Range Sizes of the World's Mammals, Birds, and Amphibians from the Mid-Holocene to the Industrial Period.
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Beyer, R., & Manica, A. (2021). Range Sizes of the World's Mammals, Birds, and Amphibians from the Mid-Holocene to the Industrial Period.. Animals (Basel), 11 (12) https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123561
Anthropogenic land use and climate change in the Industrial age have had substantial impacts on the geographic ranges of the world's terrestrial animal species. How do these impacts compare against those in the millennia preceding the Industrial era? Here, we combine reconstructions of global climate and land use from 6000 BCE to 1850 CE with empirical data on the spatial distributions and habitat requirements of 16,919 mammal, bird, and amphibian species to estimate changes in their range sizes through time. We find that land use had only a small, yet almost entirely negative impact during most of the study period, whilst natural climatic variability led to some range expansions and contractions; but, overall it had a small impact on the majority of species. Our results provide a baseline for comparison with studies of range changes during the Industrial period, demonstrating that contemporary rates of range loss exceed the magnitude of range changes seen over many thousands of years prior to the Industrial period by an alarming extent.
biodiversity, climate change, land use, range shifts, palaeoclimate, agriculture
European Research Council (647787)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123561
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/332019