Southeastern Section - 57th Annual Meeting (1011 April 2008)
Paper No. 15-9
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM

PLIOCENE-PLEISTOCENE TEMPERATURE TRENDS IN FLORIDA USING DIVERSITY OF FOSSIL MAMMALS

RUEZ, Dennis R., Geology and Geography, Auburn University, 210 Petrie Hall, Auburn, AL 36849, ruezden@auburn.edu

Correlations between taxonomic diversity of modern mammals and climatic variables were established using datasets generated from ecoregion maps. Predictive equations from the statistically significant correlations were used to estimate temperature values for Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil sites in Florida. The estimated climatic variables were then compared to independent assessments of paleotemperatures.

The Neogene record of fossil mammals is represented better in Florida than any other North American region east of the Mississippi. However, both absolute temperature predictions and temperature trends from these predictive equations give unexpected results, including mean annual temperature estimates of below freezing. The strong relationships between modern mammalian diversity and current climate may not be applicable in the understanding of paleoecosystems. Unfortunately, uncertainties in chronologic placement of Florida's fossil localities and potential species-specific biases in accumulation impede more complete assessment of the fidelity of modern ecosystems to reflect past trends. For now, for paleoecology, it appears that the key to the past might not actually be the present.

Southeastern Section - 57th Annual Meeting (1011 April 2008)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 15--Booth# 9
Paleontology and Paleoclimatology (Posters)
Hilton Charlotte University Place: University Lake Ballroom Suites A, B, C
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Thursday, 10 April 2008

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 40, No. 4, p. 23

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