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MIS 5 environmental and climatic reconstruction in northeastern Iberia using the small-vertebrate assemblage from the terrestrial sequence of Cova del Rinoceront (Castelldefels, Barcelona)

López-García, Juan Manuel, Fernández-García, Mónica, Blain, Hugues-Alexandre, Sanz, Montserrat, Daura, Joan
Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology 2016 v.451 pp. 13-22
birds, data collection, habitats, models, pollen, temperature, woodlands, Iberian Peninsula
The habitat weighting method, chorotype classification and the bioclimatic model, as well as the Simpson diversity index, are applied to the small-vertebrate assemblage of Cova del Rinoceront (Castelldefels, Barcelona) in order to reconstruct the environmental and climatic fluctuations that are reflected in the MIS 5 sequence of the cave. The small-vertebrate data analysed are from Unit 1 of the sequence, which comprises three MIS 5 layers (III to I). They allow one cool and two warm episodes to be identified within the section. The warm episodes are related with open-woodland formations and temperatures higher than at present in the area, though in layer III our data suggest moist conditions, with the precipitation higher than today, which could probably be related with the beginning of MIS 5e. Layer II is associated with drier conditions, with precipitation lower than nowadays, which could probably be related with MIS 5c. By contrast, layer I is associated with open woodland formations, but with cooler and relatively humid conditions than today to judge by the temperature and precipitation data obtained. This could probably be related with MIS 5b. Our results are consistent with the available chronological, large-mammal, bird and palaeobotanical datasets for this upper part of the sequence. They are also consistent with the pollen record from the marine margins of Iberia.