Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability

This source preferred by John Stewart

Authors: Stewart, J.

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA

This data was imported from PubMed:

Authors: Brace, S., Palkopoulou, E., Dalén, L., Lister, A.M., Miller, R., Otte, M., Germonpré, M., Blockley, S.P.E., Stewart, J.R. and Barnes, I.

Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Volume: 109

Issue: 50

Pages: 20532-20536

eISSN: 1091-6490

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109

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.

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Brace, S., Palkopoulou, E., Dalen, L., Lister, A.M., Miller, R., Otte, M., Germonpre, M., Blockley, S.P.E., Stewart, J.R. and Barnes, I.

Journal: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Volume: 109

Issue: 50

Pages: 20532-20536

ISSN: 0027-8424

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1213322109

This data was imported from Europe PubMed Central:

Authors: Brace, S., Palkopoulou, E., Dalén, L., Lister, A.M., Miller, R., Otte, M., Germonpré, M., Blockley, S.P., Stewart, J.R. and Barnes, I.

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Volume: 109

Issue: 50

Pages: 20532-20536

eISSN: 1091-6490

ISSN: 0027-8424

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.

The data on this page was last updated at 04:57 on December 15, 2017.