Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet


Species-specific responses of Late Quaternary megafauna to climate and humans

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  • Ludovic Antoine Alexandre Orlando
  • Jacobo Weinstock Arenovitz
  • Jonas Khalid Mohamed Awad Binladen
  • Katharine Ann Marske
  • Andrew Ugan
  • Simon Y. W. Ho
  • Ted Goebel
  • Kelly E. Graf
  • David Byers
  • Jesper Stenderup
  • Morten Rasmussen
  • Paula Campos
  • Jennifer A. Leonard
  • Klaus-Peter Koepfli
  • Duane Froese
  • Grant Zazula
  • Thomas Stafford jr.
  • Persaram Batra
  • Alan M. Haywood
  • Joy S. Singarayer
  • Paul J. Valdes
  • Gennady Boeskorov
  • James A. Burns
  • Sergey P. Davydov
  • Dennis L. Jenkins
  • Pavel Kosintsev
  • Tatyana Kuznetsova
  • Xulong Lai
  • Larry D. Martin
  • H. Gregory McDonald
  • Dick Mol
  • Kasper Munch
  • Elisabeth Stephan
  • Mikhail Sablin
  • Robert S. Sommer
  • Taras Sipko
  • Eric Scott
  • Marc A. Suchard
  • Alexei Tikhonov
  • Rane Willerslev
  • Robert K. Wayne
  • Alan Cooper
  • Michael Hofreiter
  • Andrei Sher
  • Beth Shapiro
Despite decades of research, the roles of climate and humans in driving the dramatic extinctions of large-bodied mammals during the Late Quaternary period remain contentious. Here we use ancient DNA, species distribution models and the human fossil record to elucidate how climate and humans shaped the demographic history of woolly rhinoceros, woolly mammoth, wild horse, reindeer, bison and musk ox. We show that climate has been a major driver of population change over the past 50,000 years. However, each species responds differently to the effects of climatic shifts, habitat redistribution and human encroachment. Although climate change alone can explain the extinction of some species, such as Eurasian musk ox and woolly rhinoceros, a combination of climatic and anthropogenic effects appears to be responsible for the extinction of others, including Eurasian steppe bison and wild horse. We find no genetic signature or any distinctive range dynamics distinguishing extinct from surviving species, emphasizing the challenges associated with predicting future responses of extant mammals to climate and human-mediated habitat change.
Udgave nummer7373
Sider (fra-til)359-364
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 2011

ID: 37801211