Page last updated 13/10/2017

ClimGrim database

This MSAccess database was set up to facilitate analysis of data relevant to our (Grimm & Denk, 2012) critical re-evaluation of the so-called "co-existence approach" (CA) by Mosbrugger & Utescher (1997), which is considered by some as a "robust" (Utescher et al., 2014) standard to reconstruct palaeoclimate (for Eurasia except Japan) despite of fundamental problems inherent to the application of this method (both in theory and practise; Utescher et al., 2014; Grimm et al., 2016; Grimm & Potts, 2016) and – so far (July 2016) – the lack of any meaningful validation of the basic method and data (cf. Mosbrugger & Utescher, 1997; Grimm & Denk, 2012; Utescher et al., 2014).

The current version (0.2.1) includes Köppen signatures for over 900 species/genera and MAT ('mean annual temperature') tolerances of various taxa used as "nearest living relatives" (NLRs) in CA studies as recorded in the online version of the Palaeoflora database by October 2011. In addition, it lists also the (often markedly different) MAT tolerances of these NLRs and further taxa based on the monographic works of Thompson et al. (1999a, 1999b, 2001, 2006) for North America and Fang et al. (2009) for China, which have been complemented by other sources (annotated in the database; cf. Grimm and Denk, 2012). Additional annotations to some of the taxa include details about their geographic (and altitudinal) distribution and information relevant to the estimation of MAT tolerances.

Time line

26/05/2015 Major update to version 0.2.1 — Complemented Köppen signatures for Fagales (now including also tropical-subtropical taxa and few modifications of taxa already in the database), added species sets for Celtis, Elaeagnus, Ulmus, and Zelkova (Fagales/Rosales present at the Lavanttal locality, Austria; Grímsson et al., 2016)

28/03/2014 Minor update of version 0.2 (28/03/2014) — Added Köppen signatures for most species of Betulaceae increasing total number of covered species (potential modern analogues of fossil taxa) to 588.

30/11/2012 Update to Version 0.2; including Köppen signatures for potential NLRs as implemented and used in Denk et al. (2013).

The database provided here is a copy of a working database, and naturally will be subject to changes, in irregular time intervals. It comes without any warranty (like all palaeoclimate reconstructions using fossil plant assemblages).

Everybody is welcomed to use this database, but if so, please be so kind as to cite Grimm & Denk (2012) for climate data and Denk et al. (2013) for Köppen signatures. Please feel free to contact me in case you have questions, suggestions for corrections or improvements, or any other request regarding this database.

The current version is 0.2.1

Download the zipped (compressed) current version (c. 2.4 MB) here. The deflated database will be about 97 MB large, you'll need MS Access 2003 or higher-compatible program to use the database.

Older versions: v. 0.2 v. 0.1

Denk, T., Grimm, G.W., Grímsson, F., Zetter, R., 2013. Evidence from "Köppen signatures" of fossil plant assemblages for effective heat transport of Gulf Stream to subarctic North Atlantic during Miocene cooling. Biogeosciences 10, 7927–7942.
Fang, J., Wang, Z., Tang, Z., 2009. Atlas of Woody Plants in China. Volumes 1 to 3 and index. Higher Education Press, Beijing.
Grimm, G.W., Denk, T., 2012. Reliability and resolution of the coexistence approach – a revalidation using modern-day data. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 172, 33–47
Grimm, G.W., Potts, A., 2016. Fallacies and fantasies: the theoretical underpinnings of the Coexistence Approach for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Climates of the Past 12: 611–622.
Grimm G.W., Bouchal, J.M., Denk T., Potts A.J. 2016. Fables and foibles: a critical analysis of the Palaeoflora database and the Coexistence approach for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 233, 216–235 (2015 preprint @ bioRxiv, doi: 10.1101/016378)
Grímsson, F., Grimm, G.W., Meller, B., Bouchal J.M., Zetter, R., 2016. Combined LM and SEM study of the middle Miocene (Sarmatian) palynoflora from the Lavanttal Basin, Austria: Part IV. Magnoliophyta 2 - Fagales to Rosales Grana 55, 101–163
Mosbrugger, V., Utescher, T., 1997. The coexistence approach - a method for quantitative reconstructions of Tertiary terrestrial palaeoclimate data using plant fossils. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimat. Palaeoecol. 134, 61–86.
Thompson, R.S., Anderson, K.H., Bartlein, P.J., 1999a. Atlas of relations between climatic parameters and distribution of important trees and shrubs in North America — Hardwoods. U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 1650–B, 1–423.
Thompson, R.S., Anderson, K.H., Bartlein, P.J., 1999b. Atlas of relations between climatic parameters and distributions of important trees and shrubs in North America — Introduction and Conifers. U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 1650–A, 1–269.
Thompson, R.S., Anderson, K.H., Bartlein, P.J., 2001. Atlas of relations between climatic parameters and distributions of important trees and shrubs in North America — Additional conifers, hardwoods, and monocots. U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 1650–C, 1–386.
Thompson, R.S., Anderson, K.H., Strickland, L.E., Shafer, S.L.,Pelltier, R.T., Bartlein, P.J., 2006. Atlas of Relations Between Climatic Parameters and Distributions of Important Trees and Shrubs in North America—Alaska Species and Ecoregions. U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 1650-D, 1–342.
Utescher, T., Bruch, A.A., Erdei, B., François, L., Ivanov, D., Jacques, F.M.B., Kern, A.K., Liu, Y-S., Mosbrugger, V., Spicer, R.A., 2014. The Coexistence Approach—theoretical background and practical considerations of using plant fossils for climate quantification. Palaeogeogr. Palaeoclimat. Palaeoecol. 410, 58–73.

Downloadable data

Find below a (alphabetically ordered) list of archives including primary data, analyses and results files used in our evolutionary and other studies. For details refer to the original literature and text files included in each archive. Anyone is invited to use this data for whatever purpose, even if you want to show that we were wrong, but in any case, you use it at your own risk: Archives have been tested and should be free of viruses, trojans, worms, cladistics, etc., but in today's dangerous world, you never know.