Precipitation and large herbivorous mammals, part I: Estimates from present-day communities
J.T. Eronen, Kai Puolamäki, L. Liu, K. Lintulaaksi, J. Damuth, C. Janis and M. Fortelius
Evolutionary Ecology Research
Question: How can mammalian community characteristics be used to estimate regional
Data: Global distribution data of large mammals and their ecomorphology; global climate data.
Research methods: Non-linear regression-tree analysis and linear regression.
Conclusions: The methods unravelled the complex relationships between the environment and the characteristics of mammalian communities. The regression trees described here provide a reasonably accurate estimate of precipitation values for today’s world. The strongest correlations are for annual precipitation versus diet (R2 = 0.665), precipitation versus tooth crown height (R2 = 0.658), and precipitation versus diet and tooth crown height combined
(R2 = 0.742)