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Type: Journal article
Title: Stable nitrogen isotope values in arid-land kangaroos correlated with mean annual rainfall: Potential as a palaeoclimatic indicator
Author: Pate, D.
Anson, T.
Citation: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 2007; 18(3):317-326
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 1047-482X
Abstract: <jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Bone collagen stable nitrogen isotope values are reported for modern kangaroos (<jats:italic>Macropus</jats:italic> spp.) from eight field sites along a 1160 km south–north transect from temperate coastal to arid interior South Australia, in order to investigate <jats:italic>δ</jats:italic><jats:sup>15</jats:sup>N tissue variability in relation to rainfall and relative humidity. Mean annual rainfall along the transect ranges from 775 mm at Mount Gambier in the southeastern coast to 176 mm at Innamincka in the arid northern interior, while 3pm relative humidity ranges from 73% at coastal Flinders Chase to 36% at Innamincka. In arid habitats (176–238 mm rainfall), the <jats:italic>δ</jats:italic><jats:sup>15</jats:sup>N values of kangaroo bone collagen become more positive in relation to decreasing mean annual rainfall (<jats:italic>r</jats:italic><jats:sup>2</jats:sup> = 0.98), while there is only a weak correlation with relative humidity (<jats:italic>r</jats:italic><jats:sup>2</jats:sup> = 0.67). In contrast, in temperate and semi‐arid coastal habitats (350–775 mm), there is no correlation between kangaroo bone collagen <jats:italic>δ</jats:italic><jats:sup>15</jats:sup>N values and rainfall (<jats:italic>r</jats:italic><jats:sup>2</jats:sup> = 0.0011) or between <jats:italic>δ</jats:italic><jats:sup>15</jats:sup>N values and relative humidity (<jats:italic>r</jats:italic><jats:sup>2</jats:sup> = 0.0035). Thus, in South Australia, kangaroo bone collagen <jats:italic>δ</jats:italic><jats:sup>15</jats:sup>N values do not show a simple linear correlation with either rainfall or relative humidity across all habitats. These results suggest that stable nitrogen isotope analyses of herbivore bones obtained from archaeological and palaeontological sites may provide a reliable proxy for past rainfall values in arid‐land ecosystems. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley &amp; Sons, Ltd.</jats:p>
Keywords: nitrogen isotopes
relative humidity
DOI: 10.1002/oa.938
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Appears in Collections:Anatomical Sciences publications
Aurora harvest

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