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Modelling the role of groundwater hydro-refugia in East African hominin evolution and dispersal

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dc.contributor.author Cuthbert, M.O.
dc.contributor.author Gleeson, Tom
dc.contributor.author Reynolds, S.C.
dc.contributor.author Bennett, M.R.
dc.contributor.author Newton, A.C.
dc.contributor.author McCormack, C.J.
dc.contributor.author Ashely, G.M.
dc.date.accessioned 2017-07-18T03:18:55Z
dc.date.available 2017-07-18T03:18:55Z
dc.date.copyright 2017 en_US
dc.date.issued 2017-05-30
dc.identifier.citation Cuthbert, M. O. et al. (2017). Modelling the role of groundwater hydro-refugia in East African hominin evolution and dispersal. Nature Communications 8, 15696. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15696 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15696
dc.identifier.uri https://dspace.library.uvic.ca//handle/1828/8341
dc.description.abstract Water is a fundamental resource, yet its spatiotemporal availability in East Africa is poorly understood. This is the area where most hominin first occurrences are located, and consequently the potential role of water in hominin evolution and dispersal remains unresolved. Here, we show that hundreds of springs currently distributed across East Africa could function as persistent groundwater hydro-refugia through orbital-scale climate cycles. Groundwater buffers climate variability according to spatially variable groundwater response times determined by geology and topography. Using an agent-based model, grounded on the present day landscape, we show that groundwater availability would have been critical to supporting isolated networks of hydro-refugia during dry periods when potable surface water was scarce. This may have facilitated unexpected variations in isolation and dispersal of hominin populations in the past. Our results therefore provide a new environmental framework in which to understand how patterns of taxonomic diversity in hominins may have developed. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Nature Communications en_US
dc.rights Attribution 2.5 Canada *
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/ca/ *
dc.title Modelling the role of groundwater hydro-refugia in East African hominin evolution and dispersal en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Faculty en_US
dc.description.reviewstatus Reviewed en_US


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