Functional traits of the world's late Quaternary large-bodied avian and mammalian herbivores

Lundgren, Erick J, Schowanek, Simon D, Rowan, John, Middleton, Owen, Pedersen, Rasmus Ø, Wallach, Arian D, Ramp, Daniel, Davis, Matt, Sandom, Christopher J and Svenning, Jens-Christian (2021) Functional traits of the world's late Quaternary large-bodied avian and mammalian herbivores. Scientific data, 8 (1). a17 1-21. ISSN 2052-4463

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Abstract

Prehistoric and recent extinctions of large-bodied terrestrial herbivores had significant and lasting impacts on Earth’s ecosystems due to the loss of their distinct trait combinations. The world’s surviving large-bodied avian and mammalian herbivores remain among the most threatened taxa. As such, a greater understanding of the ecological impacts of large herbivore losses is increasingly important. However, comprehensive and ecologically-relevant trait datasets for extinct and extant herbivores are lacking. Here, we present HerbiTraits, a comprehensive functional trait dataset for all late Quaternary terrestrial avian and mammalian herbivores ≥10 kg (545 species). HerbiTraits includes key traits that influence how herbivores interact with ecosystems, namely body mass, diet, fermentation type, habitat use, and limb morphology. Trait data were compiled from 557 sources and comprise the best available knowledge on late Quaternary large-bodied herbivores. HerbiTraits provides a tool for the analysis of herbivore functional diversity both past and present and its effects on Earth’s ecosystems.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2021 07:53
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2021 12:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/96450

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