Modelling the role of groundwater hydro-refugia in East African hominin evolution and dispersal

Authors: Cuthbert, M.O., Gleeson, T., Reynolds, S.C., Bennett, M.R., Newton, A.C., McCormack, C.J. and Ashley, G.M.

Journal: Nature Communications

Volume: 8

eISSN: 2041-1723

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15696

Abstract:

Water is a fundamental resource, yet its spatiotemporal availability in East Africa is poorly understood. This is the area where most hominin first occurrences are located, and consequently the potential role of water in hominin evolution and dispersal remains unresolved. Here, we show that hundreds of springs currently distributed across East Africa could function as persistent groundwater hydro-refugia through orbital-scale climate cycles. Groundwater buffers climate variability according to spatially variable groundwater response times determined by geology and topography. Using an agent-based model, grounded on the present day landscape, we show that groundwater availability would have been critical to supporting isolated networks of hydro-refugia during dry periods when potable surface water was scarce. This may have facilitated unexpected variations in isolation and dispersal of hominin populations in the past. Our results therefore provide a new environmental framework in which to understand how patterns of taxonomic diversity in hominins may have developed.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29283/

Source: Scopus

Modelling the role of groundwater hydro-refugia in East African hominin evolution and dispersal.

Authors: Cuthbert, M.O., Gleeson, T., Reynolds, S.C., Bennett, M.R., Newton, A.C., McCormack, C.J. and Ashley, G.M.

Journal: Nat Commun

Volume: 8

Pages: 15696

eISSN: 2041-1723

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15696

Abstract:

Water is a fundamental resource, yet its spatiotemporal availability in East Africa is poorly understood. This is the area where most hominin first occurrences are located, and consequently the potential role of water in hominin evolution and dispersal remains unresolved. Here, we show that hundreds of springs currently distributed across East Africa could function as persistent groundwater hydro-refugia through orbital-scale climate cycles. Groundwater buffers climate variability according to spatially variable groundwater response times determined by geology and topography. Using an agent-based model, grounded on the present day landscape, we show that groundwater availability would have been critical to supporting isolated networks of hydro-refugia during dry periods when potable surface water was scarce. This may have facilitated unexpected variations in isolation and dispersal of hominin populations in the past. Our results therefore provide a new environmental framework in which to understand how patterns of taxonomic diversity in hominins may have developed.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29283/

Source: PubMed

Modelling the role of groundwater hydro-refugia in East African hominin evolution and dispersal

Authors: Cuthbert, M.O., Gleeson, T., Reynolds, S.C., Bennett, M.R., Newton, A.C., McCormack, C.J. and Ashley, G.M.

Journal: NATURE COMMUNICATIONS

Volume: 8

ISSN: 2041-1723

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15696

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29283/

Source: Web of Science (Lite)

Modelling the role of groundwater hydro-refugia in East African hominin evolution and dispersal

Authors: Cuthbert, M.O., Gleeson, T., Reynolds, S., Bennett, M.R., Newton, A., McCormack, C. and Ashley, G.M.

Journal: Nature Communications

Volume: 8

Issue: 15696

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

ISSN: 2041-1723

Abstract:

Water is a fundamental resource, yet its spatiotemporal availability in East Africa is poorly understood. This is the area where most hominin first occurrences are located, and consequently the potential role of water in hominin evolution and dispersal remains unresolved. Here, we show that hundreds of springs currently distributed across East Africa could function as persistent groundwater hydro-refugia through orbital-scale climate cycles.

Groundwater buffers climate variability according to spatially variable groundwater response times determined by geology and topography. Using an agent-based model, grounded on the present day landscape, we show that groundwater availability would have been critical to supporting isolated networks of hydro-refugia during dry periods when potable surface water was scarce. This may have facilitated unexpected variations in isolation and dispersal of hominin populations in the past. Our results therefore provide a new environmental framework in which to understand how patterns of taxonomic diversity in hominins may have developed.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29283/

Source: Manual

Modelling the role of groundwater hydro-refugia in East African hominin evolution and dispersal.

Authors: Cuthbert, M.O., Gleeson, T., Reynolds, S.C., Bennett, M.R., Newton, A.C., McCormack, C.J. and Ashley, G.M.

Journal: Nature communications

Volume: 8

Pages: 15696

eISSN: 2041-1723

ISSN: 2041-1723

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15696

Abstract:

Water is a fundamental resource, yet its spatiotemporal availability in East Africa is poorly understood. This is the area where most hominin first occurrences are located, and consequently the potential role of water in hominin evolution and dispersal remains unresolved. Here, we show that hundreds of springs currently distributed across East Africa could function as persistent groundwater hydro-refugia through orbital-scale climate cycles. Groundwater buffers climate variability according to spatially variable groundwater response times determined by geology and topography. Using an agent-based model, grounded on the present day landscape, we show that groundwater availability would have been critical to supporting isolated networks of hydro-refugia during dry periods when potable surface water was scarce. This may have facilitated unexpected variations in isolation and dispersal of hominin populations in the past. Our results therefore provide a new environmental framework in which to understand how patterns of taxonomic diversity in hominins may have developed.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29283/

Source: Europe PubMed Central