Reference : Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem i...
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Archaeology
Life sciences : Genetics & genetic processes
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/143899
Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability
English
Brace, Selina mailto [Royal holloway university of London > School of Biological Sciences > > >]
Palkopoulou, Eleftheria mailto [Swedish Museum of Natural History > Molecular Systematics > > >]
Dalén, Love mailto [Swedish Museum of Natural History > Molecular Systematics > > >]
Lister, Adrian mailto [Natural History Museum of London > Palaeontology > > >]
Miller, Rebecca mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences historiques > Archéologie préhistorique >]
Otte, Marcel mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences historiques > Archéologie préhistorique >]
Germonpré, Mietje mailto [Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique > Palaeontology > > >]
Blockley, Simon mailto [Royal Holloway University of London > geography > Centre for Quaternary Research > >]
Stewart, John mailto [Bournemouth University > School of Applied Sciences > Centre for Conservation, Ecology and Environmental Change > >]
Barnes, Ian mailto [Royal Holloway University of London > School of Biological Sciences > > >]
11-Dec-2012
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
National Academy of Sciences
109
50
20532-20536
Yes (verified by ORBi)
International
0027-8424
1091-6490
Washington
DC
[en] megafauna ; palaeoclimate ; modelling
[en] The Late Pleistocene global extinction of many terrestrial mammal species has been a subject of intensive scientific study for over a century, yet the relative contributions of environmental changes and the global expansion of humans remain unresolved. A defining component of these extinctions is a bias toward large species, with the majority of small-mammal taxa apparently surviving into the present. Here, we investigate the population-level history of a key tundra-specialist small mammal, the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), to explore whether events during the Late Pleistocene had a discernible effect beyond the large mammal fauna. Using ancient DNA techniques to sample across three sites in North-West Europe, we observe a dramatic reduction in genetic diversity in this species over the last 50,000 y. We further identify a series of extinction-recolonization events, indicating a previously unrecognized instability in Late Pleistocene small-mammal populations, which we link with climatic fluctuations. Our results reveal climate-associated, repeated regional extinctions in a keystone prey species across the Late Pleistocene, a pattern likely to have had an impact on the wider steppe-tundra community, and one that is concordant with environmental change as a major force in structuring Late
Pleistocene biodiversity.
European Community Research Infrastructure, FP7: SYNTHESYS2 ; Natural Environment Research Council (Royaume-Uni) - NERC - Doctoral Training Grant ; EU FP6 ERA-NET project CLIMIGRATE ; Swedish Research Council ; Service public de Wallonie : Direction générale opérationnelle de l'aménagement du territoire, du logement, du patrimoine et de l'énergie - DG04 ; Natural Environment Research Council (Royaume-Uni) - NERC, Arts and Humanities Research Council Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Dating Service Grant
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/143899
10.1073/pnas.1213322109
Data deposition: The sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the
GenBank database (accession nos. JX867564–JX867613). This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.
1073/pnas.1213322109/-/DCSupplemental.
FP7 ; 226506 - SYNTHESYS - Synthesis of Systematic Resources

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