352 pages, Figs, tabs
The extent to which human activity has influenced species extinctions during the recent prehistoric past remains controversial due to other factors such as climatic fluctuations and a general lack of data. However, the Holocene (the geological interval spanning the last 11,500 years from the end of the last glaciation) has witnessed massive levels of extinctions that have continued into the modern historical era, but in a context of only relatively minor climatic fluctuations. This makes a detailed consideration of these extinctions a useful system for investigating the impacts of human activity over time.
Holocene Extinctions describes and analyses the range of global extinction events which have occurred during this key time period, as well as their relationship to both earlier and ongoing species losses. By integrating information from fields as diverse as zoology, ecology, palaeontology, archaeology and geography, and by incorporating data from a broad range of taxonomic groups and ecosystems, this novel text provides a fascinating insight into human impacts on global extinction rates, both past and present.
This truly interdisciplinary book is suitable for both graduate students and researchers in these varied fields. It will also be of value and use to policy-makers and conservation professionals since it provides valuable guidance on how to apply lessons from the past to prevent future biodiversity loss and inform modern conservation planning.
This volume represents a valuable contribution to the literature on the late Quaternary and particularly on extinction dynamics. It should be of considerable use to conservation biologists and paleontologists, as well as anyone interested in the historical record of the Earth. Felisa A. Smith, Quarterly Review of Biology
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