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Understanding the processes leading to fossilization

Modern death assemblages provide insights about the early stages of fossilization and useful ecological information about the species inhabiting the ecosystem. The results of taphonomic monitoring of modern vertebrate carcasses and bones from Doñana National Park, a Mediterranean coastal ecosystem in Andalusia, Spain, are presented. Ten different habitats were surveyed. Half of them occur in active depositional environments (marshland, lake margin, river margin, beach and dunes). Most of the skeletal remains belong to land mammals larger than 5 kg in body weight (mainly wild and feral ungulates). Overall, the Doñana bone assemblage shows good preservation with little damage to the bones, partly as a consequence of the low predator pressure on large vertebrates. Assemblages from active depositional habitats differ significantly from other habitats in terms of the higher incidence of breakage and chewing marks on bones in the latter, which result from scavenging, mainly by wild boar and red fox. The lake-margin and river-margin death assemblages have high concentrations of well preserved bones that are undergoing burial and offer the greatest potential to produce fossil assemblages. The spatial distribution of species in the Doñana death assemblage generally reflects the preferred habitats of the species in life. Meadows seem to be a preferred winter habitat for male deer, given the high number of shed antlers recorded there. This study is further proof that taphonomy can provide powerful insights to better understand the ecology of modern species and to infer past and future scenarios for the fossil record. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Domingo et al (2020) Taphonomic information from the modern vertebrate death assemblage of Doñana National Park, Spain. PLOS ONE 15(11): e0242082. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0242082


https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0242082
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For a better production, agriculture areas need to recover at least 20% of natural habitat

For a better production, agriculture areas need to recover at least 20% of natural habitat

International agreements aim to conserve 17% of Earth's land area by 2020 but include no area-based conservation targets within the working landscapes that support human needs through farming, ranching, and forestry. Through a review of country-level legislation, this study found that just 38% of countries have minimum area requirements for conserving native habitats within working landscapes. The study argues for increasing native habitats to at least 20% of working landscape area where it is below this minimum. Such target has benefits for food security, nature's contributions to people, and the connectivity and effectiveness of protected area networks in biomes in which protected areas are underrepresented. Other urgings of the review include maintaining native habitat at higher levels where it currently exceeds the 20% minimum, and a literature review shows that even more than 50% native habitat restoration is needed in particular landscapes. Including a >20% native habitats within working landscapes restoration target offers an unrivaled opportunity to simultaneously enhance biodiversity, food security and quality of life. The post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is an opportune moment to include a minimum habitat restoration target for working landscapes that contributes to, but does not compete with, initiatives for expanding protected areas, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Garibaldi et al (2020) Working landscapes need at least 20% native habitat. Conserv Letter DOI: 10.1111/conl.12773


https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/conl.12773