Megafauna extinctions produce idiosyncratic Anthropocene assemblages

Amir, Zachary, Moore, Jonathan H., Negret, Pablo Jose and Luskin, Matthew Scott (2022) Megafauna extinctions produce idiosyncratic Anthropocene assemblages. Science Advances, 8 (42). ISSN 2375-2548

[thumbnail of sciadv.abq2307]
PDF (sciadv.abq2307) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (1MB) | Preview


The “trophic downgrading of planet Earth” refers to the systematic decline of the world’s largest vertebrates. However, our understanding of why megafauna extinction risk varies through time and the importance of site- or species-specific factors remain unclear. Here, we unravel the unexpected variability in remaining terrestrial megafauna assemblages across 10 Southeast Asian tropical forests. Consistent with global trends, every landscape experienced Holocene and/or Anthropocene megafauna extirpations, and the four most disturbed landscapes experienced 2.5 times more extirpations than the six least disturbed landscapes. However, there were no consistent size- or guild-related trends, no two tropical forests had identical assemblages, and the abundance of four species showed positive relationships with forest degradation and humans. Our results suggest that the region’s megafauna assemblages are the product of a convoluted geoclimatic legacy interacting with modern disturbances and that some megafauna may persist in degraded tropical forests near settlements with sufficient poaching controls.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/life_on_land
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 03:56
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 03:56
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abq2307


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item