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LIFE & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

New Study Shows Early Human Impacts on Biodiversity

Even without all the industrial and technological growth that has accelerated climate change, humans can — and do — dramatically impact ecosystems.
 
A new paper in Nature Communications, co-authored by UC Merced Professor Marilyn Fogel, indicates early humans were responsible for the fairly rapid extinction of the 10-foot-tall flightless bird Genyornis newtoni in Australia about 47,000 years ago, simply through hunting and the interruption of reproduction.
 

Researchers Model Near Future of Coastal Redwoods’ Habitat

Many species of trees and plants have begun migrating as the climate changes, but some, like California’s giant coastal redwoods, can’t just pick up and move.
 
The proximity of the ocean, which has unique effects on temperature and climate, makes it challenging to predict what the redwoods’ habitat will look like in the future. By using California’s historical climate data, UC Merced researchers have developed near-term predictions about the coastal habitat for the archetypal redwoods.
 

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