The past and future human impact on mammalian diversity

  title={The past and future human impact on mammalian diversity},
  author={Tobias Andermann and S{\o}ren Faurby and Samuel T. Turvey and Alexandre Antonelli and Daniele Silvestro},
  journal={Science Advances},
Human driven extinctions of recent past pale in comparison to future predictions, as a major global extinction wave is unfolding. To understand the current biodiversity crisis, it is crucial to determine how humans have affected biodiversity in the past. However, the extent of human involvement in species extinctions from the Late Pleistocene onward remains contentious. Here, we apply Bayesian models to the fossil record to estimate how mammalian extinction rates have changed over the past 126… 
Extinctions have strongly reduced the mammalian consumption of primary productivity
The results show that mammalian herbivores naturally play an important part in ecosystems at a global scale, but that this effect has been strongly reduced by extinctions and extirpations.
Current extinction rate in European freshwater gastropods greatly exceeds that of the late Cretaceous mass extinction
The Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction event 66 million years ago eradicated three quarters of marine and terrestrial species globally. However, previous studies based on vertebrates suggest that
Human pressures filter out the less resilient demographic strategies in natural populations of plants and animals worldwide
A spatially and phylogenetically explicit model parameterised with life history traits and metrics of demographic resilience using the open-access COMPADRE and COMADRE databases, coupled with high-resolution human impact information via the Human Footprint database finds that urban areas host a limited diversity of strategies that achieve demographic resilience.
The effect of past defaunation on ranges, niches, and future biodiversity forecasts
Humans have reshaped the distribution of biodiversity across the globe, extirpating species from regions otherwise suitable and restricting populations to a subset of their original ranges. Here, we
Tropical forests in the deep human past
Since Darwin, studies of human evolution have tended to give primacy to open ‘savannah’ environments as the ecological cradle of our lineage, with dense tropical forests cast as hostile, unfavourable
Two major extinction events in the evolutionary history of turtles: one caused by a meteorite, the other by hominins
We live in a time of highly accelerated extinction, which has the potential to mirror past mass extinction events. However, the rarity of these events and the restructuring of diversity that they
The legacy of the extinct Neotropical megafauna on plants and biomes
It is shown that extinct megafauna left a significant imprint on current ecosystem biogeography, revealing that historical herbivory substantially explains current trait and biomeBiogeography in South and Central America.
People have shaped most of terrestrial nature for at least 12,000 years
The most up-to-date, spatially explicit global reconstruction of historical human populations and land use is used to show that the current biodiversity crisis can seldom be explained by the loss of uninhabited wildlands, resulting instead from the appropriation, colonization, and intensifiers of the biodiverse cultural landscapes long shaped and sustained by prior societies.
Prey Size Decline as a Unifying Ecological Selecting Agent in Pleistocene Human Evolution
It is argued that the need to mitigate the additional energetic cost of acquiring progressively smaller prey may have been an ecological selecting agent in fundamental adaptive modes demonstrated in the Paleolithic archaeological record.
Factors influencing range contraction of a rodent herbivore in a steppe grassland over the past decades
Abstract Climate warming and human disturbance are known to be key drivers in causing range contraction of many species, but quantitative assessment on their distinctive and interactive effects on


Historic and prehistoric human-driven extinctions have reshaped global mammal diversity patterns
Estimating natural distributions of species, functional and phylogenetic diversity patterns based on natural ranges of all mammalian species as they could have been today in the complete absence of human influence through time is emphasized to improve understanding of the evolutionary and ecologically drivers of diversity.
The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene
  • S. Turvey, Susanne 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.
Species-specific responses of Late Quaternary megafauna to climate and humans
It is shown 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.
Robustness despite uncertainty: regional climate data reveal the dominant role of humans in explaining global extinctions of Late Quaternary megafauna
Debate over the Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions has focussed on whether human colonisation or climatic changes were more important drivers of extinction, with few extinctions being
Global late Quaternary megafauna extinctions linked to humans, not climate change
This first species-level macroscale analysis at relatively high geographical resolution provides strong support for modern humans as the primary driver of the worldwide megafauna losses during the late Quaternary.
Body size downgrading of mammals over the late Quaternary
This work demonstrates that size-selective extinction was already under way in the oldest interval and occurred on all continents, within all trophic modes, and across all time intervals, and the degree of selectivity was unprecedented in 65 million years of mammalian evolution.
The predictability of extinction: biological and external correlates of decline in mammals
Geographical range size, human population density and latitude were the most consistently significant predictors of extinction risk, but otherwise there was little evidence for general, prescriptive indicators of high extinction risk across mammals.
The Archaeological Record of Human Impacts on Animal Populations
The history of this famous argument suggests that it is better seen as a statement of faith about the past rather than as an appeal to reason, and burgeoning knowledge of past human impacts on animals has important implications for the conservation biology of the future.
The dynamics underlying avian extinction trajectories forecast a wave of extinctions
It is estimated that global conservation efforts have reduced the effective extinction rate by 40%, but mostly through preventing critically endangered species from going extinct rather than by preventing species at low risk from moving into higher-risk categories.
Brain expansion in early hominins predicts carnivore extinctions in East Africa
It is found that extinction rates in large carnivores correlate with increased hominin brain size and with vegetation changes, but not with precipitation or temperature changes.