A Guano‐Derived δ13C and δ15N Record of Climate since the Medieval Warm Period in North‐West Romania

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bats, paleoclimate, pollen, Romania, stable isotopes

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A 285‐cm core of bat guano was recovered from Măgurici Cave in north‐west Romania and analyzed for δ13C, δ15N and pollen. Guano deposition occurred from AD 881 until 1240 and from AD 1651 to 2013, allowing for the interpretation of summer variations in precipitation and temperature during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA). A 2‰ increase in δ13C, 1.5‰ decrease in δ15N, and the presence of Ulmus, Quercus and Carpinus betulus indicate a warm and dry MWP occurred in the region. The lack of deposition during the beginning of the LIA suggests a possible climate‐induced change in prey availability resulting in bats vacating the cave. Variation of δ13C values between −25 and −23‰ at AD 1650 (LIA) indicates similar drier conditions as at the end of MWP. However, a 2‰ decrease in δ13C values that occurred between AD 1790 and 1900 suggests climate was trending towards wetter conditions at the end of the LIA. From AD 1938 to 2013, δ13C values appear to be more influenced by temperature, indicating that this parameter had a more significant effect on carbon discrimination than water availability.

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Journal of Quaternary Science, v. 33, issue 6, p. 677-688