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Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions

Boivin, Nicole; Zeder, Melinda; Fuller, Dorian; Crowther, Alison; Larson, Greger; Erlandson, Jon; Denham, Timothy; Petraglia, Michael

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The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens. A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorBoivin, Nicole
dc.contributor.authorZeder, Melinda
dc.contributor.authorFuller, Dorian
dc.contributor.authorCrowther, Alison
dc.contributor.authorLarson, Greger
dc.contributor.authorErlandson, Jon
dc.contributor.authorDenham, Timothy
dc.contributor.authorPetraglia, Michael
dc.date.accessioned2018-11-29T22:53:07Z
dc.date.available2018-11-29T22:53:07Z
dc.identifier.issn0027-8424
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/152379
dc.description.abstractThe exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens. A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had begun to engage in activities that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species across most, if not all, taxonomic groups. Changes to biodiversity have included extinctions, extirpations, and shifts in species composition, diversity, and community structure. We outline key examples of these changes, highlighting findings from the study of new datasets, like ancient DNA (aDNA), stable isotopes, and microfossils, as well as the application of new statistical and computational methods to datasets that have accumulated significantly in recent decades. We focus on four major phases that witnessed broad anthropogenic alterations to biodiversity—the Late Pleistocene global human expansion, the Neolithic spread of agriculture, the era of island colonization, and the emergence of early urbanized societies and commercial networks. Archaeological evidence documents millennia of anthropogenic transformations that have created novel ecosystems around the world. This record has implications for ecological and evolutionary research, conservation strategies, and the maintenance of ecosystem services, pointing to a significant need for broader cross-disciplinary engagement between archaeology and the biological and environmental sciences.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.publisherNational Academy of Sciences (USA)
dc.sourcePNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
dc.titleEcological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume113
dc.date.issued2016
local.identifier.absfor210100 - ARCHAEOLOGY
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4515553xPUB39
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationBoivin, Nicole, University of Cambridge
local.contributor.affiliationZeder, Melinda, Smithsonian Institution
local.contributor.affiliationFuller, Dorian, University College London
local.contributor.affiliationCrowther, Alison, University of Queensland
local.contributor.affiliationLarson, Greger, University of Oxford
local.contributor.affiliationErlandson, Jon, University of Oregon
local.contributor.affiliationDenham, Timothy, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationPetraglia, Michael, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
local.bibliographicCitation.issue23
local.identifier.doi10.1073/pnas.1525200113
local.identifier.absseo970121 - Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
dc.date.updated2018-11-29T07:50:57Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84973378625
local.identifier.thomsonID000377155400030
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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