Temperature trends and recent decline in body size of the stone marten Martes foina in Denmark
We studied a sample of 131 skulls of the stone marten Martes foina that were collected in Denmark between 1858 and 1999. Data were available for 37 years, but collection effort was not uniform throughout the study period and annual sample size varied between 1 and 27. We used principal component analysis (PCA) to combine the information of four skull measurements into a single variable (PC1). PC1 was then corrected for factors that significantly affected it (sex and longitude), and residual PC1 was used for further analysis in which we calculated trends in PC1 values during the study period. During the study period there was an increase in mean annual temperature in Denmark, but this increase was not continuous, as there was slight decrease in temperature between 1947 and 1965.
We found that skull size (and by implication body size) of the stone marten in Denmark had two periods of decrease and these two periods coincide with the periods of increase in mean annual temperature. These results may indicate that body size of the stone marten is sensitive to the change in ambient temperature, either due to a change in food availability that was caused by the increase in temperature, or decreased its size in accordance with Bergmann’s rule.
KeywordsStone marten Martes foina Denmark Ambient temperature Skull size
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Aaris-Sørensen, K., 2007. Fra istid til nutid. In: Baagøe, H.J., Jensen, T.S. (Eds.), Dansk Pattedyratlas. Gyldendal. (392pp). (English summary: Late and Post Glacial mammals in Denmark), pp. 312–321.Google Scholar
- Broekhuizen, S., 1999. Martes foina (Erxleben, 1777). In: Mitchell-Jones, A.J., Amori, G., Bogdanowicz, W., Kryštufek, B., Reijnders, P.J.H., Spitzenberger, F., Stubbe, M., Thissen, J.B.M., Vohralík, V., Zima, J. (Eds.), The Atlas of European Mammals. Poyser, London for the Societas Europaea Mammalogica, vol. 484, pp. 342–343.Google Scholar
- Cappelen, J., 2002. Yearly temperatures, precipitation, hours of bright sunshine and cloud cover for Denmark as a whole; 1873–2001. Danish Meteorological Institute, Technical Report 02-07.Google Scholar
- Corbet, G.B., 1978. The mammals of the Palaearctic Region: a taxonomic review. British Museum (Natural History), London.Google Scholar
- Ewer, R.F., 1973. The Carnivores. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.Google Scholar
- Grizimek, B., 1990. Martes foina. In: Grizimek, B. (Ed.), Grizimek’s Encyclopedia of Mammals, vol. 3, sixth ed. McGraw-Hill, Boston, USA, pp. 411–412, 416, 442.Google Scholar
- Henry, C.J.K., Ulijaszek, S.J. (Eds.), 1996. Long-term Consequences of Early Environment. Cambridge University press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Houghton, J.T., Ding, Y., Griggs, D.J., Noguer, M., van der Linden, P.J., Dai, X., Maskell, K., Johnson, C.A. (Eds.), 2001. Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Larsson, K., Forslund, P., 1991. Environmental induced morphological variation in the barnacle goose, Branta leucopis. J. Environ. Biol. 4, 619–636.Google Scholar
- Lowther, P.E., Cink, C.L., 1992. House sparrow. In: Poole, A., Stettenheim, P., Gill, F. (Eds.), The Birds of North America No. 12. Philadelphia, Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, DC, American Ornithologists’ Union.Google Scholar
- Madsen, A.B., Sørensen, V., Asferg, T., Baagøe, H.J., 2007. Stone marten Martes foina (Erxleben, 1777). In: Baagøe, H.J., Jensen, T.S. (Eds.), 2007: Dansk Pattedyratlas. Gyldendal (392pp). (English summary: Stone marten Martes foina (Erxleben, 1777)), pp. 202–205.Google Scholar
- Mayr, E., 1970. Populations, Species, and Evolution: An Abridgement of Animal Species and Evolution. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
- Romer, A.S., 1962. The Vertebrate Body. W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
- Yom-Tov, Y., Yom-Tov, S., Baagøe, H.J., 2003. Increase of skull size in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and Eurasian badger (Meles meles) in Denmark during the 20th century: an effect of improved diet? Evol. Ecol. Res. 5, 1037–1048.Google Scholar