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1.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 379(1902): 20230334, 2024 May 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38583466

RESUMO

Restoring wild communities of large herbivores is critical for the conservation of biodiverse ecosystems, but environmental changes in the twenty-first century could drastically affect the availability of habitats. We projected future habitat dynamics for 18 wild large herbivores in Europe and the relative future potential patterns of species richness and assemblage mean body weight considering four alternative scenarios of socioeconomic development in human society and greenhouse gas emissions (SSP1-RCP2.6, SSP2-RCP4.5, SSP3-RCP7.0, SSP5-RCP8.5). Under SSP1-RCP2.6, corresponding to a transition towards sustainable development, we found stable habitat suitability for most species and overall stable assemblage mean body weight compared to the present, with an average increase in species richness (in 2100: 3.03 ± 1.55 compared to today's 2.25 ± 1.31 species/area). The other scenarios are generally unfavourable for the conservation of wild large herbivores, although under the SSP5-RCP8.5 scenario there would be increase in species richness and assemblage mean body weight in some southern regions (e.g. + 62.86 kg mean body weight in Balkans/Greece). Our results suggest that a shift towards a sustainable socioeconomic development would overall provide the best prospect of our maintaining or even increasing the diversity of wild herbivore assemblages in Europe, thereby promoting trophic complexity and the potential to restore functioning and self-regulating ecosystems. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ecological novelty and planetary stewardship: biodiversity dynamics in a transforming biosphere'.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Herbivoria , Humanos , Biodiversidade , Peso Corporal , Península Balcânica , Mudança Climática
2.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 379(1902): 20230022, 2024 May 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38583475

RESUMO

Recent climate change has effectively rewound the climate clock by approximately 120 000 years and is expected to reverse this clock a further 50 Myr by 2100. We aimed to answer two essential questions to better understand the changes in ecosystems worldwide owing to predicted climate change. Firstly, we identify the locations and time frames where novel ecosystems could emerge owing to climate change. Secondly, we aim to determine the extent to which biomes, in their current distribution, will experience an increase in climate-driven ecological novelty. To answer these questions, we analysed three perspectives on how climate changes could result in novel ecosystems in the near term (2100), medium (2200) and long term (2300). These perspectives included identifying areas where climate change could result in new climatic combinations, climate isoclines moving faster than species migration capacity and current environmental patterns being disaggregated. Using these metrics, we determined when and where novel ecosystems could emerge. Our analysis shows that unless rapid mitigation measures are taken, the coverage of novel ecosystems could be over 50% of the land surface by 2100 under all change scenarios. By 2300, the coverage of novel ecosystems could be above 80% of the land surface. At the biome scale, these changes could mean that over 50% of locations could shift towards novel ecosystems, with the majority seeing these changes in the next few decades. Our research shows that the impact of climate change on ecosystems is complex and varied, requiring global action to mitigate and adapt to these changes. This article is part of the theme issue 'Biodiversity dynamics and stewardship in a transforming biosphere'. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ecological novelty and planetary stewardship: biodiversity dynamics in a transforming biosphere'.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Ecossistema , Mudança Climática , Adaptação Fisiológica , Benchmarking
3.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 379(1902): 20230008, 2024 May 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38583480

RESUMO

Human-induced global changes, including anthropogenic climate change, biotic globalization, trophic downgrading and pervasive land-use intensification, are transforming Earth's biosphere, placing biodiversity and ecosystems at the forefront of unprecedented challenges. The Anthropocene, characterized by the importance of Homo sapiens in shaping the Earth system, necessitates a re-evaluation of our understanding and stewardship of ecosystems. This theme issue delves into the multifaceted challenges posed by the ongoing ecological planetary transformation and explores potential solutions across four key subthemes. Firstly, it investigates the functioning and stewardship of emerging novel ecosystems, emphasizing the urgent need to comprehend the dynamics of ecosystems under uncharted conditions. The second subtheme focuses on biodiversity projections under global change, recognizing the necessity of predicting ecological shifts in the Anthropocene. Importantly, the inherent uncertainties and the complexity of ecological responses to environmental stressors pose challenges for societal responses and for accurate projections of ecological change. The RAD framework (resist-accept-direct) is highlighted as a flexible yet nuanced decision-making tool that recognizes the need for adaptive approaches, providing insights for directing and adapting to Anthropocene dynamics while minimizing negative impacts. The imperative to extend our temporal perspective beyond 2100 is emphasized, given the irreversible changes already set in motion. Advancing methods to study ecosystem dynamics under rising biosphere novelty is the subject of the third subtheme. The fourth subtheme emphasizes the importance of integrating human perspectives into understanding, forecasting and managing novel ecosystems. Cultural diversity and biological diversity are intertwined, and the evolving relationship between humans and ecosystems offers lessons for future stewardship. Achieving planetary stewardship in the Anthropocene demands collaboration across scales and integration of ecological and societal perspectives, scalable approaches fit to changing, novel ecological conditions, as well as cultural innovation. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ecological novelty and planetary stewardship: biodiversity dynamics in a transforming biosphere'.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Ecossistema , Humanos , Mudança Climática
4.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 379(1902): 20230017, 2024 May 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38583481

