Evolution of Body Size in the Woodrat over the Past 25,000 Years of Climate Change

  title={Evolution of Body Size in the Woodrat over the Past 25,000 Years of Climate Change},
  author={Felisa A. Smith and Julio L. Betancourt and James H Brown},
  pages={2012 - 2014}
Microevolutionary changes in the body size of the bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea) since the last glacial maximum were estimated from measurements of fecal pellets preserved in paleomiddens from the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau of the United States. The changes closely track regional temperature fluctuations simulated by the Community Climate Model of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and also those estimated from deuterium isotope ratios of plant cellulose recovered from… Expand
Response of Bushy-Tailed Woodrats (Neotoma cinerea) to Late Quaternary Climatic Change in the Colorado Plateau☆
Abstract Temperature profoundly influences the physiology and life history characteristics of organisms, particularly in terms of body size. Because so many critical parameters scale with body mass,Expand
Climate change, body size evolution, and Cope's Rule in deep-sea ostracodes
  • G. Hunt, K. Roy
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2006
Size measurements from Cenozoic populations of the ostracode genus Poseidonamicus are used, in conjunction with phylogeny and paleotemperature estimates, to show that climatic cooling leads to significant increases in body size, both overall and within individual lineages. Expand
The Influence of Climate Change on the Body Mass of Woodrats Neotoma in an Arid Region of New Mexico, USA
Earth system scientists have recently concluded that anthropogenic induced climate change is detectable. Because many aspects of an organism's ecology and evolution are influenced by environmentalExpand
The sensitivity of Neotoma to climate change and biodiversity loss over the late Quaternary
The late Quaternary in North America was marked by highly variable climate and considerable biodiversity loss including a megafaunal extinction event at the terminal Pleistocene. Here, we focus onExpand
Predicting woodrat ( Neotoma ) responses to anthropogenic warming from studies of the palaeomidden record
Aim The influence of anthropogenic climate change on organisms is an area of great scientific concern. Increasingly there is recognition that abrupt climate transitions have occurred over the lateExpand
The effect of Holocene temperature fluctuations on the evolution and ecology of Neotoma (woodrats) in Idaho and northwestern Utah
Abstract Animals respond to climatic change by adapting or by altering distributional patterns. How an animal responds is influenced by where it is positioned within its geographic range; theExpand
Differential regional response of the bushy‐tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea) to late Quaternary climate change
The Quaternary dynamics and evolutionary history of N. cinerea appear to have been shaped by both vicariant events associated with geographical barriers and the availability of suitable habitat through time, suggesting long-term population stability in the Rocky Mountains. Expand
Ecological and morphological response of rodents to environmental change over the late Quaternary
The rapid progression of modern climate change is already altering ecosystems worldwide. By employing the fossil record, we can investigate how animals responded to past climatic changes andExpand
Climate‐driven body‐size trends in the ostracod fauna of the deep Indian Ocean
It is argued that this Cope's Rule pattern is driven by secular changes in the environment, rather than any universal or intrinsic advantages to larger body sizes, and some difficulties in the attempts to link Cope’s Rule to observations made within a single gener- ation are noted. Expand
Climate change, species range limits and body size in marine bivalves
The results indicate that range limits of large-bodied bivalve species are more unstable than smallbodied ones, and that body size and its correlates need to be considered when attempting to predict the responses of marine communities to climate change, biotic interchanges and human-mediated invasions. Expand


Data on the temperature regulation of representatives of 10 populations of woodrats permits a direct evaluation of the relationships between metabolism, heat loss, body size, and environmental temperature, and indicate the major avenues of climatic adaptation in this group of rodents. Expand
Development of Vegetation and Climate in the Southwestern United States
Plant macrofossils in ancient packrat middens document the presence of woodland communities in most of the present Chihuahuan, Sonoran, and Mohave deserts in the southwestern United States during theExpand
Late Pleistocene History of Coniferous Woodland in the Mohave Desert
The macrofossil evidence speaks for former continuity of the many disjunct stands of woodland vegetation in the Mohave Desert region, at least along the higher divides connecting most of the ranges, but there is no macrof fossil evidence of pluvial continuity of range for the more mesophytic, montane, coniferous-forest zone of ponderosa pine or white fir now occupying islands of relatively mesic environment on the highest mountains of the region. Expand
Trends in Stomatal Density and 13C/12C Ratios of Pinus flexilis Needles During Last Glacial-Interglacial Cycle
Measurements of stomatal density and δ13C of limber pine needles (leaves) preserved in pack rat middens from the Great Basin reveal shifts in plant physiology and leaf morphology during the last 30,000 years, which may help constrain hypotheses about the redistribution of carbon between the atmosphere and biosphere during theLast glacial-interglacial cycle. Expand
Pleistocene Wood Rat Middens and Climatic Change in Mohave Desert: A Record of Juniper Woodlands
Dominance of Utah juniper and absence of pinyon pine in most deposits indicates a local Pleistocene woodland climate more arid than the usual pinyan-juniper climate. Expand
Holocene Vegetation in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
Well-preserved plant remains in packrat middens chronicle vegetation change in Chaco Canyon over the past 11,000 years and the lack of pinyon-juniper recovery over the present millennium has implications for contemporary forest and range ecology. Expand
Evolution of Body Size Among Woodrats from Baja California, Mexico
A significant tendency for insular woodrats to be larger than mainland forms is found, and this outcome is significantly related to the absence of mammalian predation pressure. Expand
Pocket Gophers in Alfalfa Fields: Causes and Consequences of Habitat-Related Body Size Variation
It is argued that cranial shape, not overall size, is the important component in recognizing evolutionarily significant geographic units of pocket gopher species. Expand
Rapid dwarfing of red deer on Jersey in the Last Interglacial
This work gives the first example in which the island dwarf is well dated, the full-sized ancestor is found in demonstrably older deposits on the island, and a good estimate can be made for the duration of the isolation leading to dwarfing. Expand
Glacial-to-interglacial variations in the carbon isotopic composition of atmospheric CO2
Samples of the C4 shrub Atriplex confertifolia recovered from packrat middens in the western United States provide a record of changes in the 13C/12C ratio (δ13C) of atmospheric carbon dioxide.Expand