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Planetary-scale change to the biosphere signalled by global species translocations can be used to identify the Anthropocene

October 11, 2022

We examine three distinctive biostratigraphic signatures associated with: hunting and gathering, landscape domestication, and globalisation. All three signatures have significant fossil records of regional importance that can be correlated inter-regionally and help describe the developing pattern of human expansion and appropriation of resources. While none have individual first or last appearances that provide a globally isochronous marker, all three signatures overlap stratigraphically, in that they are part of a continuum of change, with complex regional patterns. Here we show that during the later stages of globalisation, late 19th to 20th century records of species translocations can be used to build an interconnected web of palaeontological correlation with decadal or sub-decadal precision that dovetails with other stratigraphic markers for the Anthropocene. This palaeontological web is also a proxy for accelerating species extinction and of a state shift in the biosphere in the 20th century.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Planetary-scale change to the biosphere signalled by global species translocations can be used to identify the Anthropocene
DOI 10.1111/pala.12618
Authors Mark A. Williams, Reinhold Leinfelder, Anthony D. Barnosky, Martin J Head, Francine M G McCarthy, Cearreta. Alejandro, Stephen J Himson, Rachael Holmes, Colin N. Waters, Jan Zalasiewicz, Simon Turner, Mary McGann, Elizabeth A. Hadly, M. Allison Stegner, Paul Michael Pilkington, Jérôme Kaiser, Juan Carlos Berrio, Ian P. Wilkinson, Jens Zinke, Kristine L. DeLong
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Palaeontology
Index ID 70237347
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center