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  Evaluating refugia in recent human evolution in Africa

Blinkhorn, J., Timbrell, L., Grove, M., & Scerri, E. M. L. (2022). Evaluating refugia in recent human evolution in Africa. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 377(1849): 20200485. doi:10.1098/rstb.2020.0485.

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 Creators:
Blinkhorn, James1, 2, Author              
Timbrell, Lucy, Author
Grove, Matt, Author
Scerri, Eleanor M. L.1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              
2Lise Meitner Pan-African Evolution Research Group, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_3033582              

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Free keywords: refugia, Late Pleistocene, Africa, Homo sapiens, palaeoenvironmental change
 Abstract: Homo sapiens have adapted to an incredible diversity of habitats around the globe. This capacity to adapt to different landscapes is clearly expressed within Africa, with Late Pleistocene Homo sapiens populations occupying savannahs, woodlands, coastlines and mountainous terrain. As the only area of the world where Homo sapiens have clearly persisted through multiple glacial-interglacial cycles, Africa is the only continent where classic refugia models can be formulated and tested to examine and describe changing patterns of past distributions and human phylogeographies. The potential role of refugia has frequently been acknowledged in the Late Pleistocene palaeoanthropological literature, yet explicit identification of potential refugia has been limited by the patchy nature of palaeoenvironmental and archaeological records, and the low temporal resolution of climate or ecological models. Here, we apply potential climatic thresholds on human habitation, rooted in ethnographic studies, in combination with high-resolution model datasets for precipitation and biome distributions to identify persistent refugia spanning the Late Pleistocene (130–10 ka). We present two alternate models suggesting that between 27% and 66% of Africa may have provided refugia to Late Pleistocene human populations, and examine variability in precipitation, biome and ecotone distributions within these refugial zones.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-03-072022-04-25
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 15
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: 1. Introduction
2. The role of refugia in African palaeoanthropology
3. Exploring potential human refugia in Late Pleistocene African landscapes
(a) Identifying precipitation refugia
(b) Biome changes within precipitation refugia
(c) Open and forested landscapes within precipitation refugia
(d) A case study of Late Pleistocene human occupation of eastern African refugia
4. Discussion
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2020.0485
Other: shh3167
 Degree: -

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Title: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences
  Other : Philosophical Transactions B
  Abbreviation : Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B
  Subtitle : Tropical forests in the deep human past
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Royal Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 377 (1849) Sequence Number: 20200485 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0962-8436
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/963017382021_1