RESUMO

Ecosystem response to climate change is complex. In order to forecast ecosystem dynamics, we need high-quality data on changes in past species abundance that can inform process-based models. Sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) has revolutionised our ability to document past ecosystems' dynamics. It provides time series of increased taxonomic resolution compared to microfossils (pollen, spores), and can often give species-level information, especially for past vascular plant and mammal abundances. Time series are much richer in information than contemporary spatial distribution information, which have been traditionally used to train models for predicting biodiversity and ecosystem responses to climate change. Here, we outline the potential contribution of sedaDNA to forecast ecosystem changes. We showcase how species-level time series may allow quantification of the effect of biotic interactions in ecosystem dynamics, and be used to estimate dispersal rates when a dense network of sites is available. By combining palaeo-time series, process-based models, and inverse modelling, we can recover the biotic and abiotic processes underlying ecosystem dynamics, which are traditionally very challenging to characterise. Dynamic models informed by sedaDNA can further be used to extrapolate beyond current dynamics and provide robust forecasts of ecosystem responses to future climate change. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ecological novelty and planetary stewardship: biodiversity dynamics in a transforming biosphere'.


Assuntos
DNA Antigo , Ecossistema , Animais , Mudança Climática , Biodiversidade , Pólen , Mamíferos
5.
J Biogeogr ; 51(1): 89-102, 2024 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38515765

RESUMO

The Anthropocene is characterized by a rapid pace of environmental change and is causing a multitude of biotic responses, including those that affect the spatial distribution of species. Lagged responses are frequent and species distributions and assemblages are consequently pushed into a disequilibrium state. How the characteristics of environmental change-for example, gradual 'press' disturbances such as rising temperatures due to climate change versus infrequent 'pulse' disturbances such as extreme events-affect the magnitude of responses and the relaxation times of biota has been insufficiently explored. It is also not well understood how widely used approaches to assess or project the responses of species to changing environmental conditions can deal with time lags. It, therefore, remains unclear to what extent time lags in species distributions are accounted for in biodiversity assessments, scenarios and models; this has ramifications for policymaking and conservation science alike. This perspective piece reflects on lagged species responses to environmental change and discusses the potential consequences for species distribution models (SDMs), the tools of choice in biodiversity modelling. We suggest ways to better account for time lags in calibrating these models and to reduce their leverage effects in projections for improved biodiversity science and policy.

