Accessibility navigation


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

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

Lorenzen, E. D., Nogués-Bravo, D., Orlando, L., Weinstock, J., Binladen, J., Marske, K. A., Ugan, A., Borregaard, M. K., Gilbert, M. T. P., Nielsen, R., Ho, S. Y. W., Goebel, T., Graf, K. E., Byers, D., Stenderup, J. T., Rasmussen, M., Campos, P. F., Leonard, J. A., Koepfli, K.-P., Froese, D., Zazula, G., Stafford, T. W., Aaris-Sørensen, K., Batra, P., Haywood, A. M., Singarayer, J. S., Valdes, P. J., Boeskorov, G., Burns, J. A., Davydov, S. P., Haile, J., Jenkins, D. L., Kosintsev, P., Kuznetsova, T., Lai, X., Martin, L. D., McDonald, H. G., Mol, D., Meldgaard, M., Munch, K., Stephan, E., Sablin, M., Sommer, R. S., Sipko, T., Scott, E., Suchard, M. A., Tikhonov, A., Willerslev, R., Wayne, R. K., Cooper, A., Hofreiter, M., Sher, A., Shapiro, B., Rahbek, C. and Willerslev, E. (2011) Species-specific responses of Late Quaternary megafauna to climate and humans. Nature, 479 (7373). pp. 359-364. ISSN 1476-4687

[img] Text
· Restricted to Repository staff only
· The Copyright of this document has not been checked yet. This may affect its availability.

1024Kb

To link to this article DOI: 10.1038/nature10574

Abstract/Summary

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.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:33550
Publisher:Nature Publishing

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation