The aftermath of megafaunal extinction: ecosystem transformation in Pleistocene Australia
Johnson, Christopher N., Kershaw, A. Peter, Rule, Susan, Brook, Barry W., Haberle, Simon G., and Turney, Chris S. M. (2012) The aftermath of megafaunal extinction: ecosystem transformation in Pleistocene Australia. Science, 335 (6075). pp. 1483-1486.
|PDF (Published Verison) - Repository staff only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader|
View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.121426...
Giant vertebrates dominated many Pleistocene ecosystems. Many were herbivores, and their sudden extinction in prehistory could have had large ecological impacts. We used a high-resolution 130,000-year environmental record to help resolve the cause and reconstruct the ecological consequences of extinction of Australia's megafauna. Our results suggest that human arrival rather than climate caused megafaunal extinction, which then triggered replacement of mixed rainforest by sclerophyll vegetation through a combination of direct effects on vegetation of relaxed herbivore pressure and increased fire in the landscape. This ecosystem shift was as large as any effect of climate change over the last glacial cycle, and indicates the magnitude of changes that may have followed megafaunal extinction elsewhere in the world.
|Item Type:||Article (Refereed Research - C1)|
|FoR Codes:||05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%|
|SEO Codes:||96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961308 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%|
|Deposited On:||29 Jun 2012 02:17|
|Last Modified:||18 Oct 2013 01:32|
Last 12 Months: 1
|Citation Counts with External Providers:|
Repository Staff Only: item control page