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  Exaptation traits for megafaunal Mutualisms as a factor in plant domestication

Spengler, R. N., Petraglia, M., Roberts, P., Ashastina, K., Kistler, L., Mueller, N. G., et al. (2021). Exaptation traits for megafaunal Mutualisms as a factor in plant domestication. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12: 649394. doi:10.3389/fpls.2021.649394.

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 Creators:
Spengler, Robert N.1, Author              
Petraglia, Michael1, Author              
Roberts, Patrick1, Author              
Ashastina, Kseniia1, Author              
Kistler, Logan, Author
Mueller, Natalie G., Author
Boivin, Nicole1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: ecosystem engineering, megafauna, crops, seed dispersal, endozoochory, domestication, origins of agriculture, exaptation
 Abstract: Megafaunal extinctions are recurring events that cause evolutionary ripples, as cascades of secondary extinctions and shifting selective pressures reshape ecosystems. Megafaunal browsers and grazers are major ecosystem engineers, they: keep woody vegetation suppressed; are nitrogen cyclers; and serve as seed dispersers. Most angiosperms possess sets of physiological traits that allow for the fixation of mutualisms with megafauna; some of these traits appear to serve as exaptation (preadaptation) features for farming. As an easily recognized example, fleshy fruits are, an exaptation to agriculture, as they evolved to recruit a non-human disperser. We hypothesize that the traits of rapid annual growth, self-compatibility, heavy investment in reproduction, high plasticity (wide reaction norms), and rapid evolvability were part of an adaptive syndrome for megafaunal seed dispersal. We review the evolutionary importance that megafauna had for crop and weed progenitors and discuss possible ramifications of their extinction on: (1) seed dispersal; (2) population dynamics; and (3) habitat loss. Humans replaced some of the ecological services that had been lost as a result of late Quaternary extinctions and drove rapid evolutionary change resulting in domestication.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-03-24
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 14
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: Introduction
Lost Seed-Dispersal Services
- Small-Seeded Grains and Legumes
- Large Fleshy Fruiting Plants
Loss of Herbivory and Disturbance Regimes
Plant Domestication
- Exaptation Traits Supporting Domestication
Anthropogenic Ecosystem Services

 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2021.649394
Other: shh2907
 Degree: -

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Project name : FEDD
Grant ID : 851102
Funding program : Horizon 2020 (H2020)
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)

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Title: Frontiers in Plant Science
  Abbreviation : Front. Plant Sci.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Lausanne : Frontiers Media
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 12 Sequence Number: 649394 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1664-462X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1664462X