As humans kill other species in their reproductive prime, there can be profound implications — including widespread extinction and restructuring of food webs and ecosystems–in both terrestrial and marine systems.
To evaluate the nature of human predation compared to nonhuman predation, Chris Darimont et al. conducted a survey of 2,125 species of predators around the world in marine and land environments. The results reveal that humans tend to prey on adults of other species at rates up to 14 times higher than other predators, with particularly intense exploitation of terrestrial carnivores and fishes.
Among fisheries, the authors found that the predation effect was even more pronounced in the Atlantic Ocean, which they suggest is a result of higher human densities and reduced fish biomass (from a longer period of regular and intensive fishing); the situation in the Atlantic reflects how the low abundance of economically valuable prey can drive aggressive exploitation.
All together, the unique predation behavior of humans can have significant impacts on ecosystems, altering observable traits like size, as well as life-history traits of other species, modifying the reproductive potential of populations, and transforming ecological interactions of food webs. A Perspective by Boris Worm takes a closer look at our tendency towards big catches, and its implications.
PRESS RELEASE – AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
or contact David Britchfield on 07515 998871 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. By David Britchfield, Project Manager
Welcome to Questions of Doom. In this series, we answer your questions about Archaeology and our shared heritage.
Today, I tackle the reasons why people bend swords in graves?
Killing the Weapons. An Insight on Graves with Destroyed Weapons in Late Iron Age Transylvania:
Hidden Histories: Fake it ’till They Excavate it!:
Prehistoric fish from 385 million years ago provides “missing link” between fish and land-dwellers, say scientists
Was the growth of an Iron Age town in Britain down to French immigrants? Archaeologists begin £1 million project at site where Prehistoric poodle was found
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