PLEISTOCENE BIOGEOGRAPHY

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Geological Time Scale Cenozoic Climate History and Biome Distributions

Cenozoic Cooling
Comparison of Pleistocene & Paleozoic Glaciation [+]
  • polar land mass [.]
  • no circum-equatorial ocean circulation [.]

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    Glacial Record

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Extent of Ice

Alpine Glacier Lowering
Growth of Greenland and Anarctica next






Climate Change

overall lowering next






Effects of Glacial Climate on Nonglaciated Areas

European environmental sequence next






Causes of Glaciation


Ice Volume (3.5 km thick)

Sea level (100-150 m lower)



Orbital Change [+]
  • Eccentricity 100 Ka
  • Tilt 40 Ka
  • Precession 20 Ka
[Combined] next






Feedbacks for Orbital Forcing

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    Impact of Glacial Climate on Biomes


      EUROPE: Spain - Norway
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    Glacial Vegetation of Arizona

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    Glacial Vegetation of the West

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Biogeographic Responses to Glaciation

Responses of Terrestrial Biotas next






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Pleistocene Cycles and Biotic Exchange

  • Land Bridges
  • Habitat Connections
      Southwest - Argentina Disjuncts [Larrea]


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  • Pleistocene Cycles and Biotic Patterns


    Nunatak Refugia next






    Pleistocene Cycles and Biotic Speciation

    • Small Population Size fluctuations
        influence of random mutations
        rapid speciation
    • Barriers (allopatric speciation)
        Drainage Changes / Forest vegetation corridors
    • Episodic reunion of separated taxa
    • Refugia centers of speciation
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    Pleistocene Megafauna Extinctions

    Human Migration to The New World next






    Island Extinctions

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