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Aim: A conspicuous climatic and biogeographical transition occurs at 40?45� N in western North America. This pivot point marks a north?south opposition of wet and dry conditions at interannual and decadal time-scales, as well as the northern and southern limits of many dominant western plant species. Palaeoecologists have yet to focus on past climatic and biotic shifts along this transition, in part because it requires comparisons across dissimilar records [i.e. pollen from lacustrine sediments to the north and plant macrofossils from woodrat (Neotoma) middens to the south]. To overcome these limitations, we are extending the woodrat-midden record northward into the lowlands of the central Rocky Mountains. Published...