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The effect of paleoecology and paleobiogeography on stable isotopes of Quaternary mammals from South America

AutorDomingo, Laura; Prado, José Luis; Alberdi, María Teresa
Palabras claveQuaternary
Large mammals
Stable isotopes
South America
Fecha de publicación2012
CitaciónQuaternary Science Reviews 55: 103e113 (2012)
ResumenThe modern South American mammalian assemblage was determined by the closure of the Panama isthmus (w2.7e3.1 Ma) and later on, by profound climatic and environmental fluctuations occurred during the Quaternary as well as by the appearance of humans in the continent. In the present study, stable isotope analyses (d13C, d18OCO3 and d18OPO4 ) have been carried out on Pleistocene-Holocene northern inmigrant and endemic taxa from a broad latitudinal and altitudinal distribution in South America with the purpose of characterizing their paleoecology and the effects of the paleobiogeographic distribution on stable isotope results. Equids and gomphotheres show a wide range of d13C values going from woodlands to pure C4 grasslands. In the case of equids, Hippidion shows lower d13C values than Equus in the Late Pleistocene, whereas, in the case of gomphotheres, Cuvieronius and Stegomastodon differ in their d18O values on account on differences in their paleobiogeography with the former found in the Andean corridor and the latter dispersing through an eastern route. Isotope data of the rest of taxa (immigrant and endemic) are in general in good agreement with other previous isotopic and nonisotopic studies. The latitude threshold between mixed C3eC4 and pure C3 conditions have been pinpointed at w33 S in the Middle and the Late Pleistocene. Mammalian d18O values are intimately related to latitudinal and altitudinal distribution, with the latter exerting an overriding influence independently of latitude. Calculated altitudinal gradients (between 0.23&/100 m and 0.40&/100 m) are within the range of modern gradients.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.08.017.
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