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      Paleoecology of the Serengeti during the Oldowan-Acheulean transition at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania: The mammal and fish evidence

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          Defaunation in the Anthropocene.

          We live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss: species and population extirpations and, critically, declines in local species abundance. Particularly, human impacts on animal biodiversity are an under-recognized form of global environmental change. Among terrestrial vertebrates, 322 species have become extinct since 1500, and populations of the remaining species show 25% average decline in abundance. Invertebrate patterns are equally dire: 67% of monitored populations show 45% mean abundance decline. Such animal declines will cascade onto ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Much remains unknown about this "Anthropocene defaunation"; these knowledge gaps hinder our capacity to predict and limit defaunation impacts. Clearly, however, defaunation is both a pervasive component of the planet's sixth mass extinction and also a major driver of global ecological change. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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            Food-web structure and network theory: The role of connectance and size.

            Networks from a wide range of physical, biological, and social systems have been recently described as "small-world" and "scale-free." However, studies disagree whether ecological networks called food webs possess the characteristic path lengths, clustering coefficients, and degree distributions required for membership in these classes of networks. Our analysis suggests that the disagreements are based on selective use of relatively few food webs, as well as analytical decisions that obscure important variability in the data. We analyze a broad range of 16 high-quality food webs, with 25-172 nodes, from a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Food webs generally have much higher complexity, measured as connectance (the fraction of all possible links that are realized in a network), and much smaller size than other networks studied, which have important implications for network topology. Our results resolve prior conflicts by demonstrating that although some food webs have small-world and scale-free structure, most do not if they exceed a relatively low level of connectance. Although food-web degree distributions do not display a universal functional form, observed distributions are systematically related to network connectance and size. Also, although food webs often lack small-world structure because of low clustering, we identify a continuum of real-world networks including food webs whose ratios of observed to random clustering coefficients increase as a power-law function of network size over 7 orders of magnitude. Although food webs are generally not small-world, scale-free networks, food-web topology is consistent with patterns found within those classes of networks.
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              African climate change and faunal evolution during the Pliocene–Pleistocene

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Journal of Human Evolution
                Journal of Human Evolution
                Elsevier BV
                00472484
                July 2018
                July 2018
                : 120
                : 48-75
                Article
                10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.10.009
                29191415
                7c7a9217-f264-45b3-8143-c67c60b81fc7
                © 2018

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

                http://www.elsevier.com/open-access/userlicense/1.0/

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