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Linking top-down forces to the pleistocene megafaunal extinctions

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dc.creator Ripple, William J.
dc.creator Van Valkenburgh, Blaire
dc.date.accessioned 2011-07-27T18:07:47Z
dc.date.available 2011-07-27T18:07:47Z
dc.date.issued 2010-07
dc.identifier.citation Ripple, W. J., & Van Valkenburgh, B. (2010, July/August). Linking top-down forces to the pleistocene megafanal extinctions. BioScience, 60(7), 516-526. doi:10.1525/bio.2010.60.7.7 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/22140
dc.description.abstract Humans, in conjunction with natural top-down processes and through a sequence of cascading trophic interactions, may have contributed to the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions. The arrival of the first humans, as hunters and scavengers, through top-down forcing, could have triggered a population collapse of large herbivores and their predators. We present evidence that the large mammalian herbivores of the North American Pleistocene were primarily predator limited and at low densities, and therefore highly susceptible to extinction when humans were added to the predator guild. Our empirical evidence comes from data on carnivore dental attrition, proboscidean age structure, life history, tusk growth rates, and stable isotopes from the fossil record. We suggest a research agenda for further testing of this hypothesis that will provide a more detailed comprehension of late Pleistocene megafaunal ecology, and thereby allow us to better understand and manage remaining megafauna en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Institute of Biological Sciences en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries BioScience en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Vol. 60 (2010) en_US
dc.subject pleistocene en_US
dc.subject megafauna en_US
dc.subject extinctions en_US
dc.subject large carnivores en_US
dc.subject humans en_US
dc.title Linking top-down forces to the pleistocene megafaunal extinctions en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.peerreview yes en_US
dc.identifier.doi doi:10.1525/bio.2010.60.7.7

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