Genetic diversity may shrink due to the excitement of animals in new areas as they are at risk of extinction as a result of global warming, scientists have warned after exploring the effects of climate change on the American Mastodon.
Huge, hairy and with a pair of terrifying tusks, the mastodons resemble stocky, hairy elephants. Early fossils of American mastodons are commonly found with animals in wood and waterlogged areas browsing around plants and shrubs 3.5
However, they became extinct 11,000 years ago – probably due to a combination of climate change and human prey.
Now researchers say an analysis of ancient mitochondrial DNA sheds new light on the effects of global heating and cooling on animals.
“As temperatures warmed, they followed forest and wetland niches as they moved north,” said Professor Hendrik Poner, co-author of the research at McMaster University in Canada.
But their fortunes have changed with the climate. “As climate change cools again, they become confined to the north and eventually become extinct locally, unable to cope with climate change,” he said.
Seriously, this group has seen less genetic diversity among animals moving north. As a result of global warming, species including moose and beavers are moving north today, the team said, adding that the findings are important because it suggests that these species may be less stable for further stress. .
Another American, Emil Karpinski, says, “While this is not a big problem for American mastodons, it may not be good for existing species if the same pattern is true and they trade limitations for their southern populations and newcomers to the north,” said another author, Emil Karpinski. Research from McMaster University.
Writing in the journal Nature Communications, Ponner and colleagues reported how they analyzed ancient mitochondrial DNA obtained from the remains of 35 American mastdons across North America.
By comparing mitochondrial genomes, the team discovered that animals fell into five main clusters, and one formed a sixth from its own. Two of the five main clusters include Mastodon from Alaska and Yukon extensively. The mastdons in one of these clusters lasted from an inter-community period of 130,000 to 60,000 years ago. The mastdons of the other clusters, however, were much older, indicating that they were part of a separate migration during the previous transboundary period.
The team said the results showed that a small number of mastodons moved northward following the ice sheet on multiple occasions, but died in the region as the climate cooled and the ice returned – supporting a theory that reduced genetic diversity in both groups.
The team added that this national migration was probably a surprise, affecting other North American animals, such as camels in West America.
“Similarly, in Eurasia, the warm-adapted species Hippopotamus and Hyenas extended their range northward in ice-covered areas such as the British Isles and Scandinavia during the previous partition, probably in a similar process,” they wrote.
Professor Love Dalen from the Palaeogenetics Center in Sweden, who was not involved in the work, welcomed the study. “This is an amazing study that used ancient DNA to travel to the end of time on Earth, which was a million years ago during global warming.”
Dalan said the northern mastodons are not able to return to the south after the climate turns into winter, which is also a lesson.
“This is important because it suggests that when a species’ range shrinks as a result of climate change, it is characterized by population extinction in the range margins rather than moving to optimal populations.”