Stable isotope signatures in white-tailed deer as a seasonal paleoenvironmental proxy: a case study from Georgia, United States

Rivera-Araya, Maria, and Pilaar Birch, Suzanne (2018) Stable isotope signatures in white-tailed deer as a seasonal paleoenvironmental proxy: a case study from Georgia, United States. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 505. pp. 53-62.

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Abstract

Oxygen and carbon isotopes from herbivore teeth have previously been used as paleoenvironmental proxies. However, their use in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) remains rare. Here, we present the results of analysis of sequential sub-samples from second and third molars of wild and non-wild deer from Georgia, United States in order to assess their application in humid subtropical climates. In wild deer, enamel carbonate δ18O corresponds broadly to the recorded precipitation δ18O over the 10-month period of tooth formation, capturing the rainfall seasonality across the physiogeographic regions of the state. Non-wild deer show significantly lower values compared to both measured and modeled δ18O precipitation. While δ13C in tooth enamel carbonate appears to reflect diet, it does not reflect seasonality in either population. The δ13C and δ15N from bone collagen values suggest that diet and source of drinking water influence the potential of white tailed deer tooth enamel carbonate to record the δ18O seasonality in the study area; therefore, special attention on the provenance of deer are necessary for obtaining accurate paleoclimate reconstruction.

Item ID: 59888
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-616X
Keywords: Tooth enamel; Odocoileus virginianus; Bioapatite; Paleoclimate
Copyright Information: © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Funders: Fulbright Foreign Program, Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Key Women Educators, Center for Archaeological Sciences - University of Georgia, University of Costa Rica
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2019 22:48
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040605 Palaeoclimatology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 50%
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