6.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38411930

RESUMO

Freshwater megafauna, such as sturgeons, giant catfishes, river dolphins, hippopotami, crocodylians, large turtles, and giant salamanders, have experienced severe population declines and range contractions worldwide. Although there is an increasing number of studies investigating the causes of megafauna losses in fresh waters, little attention has been paid to synthesising the impacts of megafauna on the abiotic environment and other organisms in freshwater ecosystems, and hence the consequences of losing these species. This limited understanding may impede the development of policies and actions for their conservation and restoration. In this review, we synthesise how megafauna shape ecological processes in freshwater ecosystems and discuss their potential for enhancing ecosystem restoration. Through activities such as movement, burrowing, and dam and nest building, megafauna have a profound influence on the extent of water bodies, flow dynamics, and the physical structure of shorelines and substrata, increasing habitat heterogeneity. They enhance nutrient cycling within fresh waters, and cross-ecosystem flows of material, through foraging and reproduction activities. Freshwater megafauna are highly connected to other freshwater organisms via direct consumption of species at different trophic levels, indirect trophic cascades, and through their influence on habitat structure. The literature documenting the ecological impacts of freshwater megafauna is not evenly distributed among species, regions, and types of ecological impacts, with a lack of quantitative evidence for large fish, crocodylians, and turtles in the Global South and their impacts on nutrient flows and food-web structure. In addition, population decline, range contraction, and the loss of large individuals have reduced the extent and magnitude of megafaunal impacts in freshwater ecosystems, rendering a posteriori evaluation more difficult. We propose that reinstating freshwater megafauna populations holds the potential for restoring key ecological processes such as disturbances, trophic cascades, and species dispersal, which will, in turn, promote overall biodiversity and enhance nature's contributions to people. Challenges for restoration actions include the shifting baseline syndrome, potential human-megafauna competition for habitats and resources, damage to property, and risk to human life. The current lack of historical baselines for natural distributions and population sizes of freshwater megafauna, their life history, trophic interactions with other freshwater species, and interactions with humans necessitates further investigation. Addressing these knowledge gaps will improve our understanding of the ecological roles of freshwater megafauna and support their full potential for facilitating the development of effective conservation and restoration strategies to achieve the coexistence of humans and megafauna.

7.
Nat Ecol Evol ; 8(4): 705-716, 2024 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38337048

RESUMO

Megafauna (animals ≥45 kg) have probably shaped the Earth's terrestrial ecosystems for millions of years with pronounced impacts on biogeochemistry, vegetation, ecological communities and evolutionary processes. However, a quantitative global synthesis on the generality of megafauna effects on ecosystems is lacking. Here we conducted a meta-analysis of 297 studies and 5,990 individual observations across six continents to determine how wild herbivorous megafauna influence ecosystem structure, ecological processes and spatial heterogeneity, and whether these impacts depend on body size and environmental factors. Despite large variability in megafauna effects, we show that megafauna significantly alter soil nutrient availability, promote open vegetation structure and reduce the abundance of smaller animals. Other responses (14 out of 26), including, for example, soil carbon, were not significantly affected. Further, megafauna significantly increase ecosystem heterogeneity by affecting spatial heterogeneity in vegetation structure and the abundance and diversity of smaller animals. Given that spatial heterogeneity is considered an important driver of biodiversity across taxonomic groups and scales, these results support the hypothesis that megafauna may promote biodiversity at large scales. Megafauna declined precipitously in diversity and abundance since the late Pleistocene, and our results indicate that their restoration would substantially influence Earth's terrestrial ecosystems.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Herbivoria , Animais , Biodiversidade , Solo , Evolução Biológica
8.
Ecol Evol ; 14(2): e10993, 2024 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38380069

RESUMO

The desert ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) is an important component of China's desert ecosystem. Studying the mechanisms shaping the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional beta diversity of plant communities in the QTP desert will help us to promote scientific conservation and management of the region's biodiversity. This study investigated the effects of environmental (including altitude, climate factors, and soil factors) and geographic distances on three facets of beta diversity as well as their turnover and nestedness components based on field survey data. The results showed that turnover components dominate the three facets of beta diversity. However, the turnover contributions to phylogenetic and functional beta diversity were lower than for taxonomic beta diversity. Environmental distance had a greater influence than geographic distance, with the former uniquely explaining 15.2%-22.8% of beta diversity and the latter explaining only 1.7%-2.4%. Additionally, the explanatory power of different factors for beta diversity differed between herbs and shrubs, with environmental distance being more important for the latter. Distance-based redundancy analysis suggested that soil total potassium content had a substantial impact on the beta diversity of three dimensions, with mean temperature of the coldest month and soil total phosphorus content having a substantial impact on taxonomic and functional beta diversity as well. Our results support that environmental sorting plays a predominant role in shaping plant community composition across QTP desert ecosystems. To maintain the plant diversity of this region, it is crucial to prioritize the conservation of its diverse environmental conditions and actively mitigate its degradation by anthropogenic pressures.

