. To illustrate this method, mean annual temperatures were estimated for Late Pleistocene Hungarian localities and for a sequence from the Baume de Gigny (Jura, France). These were compared with results obtained by other techniques (multivariate analysis of rodent associations and synthetic analysis of pollen, faunal, and sedimentological data).

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Available from: Serge Legendre, Mar 07, 2014
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    • "Many proxies were developed in order to quantify climatic parameters , derived either from palaeobiological approaches or geochemical methods. Palaeobiological approaches are mostly based on sediment, pollen (e.g., Guiot et al., 1993), mollusk (e.g., Rousseau, 1987), insect (e.g., Atkinson et al., 1987) or mammal assemblages (e.g., Griggo, 1996; Montuire et al., 1997; Hernández Fernández and Peláez-Campomanes, 2003), whereas geochemical methods are generally based on stable oxygen and carbon isotope compositions obtained from speleothems (Wainer et al., 2009; Genty et al., 2010), sediments (Hatté et al., 2001), mollusks (Lécolle, 1985; Colonese et al., 2013) or vertebrate bones and teeth (e.g., Ayliffe et al., 1994; Navarro et al, 2004; Fabre et al., 2011; Stevens et al., 2011; Hallin et al., 2012). These various approaches have the specificity to be independent of each other. "
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    ABSTRACT: The oxygen isotope composition of phosphate from tooth enamel of rodents (δ18Op) constitutes a valuable proxy to reconstruct past air temperatures in continental environments. This method has been applied to rodent dental remains from three genera, Arvicola sp., Microtus sp. and Dicrostonyx sp., coming from Taillis-des-Coteaux, Vienne, France. This archaeological site contains an exceptionally preserved sedimentary sequence spanning almost the whole Upper Palaeolithic, including seven stratigraphic layers dated from 35 to 17 cal ka BP. The abundant presence of rodent remains offers the opportunity to quantify the climatic fluctuations coeval of the various stages of human occupation of the site. Differences between δ18Op values of Arvicola sp. and Microtus sp. teeth are interpreted as the result of heterochrony in tooth formation as well as differences in ecology. Mean δ18Op values of Microtus sp. are preferentially used to reconstruct summer air temperatures, which range from 16.0 ± 3.7 to 19.1 ± 3.1°C throughout the sedimentary sequence; however, the highest variability is observed during the last glacial maximum.
    Quaternary Research 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.yqres.2014.06.006 · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    • "Currently, pollen assemblages from marine and terrestrial sedimentary deposits constitute one of the most valuable means to analyze the impact of these climatic fluctuations on continental ecosystems (Allen et al., 1999; Sánchez- Goñi et al., 2008; Fletcher et al., 2010). From archeological sites, paleoclimates are reconstructed with data provided by mineralogical, geochemical, palynological or paleontological studies, which are performed separately in most cases (e.g., Montuire et al., 1997; Delpech et al., 2000; Hernández Fernández, 2006; Cuenca-Bescós et al., 2009; López-García et al., 2010; Belmaker and Hovers, 2011; Discamps et al., 2011). However, in recent years, continental climatic reconstructions have been improved by using these faunal associations in combination with independent geochemical approaches. "
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    ABSTRACT: The middle Paleolithic stratigraphic sequence of Les Pradelles (Charente, France) spans from the end of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 4 until the middle of MIS 3. Micromammal remains are present in all the stratigraphic levels, offering a rare opportunity to address the questions of both environmental and climatic fluctuations throughout this period. Climate modes were studied through the taphonomy, biodiversity and oxygen isotope compositions of phosphate (δ18Op) from 66 samples of rodent tooth enamel. The δ18Op values from the lower sedimentary levels provide summer mean air temperatures of 19 ± 2°C (level 2/1) and of 16 ± 2°C (levels 2A, 2B and 4A). Within the middle of sequence (level 4B), a paleobiodiversity change can be identified with an increase of Dicrostonyx torquatus, which is associated with the largest amplitude in δ18Op values and the highest maximal δ18Op values. At the top of the sequence (level 5-2), a biodiversity change is observed with the increase of Microtus arvalis, but without any change in δ18Op values. The association of cold rodent species with unexpected high and large amplitudes in the δ18Op values of their teeth, possibly indicative of aridity, suggests their deposition during a Heinrich event.
    Quaternary Research 07/2013; 80(1):113-124. DOI:10.1016/j.yqres.2013.03.007 · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    • "The existence of diversity gradients among rodents across Europe is known since decades (e.g. Herrera 1974; Letcher and Harvey 1994; Baquero and Tellería 2001), but latitudinal diversity gradients have also been recognised more specifically for arvicolines (Hanski and Henttonen 1996; Montuire et al. 1997) and murines (Aguilar et al. 1999). If on one hand the recent and fast diversification of cricetids and murids after their arrival in Europe in the Miocene has been extensively studied (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: We analyse the changes in rodent regional assemblages based on 657 fossil-bearing western European localities distributed ranging from ca. 27 Ma (Late Oligocene) to ca. 3 Ma (Late Pliocene). We compare temporal and spatial patterns in order to identify the factors that drive the evolutions of communities. Regional assemblages are analysed based on the distribution of species richness among families. First, communities are temporally analysed to identify significant changes in their composition. Second, regional communities are spatially compared to indentify diversity gradients. The temporal analysis reveals that communities' evolution is marked by several breaks in their composition, related to either migration or environmental/climatic events. This evolution can be summarised in terms of shifts in the relative abundances of glirids, cricetids and murids within assemblages. In contrast, spatial analysis shows that only environmental changes induce long-lasting changes in diversity gradients. Some observations made on cricetids and murids extant relatives indicate that they have undergone a large dietary diversification enabled by a specific digestive tract (along with the diversification of other life-history traits), whereas glirids are more specialised. The opposite diversity dynamics of these groups emphasises the importance of family-level adaptive potential in diversity conservation issues when facing environmental changes.
    Historical Biology 11/2012; 25(5-6):655–677. DOI:10.1080/08912963.2012.739170 · 1.49 Impact Factor
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