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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    • "Whereas many mammal genera that lived in the Plio-Pleistocene are still living today, allowing relatively reliable paleoclimate predictions (e.g., Hernández Fernández et al., 2007), species richness-related approaches form an attractive alternative for older intervals. For instance, the number of species within some higher taxon such as a (sub)family can be linked to climatic variable using the modern geographic distribution of that taxon (e.g. for temperature, Montuire et al., 1997). However, for increasingly older periods, also the climatic range of a higher taxon will depart more and more from its modern values. "
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    ABSTRACT: Both plant and vertebrate communities have been used to reconstruct paleoprecipitation. However, direct stratigraphic comparisons between the two types of proxies have hardly been performed, which is due to the fact that plant and vertebrate fossils usually do not occur together in single geological beds. Here, we focus on a series of 18 sites from the Neogene of Europe and Anatolia that contain both types of fossils, and compare paleoprecipitation predictions produced by the Coexistence Approach (plants) and the Climate-Diversity approach (micromammals).
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Quaternary Research
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Quaternary Research
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