The Human Footprint on Islands - The Ecological Impact of Discovery and Colonization
A special issue of Quaternary (ISSN 2571-550X).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 19281
Interests: paleoecology and palynology; island biogeography; climate change; human arrival and extinction
Interests: palaeoecology; island biogeography; plant ecology; human impact; forest dynamics; palaeoenvironmental DNA
Interests: ancient DNA; extinctions; human impacts on ecosystems; paleodiets; paleoecology; palynology
The discovery and settlement of previously-uninhabited land masses around the world caused dramatic changes to local ecosystems and biotas. These changes were particularly evident on islands, where human settlement usually marked the beginning of a period of habitat destruction and extinctions of local flora and fauna. Although extinctions are perhaps the most widely known impact, they represent only part of the transformation that was set in motion after an island´s settlement. For example, distribution range shifts and extinctions led to the loss of biotic interactions, while new interactions were created following the introduction of invasive species. In the last decade, an increasing number of studies have reported novel and unprecedented anthropogenic pressures on island ecosystems. An improved understanding of the human footprint on islands will provide valuable information for biodiversity conservation.
In this Special Issue, we will study baseline conditions and drivers of ecosystem change on islands prior to human arrival and examine the timing and mode of human settlement to examine subsequent ecological changes. In particular, we are interested in quantitative studies of island ecosystem changes following their initial discovery and settlement. We welcome contributions from a wide range of Quaternary disciplines—preferably interdisciplinary or multi-proxy studies—across different timescales. Examples include ecological baseline studies (e.g., the effects of sea level changes during glacial and interglacial periods on island biotas), resilience or vulnerability of island biotas to natural and anthropogenic climate change, studies on (pre-)historical human land use, and studies on current threats, such as habitat loss and biological invasion.
Dr. Erik de Boer
Dr. Lea de Nascimento
Dr. Jamie Wood
Dr. Sandra Nogué
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Landscape use and change
- Early discovery
- Community dynamics
- Restoration ecology
- Fire regime
- Historical land use