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Trends Ecol Evol. 2015 Sep;30(9):540-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2015.06.008. Epub 2015 Jul 11.

Conservation archaeogenomics: ancient DNA and biodiversity in the Anthropocene.

Author information

1
Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA; Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA; Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA. Electronic address: hofmanc@si.edu.
2
Program in Human Ecology and Archaeobiology, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA.
3
Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA.
4
Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA; Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA.

Abstract

There is growing consensus that we have entered the Anthropocene, a geologic epoch characterized by human domination of the ecosystems of the Earth. With the future uncertain, we are faced with understanding how global biodiversity will respond to anthropogenic perturbations. The archaeological record provides perspective on human-environment relations through time and across space. Ancient DNA (aDNA) analyses of plant and animal remains from archaeological sites are particularly useful for understanding past human-environment interactions, which can help guide conservation decisions during the environmental changes of the Anthropocene. Here, we define the emerging field of conservation archaeogenomics, which integrates archaeological and genomic data to generate baselines or benchmarks for scientists, managers, and policy-makers by evaluating climatic and human impacts on past, present, and future biodiversity.

KEYWORDS:

ancient DNA; archaeology; conservation genetics; historical ecology

PMID:
26169594
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2015.06.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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