9.
Science ; 383(6682): 531-537, 2024 Feb 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38301018

RESUMO

Large mammalian herbivores (megafauna) have experienced extinctions and declines since prehistory. Introduced megafauna have partly counteracted these losses yet are thought to have unusually negative effects on plants compared with native megafauna. Using a meta-analysis of 3995 plot-scale plant abundance and diversity responses from 221 studies, we found no evidence that megafauna impacts were shaped by nativeness, "invasiveness," "feralness," coevolutionary history, or functional and phylogenetic novelty. Nor was there evidence that introduced megafauna facilitate introduced plants more than native megafauna. Instead, we found strong evidence that functional traits shaped megafauna impacts, with larger-bodied and bulk-feeding megafauna promoting plant diversity. Our work suggests that trait-based ecology provides better insight into interactions between megafauna and plants than do concepts of nativeness.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Extinção Biológica , Herbivoria , Espécies Introduzidas , Mamíferos , Plantas , Animais , Ecologia , Herbivoria/fisiologia , Filogenia , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais
10.
J Anim Ecol ; 2024 Feb 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38414265

RESUMO

Human-induced species declines and extinctions have led to the downsizing of large-herbivore assemblages, with implications for many ecosystem processes. Active reintroduction of extirpated large herbivores or their functional equivalents may help to reverse this trend and restore diverse ecosystems and their processes. However, it is unclear whether resource competition between native and non-native herbivores could threaten restoration initiatives, or to what extent (re)introduced species may influence local vegetation dynamics. To answer these questions, we investigated the diets of a novel South American herbivore assemblage that includes resident native species, reintroduced native species and introduced non-native species. We examined plant composition, diet breadth and the overlap between species to describe the local herbivory profile and the potential for resource competition. Using DNA metabarcoding on faecal samples (n = 465), we analysed the diets of the herbivore assemblage in the Rincón del Socorro rewilding area of Iberá National Park, Argentina. We compared the species richness of faecal samples, the occurrence of plant families/growth forms and the compositional similarity of samples (inter- and intraspecifically). Our results indicate species-level taxonomic partitioning of plant resources by herbivores in this system. Differences in sample richness, composition and diet breadth reflected a diverse range of herbivory strategies, from grazers (capybara) to mixed feeders/browsers (brocket deer, lowland tapir). Differences in diet compositional similarity (Jaccard) revealed strong taxonomic resource partitioning. The two herbivores with the most similar diets (Pampas deer and brocket deer) still differed by more than 80%. Furthermore, all but one species (axis deer) had more similar diet composition intraspecifically than compared to the others. Overall, we found little evidence for resource competition between herbivore species. Instead, recently reintroduced native species and historically introduced non-natives are likely expanding the range of herbivory dynamics in the ecosystem. Further research will be needed to determine the full ecological impacts of these (re)introduced herbivores. In conclusion, we show clear differences in diet breadth and composition among native, reintroduced and non-native herbivore species that may be key to promoting resource partitioning, species coexistence and the restoration of ecological function.


La disminución y extinción de especies ocasionada por el hombre ha llevado a la reducción de tamaño de las comunidades de grandes herbívoros, con implicaciones para muchos procesos ecosistémicos. La reintroducción activa de grandes herbívoros extirpados, o sus equivalentes funcionales, puede ayudar a revertir esta tendencia y restaurar diversos ecosistemas y sus procesos. Sin embargo, no está claro si la competencia por recursos entre herbívoros nativos y no nativos podría amenazar las iniciativas de restauración, o en qué medida las especies (re)introducidas pueden influir la dinámica de la vegetación local. Para responder a estas preguntas, investigamos las dietas de una comunidad de herbívoros sudamericanos que incluye especies nativas, especies nativas reintroducidas y especies no nativas introducidas. Examinamos la composición de plantas, la amplitud de la dieta y la superposición entre especies para describir el perfil herbívoro local y el potencial de competencia por los recursos. Utilizando metabarcoding de ADN en muestras fecales (n = 465), analizamos las dietas de la comunidad de herbívoros en el sitio de rewilding Rincón del Socorro dentro del Parque Nacional Iberá, Argentina. Comparamos la riqueza de especies en las muestras fecales, la ocurrencia de familias de plantas/formas de crecimiento y la similitud en la composición de las muestras (interespecíficamente e intraespecíficamente). Nuestros resultados indican la partición taxonómica a nivel de especie de los recursos vegetales por parte de los herbívoros en este sistema. Las diferencias en la riqueza de las muestras, la composición y la amplitud de las dietas reflejaron una amplia gama de estrategias de herbivoría, desde pastoreadores (capibara) hasta herbívoros mixtos/ramoneadores (corzuela, tapir amazónico). Las diferencias en la similitud de la composición de la dieta (Jaccard) revelaron una fuerte partición taxonómica de los recursos. Los dos herbívoros con las dietas más similares (venado de las pampas y corzuela), aún así diferían en más del 80%. Además, todas las especies menos una (ciervo axis) tenían una composición dietética más similar intraespecíficamente que en comparación con las demás. En general, encontramos poca evidencia de competencia por recursos entre las especies de herbívoros. En cambio, las especies nativas reintroducidas recientemente y las no nativas introducidas históricamente probablemente estén ampliando el rango de dinámica de herbivoría en el ecosistema. Se necesitarán más investigaciones para determinar todos los impactos ecológicos de estos herbívoros (re)introducidos. En conclusión, mostramos diferencias claras en la amplitud y composición de la dieta entre especies de herbívoros nativas, reintroducidas y no nativas que pueden ser clave para promover la partición de recursos, la coexistencia de especies y la restauración de las funciones ecológicas.

