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      Late Holocene anthropogenic landscape change in northwestern Europe impacted insect biodiversity as much as climate change did after the last Ice Age


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          Since the last Ice Age ( ca 115 000–11 700 years ago), the geographical ranges of most plants and animals have shifted, expanded or contracted. Understanding the timing, geographical patterns and drivers of past changes in insect communities is essential for evaluating the biodiversity implications of future climate changes, yet our knowledge of long-term patterns is limited. We applied a network modelling approach to the recent fossil record of northwestern European beetles to investigate how their taxonomic and trait composition changed during the past 16 000 years. We found two major changes in beetle faunas 4000–3500 and 10 000–9500 years ago, coinciding with periods of human population growth in the Late Holocene and climate warming in the Early Holocene. Our results demonstrate that humans have affected insect biodiversity since at least the introduction of agropastoralism, with landscape-scale effects that can be observed at sites away from areas of direct human impact.

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          Most cited references48

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          Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change

          Ecological changes in the phenology and distribution of plants and animals are occurring in all well-studied marine, freshwater, and terrestrial groups. These observed changes are heavily biased in the directions predicted from global warming and have been linked to local or regional climate change through correlations between climate and biological variation, field and laboratory experiments, and physiological research. Range-restricted species, particularly polar and mountaintop species, show severe range contractions and have been the first groups in which entire species have gone extinct due to recent climate change. Tropical coral reefs and amphibians have been most negatively affected. Predator-prey and plant-insect interactions have been disrupted when interacting species have responded differently to warming. Evolutionary adaptations to warmer conditions have occurred in the interiors of species' ranges, and resource use and dispersal have evolved rapidly at expanding range margins. Observed genetic shifts modulate local effects of climate change, but there is little evidence that they will mitigate negative effects at the species level.
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            Global effects of land use on local terrestrial biodiversity

            Human activities, especially conversion and degradation of habitats, are causing global biodiversity declines. How local ecological assemblages are responding is less clear--a concern given their importance for many ecosystem functions and services. We analysed a terrestrial assemblage database of unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage to quantify local biodiversity responses to land use and related changes. Here we show that in the worst-affected habitats, these pressures reduce within-sample species richness by an average of 76.5%, total abundance by 39.5% and rarefaction-based richness by 40.3%. We estimate that, globally, these pressures have already slightly reduced average within-sample richness (by 13.6%), total abundance (10.7%) and rarefaction-based richness (8.1%), with changes showing marked spatial variation. Rapid further losses are predicted under a business-as-usual land-use scenario; within-sample richness is projected to fall by a further 3.4% globally by 2100, with losses concentrated in biodiverse but economically poor countries. Strong mitigation can deliver much more positive biodiversity changes (up to a 1.9% average increase) that are less strongly related to countries' socioeconomic status.
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              Associations between species and groups of sites: indices and statistical inference


                Author and article information

                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Proc Biol Sci
                Proc Biol Sci
                Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
                The Royal Society
                June 29, 2022
                June 22, 2022
                June 22, 2022
                : 289
                : 1977
                : 20212734
                [ 1 ] Environmental Archaeology Laboratory, Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious studies, Umeå University, , Umeå, Sweden
                [ 2 ] Integrated Science Laboratory (Icelab), Umeå University, , Umeå, Sweden
                [ 3 ] Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), , Oslo, Norway
                Author notes

                Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6026262.

                Author information
                © 2022 The Authors.

                Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

                : December 20, 2021
                : May 24, 2022
                Funded by: Umeå University, Sweden;
                Funded by: Swedish Research Council, Grant;
                Award ID: 2016-00796
                Funded by: Swedish Research Council;
                Award ID: 2017-00634
                Research Articles
                Custom metadata
                June 29, 2022

                Life sciences
                coleoptera,fossil beetles,palaeoentomology,biotic transitions
                Life sciences
                coleoptera, fossil beetles, palaeoentomology, biotic transitions


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