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Title

Ancient DNA analyses exclude humans as the driving force behind late Pleistocene musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) population dynamics

Publication Year

2010

Author(s)
  • Campos, Paula F.
  • Willerslev, Eske
  • Sher, Andrei
  • Orlando, Ludovic
  • Axelsson, Erik
  • Tikhonov, Alexei
  • Aaris-Sorensen, Kim
  • Greenwood, Alex D.
  • Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich
  • Kosintsev, Pavel
  • Krakhmalnaya, Tatiana
  • Kuznetsova, Tatyana
  • Lemey, Philippe
  • MacPhee, Ross
  • Norris, Christopher A.
  • Shepherd, Kieran
  • Suchard, Marc A.
  • Zazula, Grant D.
  • Shapiro, Beth
  • Gilbert, M. Thomas P.
Source
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Volume: 107 Issue: 12 Pages: 5675-5680 Published: 2010
ISSN
0027-8424
Abstract

The causes of the late Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions are poorly understood. Different lines of evidence point to climate change, the arrival of humans, or a combination of these events as the trigger. Although many species went extinct, others, such as caribou and bison, survived to the present. The musk ox has an intermediate story: relatively abundant during the Pleistocene, it is now restricted to Greenland and the Arctic Archipelago. In this study, we use ancient DNA sequences, temporally unbiased summary statistics, and Bayesian analytical techniques to infer musk ox population dynamics throughout the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Our results reveal that musk ox genetic diversity was much higher during the Pleistocene than at present, and has undergone several expansions and contractions over the past 60,000 years. Northeast Siberia was of key importance, as it was the geographic origin of all samples studied and held a large diverse population until local extinction at approximate to 45,000 radiocarbon years before present ((14)C YBP). Subsequently, musk ox genetic diversity reincreased at ca. 30,000 (14)C YBP, recontracted at ca. 18,000 (14)C YBP, and finally recovered in the middle Holocene. The arrival of humans into relevant areas of the musk ox range did not affect their mitochondrial diversity, and both musk ox and humans expanded into Greenland concomitantly. Thus, their population dynamics are better explained by a nonanthropogenic cause (for example, environmental change), a hypothesis supported by historic observations on the sensitivity of the species to both climatic warming and fluctuations.

Author Keyword(s)
  • climate change
  • human impact
  • quaternary
  • megafauna extinctions
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • LAST GLACIAL MAXIMUM
  • NORTHERN EURASIA
  • ICE-SHEET
  • WOOLLY MAMMOTHS
  • NEW-WORLD
  • GREENLAND
  • CLIMATE
  • EXTINCTIONS
  • INFERENCE
  • AMERICA
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Multidisciplinary
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Multidisciplinary Sciences
Adress(es)

[Campos, Paula F.; Willerslev, Eske; Axelsson, Erik; Aaris-Sorensen, Kim; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.] Univ Copenhagen, Ctr GeoGenet, Nat Hist Museum Denmark, DK-1350 Copenhagen, Denmark; [Sher, Andrei] Russian Acad Sci, Severtsov Inst Ecol & Evolut, Moscow 119071, Russia; [Orlando, Ludovic] Univ Lyon 1, CNRS, Inst Genom Fonct Lyon, Inst Natl Rech Agron,Ecole Normale Super Lyon, F-69364 Lyon, France; [Tikhonov, Alexei] Russian Acad Sci, Inst Zool, St Petersburg 199034, Russia; [Greenwood, Alex D.] Old Dominion Univ, Dept Biol Sci, Norfolk, VA 23529 USA; [Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich] Senckenberg Res Inst, D-99423 Weimar, Germany; [Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich] Nat Hist Museums, Res Stn Quaternary Palaeontol, D-99423 Weimar, Germany; [Kosintsev, Pavel] Russian Acad Sci, Urals Branch, Inst Plant & Anim Ecol, Ekaterinburg 620144, Russia; [Krakhmalnaya, Tatiana] Natl Acad Sci Ukraine, Natl Museum Nat Hist, UA-01030 Kiev, Ukraine; [Kuznetsova, Tatyana] Moscow MV Lomonosov State Univ, Fac Geol, Dept Paleontol, Moscow 119991, Russia; [Lemey, Philippe] Katholieke Univ Leuven, Rega Inst, Dept Microbiol & Immunol, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium; [MacPhee, Ross] Amer Museum Nat Hist, Div Vertebrate Zool, New York, NY 10024 USA; [Norris, Christopher A.] Peabody Museum Nat Hist, Div Vertebrate Paleontol, New Haven, CT 06520 USA; [Shepherd, Kieran] Canadian Museum Nat, Ottawa, ON K1P 6P4, Canada; [Suchard, Marc A.] Univ Calif Los Angeles, Dept Biostat, Dept Biomath, Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA; [Suchard, Marc A.] Univ Calif Los Angeles, Dept Human Genet, Los Angeles, CA 90095 USA; [Zazula, Grant D.] Yukon Govt, Yukon Palaeontol Program, Dept Tourism & Culture, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6, Canada; [Shapiro, Beth] Penn State Univ, Dept Biol, University Pk, PA 16801 USA

Reprint Adress

Gilbert, MTP (reprint author), Univ Copenhagen, Ctr GeoGenet, Nat Hist Museum Denmark, DK-1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.

Country(ies)
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • United States
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • Institut de génomique fonctionnelle de Lyon (IGFL), UMR5242
Accession Number
WOS:000275898300073
uid:/RRMHJ6L3
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