Erik de Boer

Erik de Boer
Institute Of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera

PhD

About

31
Publications
16,789
Reads
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586
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2022 - February 2022
University of Granada
Position
  • Postdoctoral researcher
February 2020 - July 2021
University of Barcelona
Position
  • Investigador convidat
November 2019 - November 2021
Autónomo
Position
  • Freelance paleoecologist

Publications

Publications (31)
Article
Human land use and climate change threaten ecosystems and natural resources, particularly on remote islands such as the Azores Archipelago in the North Atlantic. Since the official Portuguese settlement of the archipelago in the 15th and 16th centuries humans have extensively modified the Azorean landscape, with invasive plants dominating the prese...
Article
Full-text available
A multiproxy approach was applied to a sediment core retrieved from the deep crater lake Funda, located in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean on Flores Island, Azores archipelago (Portugal). The purpose of this study was to determine how this ecosystem responded to natural and anthropogenic forces over the last millennium. We distinguished thre...
Article
Humans have made such dramatic and permanent changes to Earth's landscapes that much of it is now substantially and irreversibly altered from its preanthropogenic state. Remote islands, until recently isolated from humans, offer insights into how these landscapes evolved in response to human-induced perturbations. However, little is known about whe...
Article
Islands are among the last regions on Earth settled and transformed by human activities, and they provide replicated model systems for analysis of how people affect ecological functions. By analyzing 27 representative fossil pollen sequences encompassing the past 5000 years from islands globally, we quantified the rates of vegetation compositional...
Poster
Full-text available
The discovery and colonization of remote oceanic islands drastically modified their ecosystems and the settlement of the Azores archipelago was no exception. One of the first impacts of human arrival is the change in vegetation due to land clearance practices (e.g. slash and burn), which is often associated with increase of macroscopic charcoal par...
Conference Paper
The discovery and settlement of the Azores archipelago is generally attributed to the Portuguese during the XVth century, but recent insights have raised questions about whether the islands were discovered earlier. Paleolimnological data from São Miguel suggest that the island was settled 150 years before the official Portuguese arrival date. To pi...
Article
A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and...
Research
How individual species and entire ecosystems will respond to future climate change are among the most pressing questions facing ecologists. Past biodiversity dynamics recorded in the paleoecological archives show a broad array of responses, yet significant knowledge gaps remain. In particular, the relative roles of evolutionary adaptation, phenotyp...
Article
Full-text available
Fire was rare on Mauritius prior to human arrival (AD 1598); subsequently three phases of elevated fire activity occurred: ca 1630–1747, 1787–1833, and 1950–modern. Elevated fire frequency coincided with periods of high human impact evidenced from the historical record, and is linked to the extinction of island endemics.
Article
Full-text available
The discovery and colonisation of islands by humans has invariably resulted in their widespread ecological transformation. The small and isolated populations of many island taxa, and their evolution in the absence of humans and their introduced taxa, mean that they are particularly vulnerable to human activities. Consequently, even the most degrade...
Article
Full-text available
Aims The 50th anniversary of the publication of the seminal book, The Theory of Island Biogeography, by Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson is a timely moment to review and identify key research foci that could advance island biology. Here, we take a collaborative horizon-scanning approach to identify 50 fundamental questions for the continued...
Article
Full-text available
How do organisms arrive on isolated islands, and how do insular evolutionary radiations arise? In a recent paper, Wilmé et al. (2016a) argue that early Austronesians that colonized Madagascar from Southeast Asia translocated giant tortoises to islands in the western Indian Ocean. In the Mascarene Islands, moreover, the human-translocated tortoises...
Article
Full-text available
The dodo Raphus cucullatus Linnaeus, 1758, an extinct and flightless, giant pigeon endemic to Mauritius, has fascinated people since its discovery, yet has remained surprisingly poorly known. Until the mid-19th century, almost all that was known about the dodo was based on illustrations and written accounts by 17th century mariners, often of questi...
Article
Full-text available
South American seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs) are critically endangered, with only a small proportion of their original distribution remaining. This paper presents a 12 000 year reconstruction of climate change, fire and vegetation dynamics in the Bolivian Chiquitano SDTF, based upon pollen and charcoal analysis, to examine the resilience...
Article
Full-text available
Analyses of pollen, diatoms, XRF geochemistry, and pigments provide a unique window into how an insular ecosystem in Mauritius responded to an extreme drought event 4200 years ago. We provide a reconstruction of regional vegetation change and local wetland development under influence of sea level rise and inferred climate change between 4400 and 41...
Chapter
Full-text available
Vegetation dynamics since the last glacial maximum in small oceanic islands and in continental settings are compared. We selected the islands of Minorca (Western Mediter- ranean), Tenerife (Eastern Atlantic), the Azores (Central Atlantic) and Mauritius (Indian Ocean) and compared pollen-based dynamics with selected continental areas of southern...
Article
Centuries of human interference have led to large scale reduction of montane forests in the northern Ecuadorian Andes. As a result the natural position of the upper forest line (UFL) in the area is now subject of scientific debate, which is hindering sustainable reforestation efforts. Uncertainty is fuelled by insufficient precision of fossil polle...
Article
A 115 cm long sediment core retrieved from the exposed uplands of Mauritius, a small oceanic island in the Indian Ocean, shows environmental change from the uninhabited era into post-colonization times. Well-preserved fossil pollen and diatoms in the uppermost 30 cm of the core reflect environmental conditions during the last 1000 years. Granulomet...
Conference Paper
Both records show a regime shift starting at the onset of the Holocene until 7.5 ka cal. • Both records show a development from glacial open unstratified forest to Holocene closed stratified forest. • Timing and composition of the turnover sequence is different. • Similar taxa show different dynamics.
Article
A 10 m long peat core from the Kanaka Crater (20° 25′ S, 57° 31′ E), located at 560 m elevation in Mauritius, was analyzed for microfossils. Eight radiocarbon ages show the pollen record reflects environmental and climatic change of the last ca. 38 cal ka BP. The record shows that the island was continuously covered by forest with Erica heath (Phil...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Response of insular biota to environmental change and human impact
Project
We are currently processing materials collected in Madagascar, Mauritius, and Rodrigues for paleoecological studies that can provide useful background for conservation projects in these areas. Work in progress includes radiocarbon dating, microfossil analysis, and study of newly discovered fossils of extinct and endangered birds and mammals.