Historic and prehistoric human‐driven extinctions have reshaped global mammal diversity patterns

  title={Historic and prehistoric human‐driven extinctions have reshaped global mammal diversity patterns},
  author={S{\o}ren Faurby and Jean‐Christian Svenning},
  journal={Diversity and Distributions},
To assess the extent to which humans have reshaped Earth's biodiversity, by estimating natural ranges of all late Quaternary mammalian species, and to compare diversity patterns based on these with diversity patterns based on current distributions. 

‘Island Life’ before man: biogeography of palaeo‐insular mammals

Long-standing models of island biogeography may prove inadequate unless their conceptual domains are expanded to include the effects of all three fundamental, biogeographical processes (immigration, extinction and speciation), the impact of human activities on each of these processes, and the likelihood that, at least for very large and isolated islands, a long-term equilibrium among these processes is seldom achieved.

Defining the indigenous ranges of species to account for geographic and taxonomic variation in the history of human impacts: reply to Sanderson 2019

Accounting for taxonomic and geographic variation in historic human impacts on indigenous range will facilitate use of IUCN’s Green List of Species.

Geographically divergent evolutionary and ecological legacies shape mammal biodiversity in the global tropics and subtropics

The results indicate that the factors governing tropical and subtropical mammalian biodiversity are complex, with the importance of past and present factors varying based on the divergent histories of the world’s biogeographic realms and their native biotas.

Extreme homogenization: The past, present and future of mammal assemblages on islands

This work used mammal occurrence data on islands to calculate the change in similarity and unpacked the mechanisms driving changes in similarity, exploring how initial similarity interacts with seven types of species turnover events to determine overall change.

Megafauna extinctions have reduced biotic connectivity worldwide

AIM: Connectivity among ecosystems is necessary to sustain ecological processes that promote biodiversity, community stability and ecosystem resilience, such as organism and nutrient dispersal. Along

Climate‐driven ecological stability as a globally shared cause of Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions: the Plaids and Stripes Hypothesis

An integrative hypothesis is asserted that an underlying cause of Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions was a fundamental shift in the spatio‐temporal fabric of ecosystems worldwide, triggered by the loss of the millennial‐scale climate fluctuations that were characteristic of the ice age but ceased approximately 11700 years ago on most continents.

Historical environmental stability drives discordant niche filling dynamics across phylogenetic scales

Regional diversity can increase owing to either the packing of species within regional niche space or the expansion of regional niche space. Yet, the primary factors dictating these dynamics remain

Extinction of threatened vertebrates will lead to idiosyncratic changes in functional diversity across the world

The functional diversity of terrestrial and freshwater vertebrates in the six terrestrial biogeographic realms is measured and the effects of extinctions on functional diversity between taxonomic groups and realms are shown, ranging from almost no decline to deep functional losses.

Investigating Biotic Interactions in Deep Time.




Contrasts in the large herbivore faunas of the southern continents in the late Pleistocene and the ecological implications for human origins

Africa is renowned for the current abundance and diversity of its large mammals. The aim of this study was to assess distinctions evident in the functional composition of continental large herbivore

Global Gradients in Vertebrate Diversity Predicted by Historical Area-Productivity Dynamics and Contemporary Environment

A novel hierarchical framework integrates the effects of time, area, productivity, and temperature at their respective relevant scales and successfully predicts the latitudinal gradient in global

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Extinction of the autochthonous small mammals of Mallorca (Gymnesic Islands, Western Mediterranean) and its ecological consequences

The chronology, causes and consequences of the extinction of the autochthonous Pleistocene small mammals of Mallorca are investigated.

Geology of mankind

It seems appropriate to assign the term ‘Anthropocene’ to the present, in many ways human-dominated, geological epoch, supplementing the Holocene—the warm period of the past 10–12 millennia.

Lack of chronological support for stepwise prehuman extinctions of Australian megafauna

It is contended that different species of megafauna went extinct progressively during the Middle and Late Pleistocene, with many “disappearing” long before human hunters arrived, leaving climate change as the alternative explanation.

Re-wilding North America

A plan to restore animals that disappeared 13,000 years ago from Pleistocene North America offers an alternative conservation strategy for the twenty-first century, argue Josh Donlan and

Defaunation in the Anthropocene

Defaunation is both a pervasive component of the planet’s sixth mass extinction and also a major driver of global ecological change.

The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene

  • S. TurveySusanne A. Fritz
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2011
It is found that Holocene extinctions have been phylogenetically and spatially concentrated in specific taxa and geographical regions, which are often not congruent with those disproportionately at risk today.

Determinants of loss of mammal species during the Late Quaternary ‘megafauna’ extinctions: life history and ecology, but not body size

  • C. Johnson
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2002
This analysis shows two general features of the selectivity of Late Quaternary mammal extinctions in Australia, Eurasia, the Americas and Madagascar that are consistent with extinctions being due to interaction with human populations.

Fifty millennia of catastrophic extinctions after human contact.