11.
Nat Commun ; 15(1): 166, 2024 Jan 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38167693

RESUMO

Trees are pivotal to global biodiversity and nature's contributions to people, yet accelerating global changes threaten global tree diversity, making accurate species extinction risk assessments necessary. To identify species that require expert-based re-evaluation, we assess exposure to change in six anthropogenic threats over the last two decades for 32,090 tree species. We estimated that over half (54.2%) of the assessed species have been exposed to increasing threats. Only 8.7% of these species are considered threatened by the IUCN Red List, whereas they include more than half of the Data Deficient species (57.8%). These findings suggest a substantial underestimation of threats and associated extinction risk for tree species in current assessments. We also map hotspots of tree species exposed to rapidly changing threats around the world. Our data-driven approach can strengthen the efforts going into expert-based IUCN Red List assessments by facilitating prioritization among species for re-evaluation, allowing for more efficient conservation efforts.


Assuntos
Espécies em Perigo de Extinção , Árvores , Biodiversidade , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Extinção Biológica
12.
Environ Monit Assess ; 196(2): 161, 2024 Jan 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38231372

RESUMO

Young-of-the-year fish communities are widely used as bioindicators of various environmental disturbances. This study was conducted from 1997 to 2015 and aims to develop fish trait-based indices of changes in the temperature regime and eutrophication of water bodies in the Dnipro River basin. We identified fish traits that significantly correlate with both temperature and chlorophyll-a concentration optimum: reproduction habitat, oxygen tolerance, and toxicity tolerance. Compared to other ecological groups, lithophilic species exhibited the lowest degree of thermal and eutrophication optimum, indicating this species' greater vulnerability to environmental alteration. Fish species that are intolerant to water quality and low oxygen concentration were the most sensitive to changes in temperature regime and eutrophication level. Salinity preferences and water quality tolerance emerged as reliable predictors of temperature optimum. Freshwater fish had an average temperature optimum that was 4.5% higher than that of freshwater-brackish and freshwater-brackish-marine fish. Species tolerance to the temperature factors and nutrient loads correlated only with rheophily, with rheophilic species having an average 13.8% higher temperature tolerance than other fish species and a 10.4% higher chlorophyll-a concentration tolerance. The fish temperature index increased over time during the study period in all the studied water bodies, consistent with ongoing warming affecting all sites. In contrast, the Fish Eutrophication Index showed greater temporal heterogeneity in studied water bodies, indicating various adaptative potentials of fish communities to eutrophication. These indices can be relevant for assessing disturbed situations caused by changes in climatic and anthropogenic impacts on water bodies.


Assuntos
Biomarcadores Ambientais , Monitoramento Ambiental , Animais , Temperatura , Clorofila , Clorofila A , Eutrofização , Peixes , Oxigênio
13.
Ecology ; 105(1): e4193, 2024 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37882140

