Changes in the geographical distribution of Microtus (Iberomys) cabrerae (Thomas, 1906) from the Late Pleistocene to the Holocene
JUAN MANUEL LÓPEZ-GARCÍA
IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, C/Escorxador s/n, E- 43003 Tarragona, Spain. firstname.lastname@example.org
Àrea de Prehistòria, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Avinguda de Catalunya 35, E-43002 Tarragona, Spain.
Aragosaurus-IUCA, Dpto. Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad de Zaragoza, E-50009 Zaragoza, Spain. email@example.com
Cabrera’s vole, Microtus (Iberomys) cabrerae, is a currently endemic species restricted to Spain and Portugal. Its present day distribution is fragmentary, but in the past it was broadly distributed across the Iberian Peninsula, with the exception of the northern part of the Peninsula. Various hypotheses have been expounded to explain the retraction of the species since the beginning of the Holocene: 1) the climate changes produced in the Bronze Age; 2) the human impact on the restricted habitat of the species; and 3) its direct competition with other species with similar environmental requirements, such as the southern water vole (Arvicola sapidus), an Iberian endemism. In this paper, we discuss these hypotheses regarding the distribution of the species fossil record in the Late Pleistocene and beginning of the Holocene, as well as its current distribution. The most plausible hypothesis for its retraction is human impact, which has destroyed the habitat of the species with the development of agriculture and road infrastructures and the increasing human population.
Keywords: Microtus (Iberomys) cabrerae, distribution changes, climate, human impact, competition with other species.
How to cite: López-García, J. M. & Cuenca-Bescós, G. 2012. Changes in the geographical distribution of Microtus (Iberomys) cabrerae (Thomas, 1906) from the Late Pleistocene to the Holocene. Spanish Journal of Palaeontology, 27 (2), 117-124.
Received 21 April 2012, Accepted 27 September 2012, Published 31 December 2012