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

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Søren Faurby, Jens-Christian Svenning


Aim 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. Location Globally Methods We estimated species, functional and phylogenetic diversity patterns based on natural ranges of all mammalian species (n=5747 species) as they could have been today in the complete absence of human influence through time. Following this we compared macroecological analyses of current and natural diversity patterns to assess if human-induced range changes bias for evolutionary and ecological analyses based on current diversity patterns. Results We find that current diversity patterns have been drastically modified by humans, mostly due to global extinctions and regional to local extirpations. Current and natural diversities exhibit marked deviations virtually everywhere outside sub-Saharan Africa. These differences are strongest for terrestrial megafauna, but also important for all mammals combined. The human-induced changes led to biases in estimates of environmental diversity drivers, especially for terrestrial megafauna, but also for all mammals com...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Biological Evolution
Drivers of Vehicles

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.

Related Papers

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Samuel T Turvey, Susanne A Fritz
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Matt DavisJens-Christian Svenning
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Fernanda T BrumAna D Davidson
© 2021 Meta ULC. All rights reserved