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Combining Bayesian age models and genetics to investigate population dynamics and extinction of the last mammoths in northern Siberia
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2021 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 259, article id 106913Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To understand the causes and implications of an extinction event, detailed information is necessary. However, this can be challenging when working with poorly resolved paleontological data sets. One approach to increase the data resolution is by combining different methods. In this study, we used both radiocarbon and genetic data to reconstruct the population history and extinction dynamics of the woolly mammoth in northern Siberia. We generated 88 new radiocarbon dates and combined these with previously published dates from 626 specimens to construct Bayesian age models. These models show that mammoths disappeared on the eastern Siberian mainland before the onset of the Younger Dryas (12.9–11.7 ky cal BP). Mammoths did however persist in the northernmost parts of central and western Siberia until the early Holocene. Further genetic results of 131 high quality mitogenomes, including 22 new mitogenomes generated in this study, support the hypothesis that mammoths from, or closely related to, a central and/or west- Siberian population recolonized Wrangel Island over the now submerged northern Siberian plains. As mammoths became trapped on the island due to rising sea levels, they lived another ca. 6000 years on Wrangel Island before eventually going extinct ca. 4000 years ago.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. Vol. 259, article id 106913
Keywords [en]
Ancient DNA, Radiocarbon, Woolly mammoth, Mitochondrial genomes, Bayesian age modelling
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
SWEDARCTIC 2017, Arctic islands 2017
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8668DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.106913OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8668DiVA, id: diva2:1548132
Available from: 2021-04-29 Created: 2021-04-29 Last updated: 2021-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379121001207
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