Human influence on faunal turnover during Early Holocene in Sicily

Luca Sineo, Daria Petruso

Risultato della ricerca: Other contribution


Session: Environment, climate and human impact: the archaeological evidenceAIQUA CONGRESS 2012 February 15-17 Pisa, Italy 71HUMAN INFLUENCE ON FAUNAL TURNOVER DURING EARLY HOLOCENE IN SICILYPetruso D., Sineo L.Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale e Biodiversità, University of Palermo, Via Archirafi, 18, 90123Palermo, ItalyThe faunistic analysis at the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Sicily allows to understand theecologic and/or human role in the faunal turn over of the island. Following the work of Petruso etal. (in press) we assessed that at the Pleniglacial-Late Glacial interval, in supposed absence ofhuman occurrence, were already extinct the last endemites (the middle sized elephant, the endemicsicilian subspecies of red deer, auroch and bison) and the large predators (the spotted hyena and thecave bear) surviving in Sicily from the late Middle Pleistocene. Otherwise some other taxa alreadyarrived during the Interpleniglacial still occur, such as the steppe ass and some small mammals (thecommon field mouse while the shrew and the Terricola vole arrived slightly before), and othersbelonging to the long resident taxa (such as the red fox, the wolf, the wild boar and the hedgehog)of the early Middle Pleistocene. The newly arrived fauna accompanied by humans is composed byan heterogeneous group of mammals such as the lynx, the auroch, the roe and red deer, the marten,the weasel, the hare and the wild cat. All these cohort of taxa seem not to be influenced byconsistent human presence with the exception of the wild ass and of the linx that become extinct atthe transition with Holocene. We conclude that the faunal turn over in Sicily have been drivenmostly by climatic fluctuations and geodynamic events (that modulated the connection or isolationphases of Sicily with the mainland) while the ecologic role of humans seems to have been very lowuntil the recent Holocene. During the course of Holocene human have influenced faunalcomposition with massive hunting but mostly with the active and passive introduction of alienspecies.Petruso D., Sarà M., Surdi G., Masini F., in press. Le faune a mammiferi della Sicilia tra ilTardoglaciale e L’Olocene. In: La Biogeografia della Sicilia. Biogeographia, 30.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2012


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