The progressive effect of the individualistic response of species to Quaternary climate change: an analysis of British mammalian faunas

This source preferred by John Stewart

Authors: Stewart, J.R.

Journal: Quaternary Science Reviews

Volume: 27

Pages: 2499-2508

ISSN: 0277-3791

DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2008.08.003

The individualistic response of species to climate change is accepted by many although how this process works across several climate oscillations has not been widely considered. A cluster analysis using the Bray–Curtis metric with single linkage to show relative faunal similarity was performed on successively older British mammalian faunas to investigate whether they become progressively different compared to the present day (Holocene). British mammalian faunas from MIS 3, 5, 11, 13 and 17 were compared with the Holocene revealing that the last glaciation (MIS 3) is more different than are any of the interglacials (MIS 5, 11, 13, 17). Furthermore, the interglacials generally become more distinct from the Holocene with age. This difference relates to the fact that interglacial faunas have greater proportions of extinct and extirpated species with increased age. The increase in extirpated taxa in turn relates to faunas becoming more non-analogue with greater age. The increase in extirpated elements with age probably relates to the individualistic response to climate change which appears to be progressing with time. The implications of this progressive process are considered in relation to refugia, extinction and evolution.

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