RESUMO

Climate warming, often accompanied by extreme drought events, could have profound effects on both plant community structure and ecosystem functioning. However, how warming interacts with extreme drought to affect community- and ecosystem-level stability remains a largely open question. Using data from a manipulative experiment with three warming treatments in an alpine meadow that experienced one extreme drought event, we investigated how warming modulates resistance and recovery of community structural and ecosystem functional stability in facing with extreme drought. We found warming decreased resistance and recovery of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and structural resistance but increased resistance and recovery of belowground net primary productivity (BNPP), overall net primary productivity (NPP), and structural recovery. The findings highlight the importance of jointly considering above- and belowground processes when evaluating ecosystem stability under global warming and extreme climate events. The stability of dominant species, rather than species richness and species asynchrony, was identified as a key predictor of ecosystem functional resistance and recovery, except for BNPP recovery. In addition, structural resistance of common species contributed strongly to the resistance changes in BNPP and NPP. Importantly, community structural resistance and recovery dominated the resistance and recovery of BNPP and NPP, but not for ANPP, suggesting the different mechanisms underlie the maintenance of stability of above- versus belowground productivity. This study is among the first to explain that warming modulates ecosystem stability in the face of extreme drought and lay stress on the need to investigate ecological stability at the community level for a more mechanistic understanding of ecosystem stability in response to climate extremes.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Pradaria , Secas , Clima , Mudança Climática
14.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 6950, 2023 10 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37907453

RESUMO

Across the globe, tree species are under high anthropogenic pressure. Risks of extinction are notably more severe for species with restricted ranges and distinct evolutionary histories. Here, we use a global dataset covering 41,835 species (65.1% of known tree species) to assess the spatial pattern of tree species' phylogenetic endemism, its macroecological drivers, and how future pressures may affect the conservation status of the identified hotspots. We found that low-to-mid latitudes host most endemism hotspots, with current climate being the strongest driver, and climatic stability across thousands to millions of years back in time as a major co-determinant. These hotspots are mostly located outside of protected areas and face relatively high land-use change and future climate change pressure. Our study highlights the risk from climate change for tree diversity and the necessity to strengthen conservation and restoration actions in global hotspots of phylogenetic endemism for trees to avoid major future losses of tree diversity.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Mudança Climática , Filogenia , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Evolução Biológica , Ecossistema
15.
Sci Adv ; 9(45): eadi9135, 2023 11 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37948521

RESUMO

The extent of vegetation openness in past European landscapes is widely debated. In particular, the temperate forest biome has traditionally been defined as dense, closed-canopy forest; however, some argue that large herbivores maintained greater openness or even wood-pasture conditions. Here, we address this question for the Last Interglacial period (129,000-116,000 years ago), before Homo sapiens-linked megafauna declines and anthropogenic landscape transformation. We applied the vegetation reconstruction method REVEALS to 96 Last Interglacial pollen records. We found that light woodland and open vegetation represented, on average, more than 50% cover during this period. The degree of openness was highly variable and only partially linked to climatic factors, indicating the importance of natural disturbance regimes. Our results show that the temperate forest biome was historically heterogeneous rather than uniformly dense, which is consistent with the dependency of much of contemporary European biodiversity on open vegetation and light woodland.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Florestas , Humanos , Biodiversidade , Pólen , Madeira , Árvores
16.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 7679, 2023 Nov 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37996436

RESUMO

The worldwide extinction of megafauna during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene is evident from the fossil record, with dominant theories suggesting a climate, human or combined impact cause. Consequently, two disparate scenarios are possible for the surviving megafauna during this time period - they could have declined due to similar pressures, or increased in population size due to reductions in competition or other biotic pressures. We therefore infer population histories of 139 extant megafauna species using genomic data which reveal population declines in 91% of species throughout the Quaternary period, with larger species experiencing the strongest decreases. Declines become ubiquitous 32-76 kya across all landmasses, a pattern better explained by worldwide Homo sapiens expansion than by changes in climate. We estimate that, in consequence, total megafauna abundance, biomass, and energy turnover decreased by 92-95% over the past 50,000 years, implying major human-driven ecosystem restructuring at a global scale.


Assuntos
Mudança Climática , Ecossistema , Humanos , Animais , Extinção Biológica , Fósseis , Biomassa
17.
BMC Ecol Evol ; 23(1): 65, 2023 11 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37919657

