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Title: Evaluating the impact of Homo-carnivore competition in European human settlements during the early to Middle Pleistocene
Authors: Rodríguez-Gómez, Guillermo
Rodríguez, Jesús
Martín-González, Jesús Ángel
Mateos Cachorro, Ana
Keywords: Competition intensity;Human presence;Europe;Early and Middle Pleistocene
Issue Date: Jun-2017
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Citation: Quaternary Research, 88 (1), 129-151
Abstract: Fossil remains and the technological complexes recorded in archaeological sites suggest that the human presence in Europe late in the early and middle Pleistocene was discontinuous. Moreover, competition for meat with other secondary consumers could have delayed the human dispersal through Europe. However, evaluation of the extent competition intensity among secondary consumers suggests this influenced the discontinuity of the human settlement of Europe between 1.1 and 0.2 Ma. Using a mathematical model, we estimate the amount of biomass available in a community for secondary consumers. The amount of available biomass is subsequently distributed among the guild of secondary consumers according to their requirements and prey preferences. Indexes that quantify the competition intensity among secondary consumers to compare the conditions in different paleoecosystems show that the competition intensity late in the early Pleistocene, early in the middle Pleistocene, and late in the middle Pleistocene does not support the view that an increase in competition intensity constrained the expansion of human populations early in the middle Pleistocene. Somewhat paradoxically, the lowest competition intensity is estimated to have occurred early in the middle Pleistocene, most likely because of an increase in the number of large herbivore species and a decrease in the number of secondary consumers. The early Pleistocene paleoecosystems supported higher competition intensity than the middle Pleistocene ecosystems, likely because of the different configuration in the food webs of these two periods (the early and middle Pleistocene).
ISSN: 0033-5894
DOI: 10.1017/qua.2017.20
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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