Bat guano: record of climate change

Wurster, Christopher, Bird, Michael, and Mcfarlane, Donald (2010) Bat guano: record of climate change. In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology 2010. McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology . McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, USA, pp. 34-36.

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Abstract

[Extract] Bats are a ubiquitous group of flying mammals found on every continent except Antarctica, with highest abundance and diversity in the tropics and subtropics. Some species are very gregarious and may roost together in caves in substantial numbers. For example, the Mexican free-tailed bat may roost in maternity colonies reaching in excess of 20 million individuals in the semiarid parts of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. These high population densities can result in bleached fur on the bats as a result of the high concentration of ammonia given off by microbial processing of bat urine and excrement (guano). Both big and smaller populations of bats produce considerable quantities of guano, which, over thousands of years, can lead to deposits many meters thick on the cave floor. Sizable guano deposits have been mined for fertilizer, with the remaining deposits now serving as valuable archives of past environmental change.

Item ID: 17700
Item Type: Book Chapter (Reference)
ISBN: 978-0-07-163928-6
ISSN: 0076-2016
Keywords: arid; monsoon; paleoclimate; stable isotope; tropics
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The book is edited by the McGraw-Hill Editorial Staff.

Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2013 07:07
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040203 Isotope Geochemistry @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040605 Palaeoclimatology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960304 Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts) @ 100%
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