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Climate change coupled with other anthropogenic pressures may affect the extent of suitable habitat for species and thus their distributions. This is particularly true for species occupying high-altitude habitats such as the gelada (Theropithecus gelada) of the Ethiopian highlands. To explore the impact of climate change on species distributions, Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) has been extensively used. Here we model the current and future extent of sutibale habitat for geladas. Our modelling was based on 285 presence locations of geladas, covering their complete current distribution. We used different techniques to generate pseudoabsence datasets, MaxEnt model complexities, and cut-off thresholds to map the potential distribution of gelada under current and future climates (2050 and 2070). We assembled maps from these techniques to produce a final composite map. We also evaluated the change in the topographic features of gelada over the past 200 years by comparing the topography in current and historical settings. RESULTS: All model runs had high performances, AUC = 0.87-0.96. Under the current climate, the suitable habitat predicted with high certainty was 90,891 km2, but it decreased remarkably under future climates, -36% by 2050 and - 52% by 2070. However, since the habitats of geladas already extend to mountaintop grasslands, no remarkable range shifts across elevation gradients were predicted under future climates. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicated that climate change most likely results in a loss of suitable habitat for geladas, particularly south of the Rift Valley. Currently geladas are confined to higher altitudes and steep slopes compared to historical sightings, probably qualifying geladas as refugee species. The difference in topography is potentially associated with anthropogenic pressures that drove niche truncation to higher altitudes, undermining the climatic and topographic niche our models predicted. We recommend protecting the current habitats of geladas even when they are forecasted to become climatically unsuitable in the future, in particular for the population south of the Rift Valley.


Assuntos
Theropithecus , Animais , Ecossistema , Meio Ambiente
18.
Sci Adv ; 9(40): eadh9719, 2023 10 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37801494

RESUMO

Incomplete sampling of species' geographic distributions has challenged biogeographers for many years to precisely quantify global-scale biodiversity patterns. After correcting for the spatial inequality of sample completeness, we generated a global species diversity map for woody angiosperms (82,974 species, 13,959,780 occurrence records). The standardized diversity estimated more pronounced latitudinal and longitudinal diversity gradients than the raw data and improved the spatial prediction of diversity based on environmental factors. We identified areas with potentially high species richness and rarity that are poorly explored, unprotected, and threatened by increasing human pressure: They are distributed mostly at low latitudes across central South America, Central Africa, subtropical China, and Indomalayan islands. These priority areas for botanical exploration can help to efficiently fill spatial knowledge gaps for better describing the status of biodiversity and improve the effectiveness of the protected area network for global woody plant conservation.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Madeira , Humanos , Plantas , América do Sul , China , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema
19.
Nat Ecol Evol ; 7(10): 1645-1653, 2023 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37652995

RESUMO

While human-driven biological invasions are rapidly spreading, finding scalable and effective control methods poses an unresolved challenge. Here, we assess whether megaherbivores-herbivores reaching ≥1,000 kg of body mass-offer a nature-based solution to plant invasions. Invasive plants are generally adapted to maximize vegetative growth. Megaherbivores, with broad dietary tolerances, could remove large biomass of established plants, facilitating new plant growth. We used a massive dataset obtained from 26,838 camera stations and 158,979 vegetation plots to assess the relationships between megaherbivores, native plants and alien plants across India (~121,330 km2). We found a positive relationship between megaherbivore abundance and native plant richness and abundance, and a concomitant reduction in alien plant abundance. This relationship was strongest in protected areas with midproductive ecosystem and high megaherbivore density but it was lost in areas where thicket-forming alien plants predominated (>40% cover). By incorporating the role of ecosystem productivity, plants traits and densities of megaherbivores on megaherbivore-vegetation relationships, our study highlights a function of megaherbivores in controlling alien plant proliferation and facilitating diverse native plants in invaded ecosystems. The study shows great potential for megafauna-based trophic rewilding as a nature-based solution to counteract dominance of plant invasions.

20.
Nat Ecol Evol ; 7(10): 1620-1632, 2023 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37640766

RESUMO

Predicting drought-induced mortality (DIM) of woody plants remains a key research challenge under climate change. Here, we integrate information on the edaphoclimatic niches, phylogeny and hydraulic traits of species to model the hydraulic risk of woody plants globally. We combine these models with species distribution records to estimate the hydraulic risk faced by local woody plant species assemblages. Thus, we produce global maps of hydraulic risk and test for its relationship with observed DIM. Our results show that local assemblages modelled as having higher hydraulic risk present a higher probability of DIM. Metrics characterizing this hydraulic risk improve DIM predictions globally, relative to models accounting only for edaphoclimatic predictors or broad functional groupings. The methodology we present here allows mapping of functional trait distributions and elucidation of global macro-evolutionary and biogeographical patterns, improving our ability to predict potential global change impacts on vegetation.


Assuntos
Secas , Plantas , Mudança Climática , Fenótipo
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