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Late Quaternary vertebrate taphocoenoses from cave deposits in southeastern Austria: responses in a periglacial setting

By
Florian A. Fladerer
Florian A. Fladerer
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Published:
January 01, 2000

Abstract

Forty-seven species of birds and at least 78 mammalian taxa from caves in the extant submontane vegetational zone close to the periphery of the Middle and Late Pleistocene Alpine maximum glacial expansion are comprehensively summarized for the first time. The communities of the last glacial period show sympatries of today’s boreal–tundra species with those of East European to Central Asian steppe-communities and to a lesser extent with those of temperate woodlands. Shifts in the individual species’ ranges during the last glacial period (Würm Glacial) can be partly correlated with the climatic fluctuations in the Eastern Alps as they were observed sedimentologically and glaciologically. Analyses of high-resolution uppermost Pleniglacial/Late Glacial taphocoenoses (c. 14–12 ka bp) in the Styrian foothills demonstrate a distinctly greater faunal diversity and reflect more diversified vegetational biota than in the Holocene. The evidence of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic human populations within the region is outlined. The presented results provide a foundation for subsequent and comparative studies in diversity and community changes in the adjacent regions.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Climates: Past and Present

Malcolm B. Hart
Malcolm B. Hart
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Plymouth, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
181
ISBN electronic:
9781862394292
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

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