The Quaternary record of fossil bats in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands: Palaeobiogeographical changes and palaeoenvironmental implications
Resumen: Bats are a highly diversified order of mammals found all over the world; however, their population size and distribution are decreasing rapidly in Europe nowadays. The study of ancient bat populations by means of their fossil record is a valuable source of contextual information for modern bat conservation studies. This paper is a comprehensive review of published bat records in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands through Quaternary times, representing the first attempt to update and standardize the knowledge of chiropters in southwestern Europe during this time period. The main goal is to identify changes in bat assemblages that might be correlatable to palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental changes. Our data show that the Quaternary record of bats in the area is fragmentary and strongly dependent on the presence of karstic cavities. Thus, a strong preservation bias towards colonial cave-dwelling bats exists, and species with alternative ecological requirements are under-represented. Nevertheless, this work reveals that most of the bats inhabiting the area today were already present in the region from at least the Middle Pleistocene. Interestingly, we observe a frequent association between certain cave-dwelling bats (i.e., Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Miniopterus schreibersii, Myotis myotis and M. blythii) that is still observed in many caves today; this reflects a stable ecology that has remained undisturbed despite past climatic changes. Within the well-documented periods at the end of the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene, a reduction in some common components of Quaternary assemblages (Rhinolophus species and M. schreibersii) is observed, coinciding with the Late Glacial Maximum and the Northgrippian Neoglacial (a cooling event in the Holocene). Finally, the Balearic record shows interesting palaeobiogeographical characteristics, including some eastern taxa absent in the Iberian Peninsula (Rhinolophus variabilis and R. cf. blasii) as well as an unusual abundance of Rhinolophus hipposideros.
Idioma: Inglés
DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2024.112243
Año: 2024
ISSN: 0031-0182

Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/DGA/E18-23R
Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MCINN/PID2021-122533NB-I00
Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MCINN/PID2021-123092NB-C21
Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MICINN-AEI-FEDER/PID2021-122555NB-C31
Tipo y forma: Article (Published version)
Área (Departamento): Área Paleontología (Dpto. Ciencias de la Tierra)

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