Articles | Volume 12, issue 3
Review article
10 Mar 2016
Review article |  | 10 Mar 2016

Fallacies and fantasies: the theoretical underpinnings of the Coexistence Approach for palaeoclimate reconstruction

Guido W. Grimm and Alastair J. Potts


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Short summary
We critically assess, for the first time since its inception in 1997, the theory behind the Coexistence Approach. This method has reconstructed purportedly accurate, often highly precise, palaeoclimates for a wide range of Cenozoic Eurasian localities. We argue that its basic assumptions clash with modern biological and statistical theory and that its modus operandi is fundamentally flawed. We provide guidelines on how to establish robust taxon-based palaeoclimate reconstruction methods.