Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions

vegan anarchist primitivist

Nicole L. Boivin, Melinda A. Zeder, Dorian Q. Fuller, Alison Crowther, Greger Larson, Jon M. Erlandson, Tim Denham, and Michael D. Petraglia 

Edited by Richard G. Klein, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and approved March 18, 2016 (received for review December 22, 2015)


The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens. A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had begun to engage in activities that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species across most, if not all, taxonomic groups. Changes to…

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