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

Boivin, Nicole L., Zeder, Melinda A., Fuller, Dorian Q., Crowther, Alison, Larson, Greger, Erlandson, Jon M., Denham, Tim and Petraglia, Michael D. (2016) Ecological consequences of human niche construction: examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions. National Academy of Sciences. Proceedings, 113 23: 6388-6396. doi:10.1073/pnas.1525200113


Author Boivin, Nicole L.
Zeder, Melinda A.
Fuller, Dorian Q.
Crowther, Alison
Larson, Greger
Erlandson, Jon M.
Denham, Tim
Petraglia, Michael D.
Title Ecological consequences of human niche construction: examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions
Journal name National Academy of Sciences. Proceedings   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0027-8424
1091-6490
Publication date 2016-06-07
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1525200113
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 113
Issue 23
Start page 6388
End page 6396
Total pages 9
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
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 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.
Keyword Biodiversity
Extinctions
Invasive species
Novel ecosystems
Anthropocene
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Social Science Publications
 
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