Frédérik Saltré

Frédérik Saltré
Flinders University · Biodiversity and Ecology Cluster

Ph.D

About

38
Publications
20,592
Reads
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1,300
Citations
Introduction
I am an ecologist (Research Fellow in Palaeo-ecological Modelling) interested in how ecosystems change through space and time. I combine modelling approaches with fossil data and genetic knowledge to inform how human pressure and climate changes modified ecosystem functioning. I write about ecology and climate change over time from the Late Pleistocene to the present day, and how our understanding of the past can help prepare us for the future.
Additional affiliations
February 2019 - May 2019
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Fellow
July 2017 - present
Flinders University
Position
  • Research Associate
October 2013 - July 2017
University of Adelaide
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
September 2007 - August 2010
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Field of study
  • Biology Geosciences Agro-resources and Environment
October 2004 - June 2006
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Field of study
  • Biology Geosciences Agro-resources and Environment
October 2000 - June 2004
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Field of study
  • Biology of Organisms

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
Climate impacts affect marine ecosystems worldwide with island nations such as New Zealand being extremely vulnerable because of their socio-economic and cultural dependence on the marine and costal environment. Cetaceans are ideal indicator species of ecosystem change and ocean health given their extended life span and cosmopolitan distribution, b...
Preprint
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Pleistocene archaeology in Australia has focussed on the survival and behaviour of Indigenous populations across Sahul during the Last Glacial Maximum (28.6 ± 2.8 ka to 17.7 ± 2.2 ka). A long-standing conceptual model proposes people occupied ecological refugia while abandoning drier regions during extreme climatic conditions, with inferred pattern...
Preprint
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Reconstructing the patterns of expansion out of Africa and across the globe by modern Homo sapiens have been advanced using demographic and travel-cost models. However, modelled routes are ipso facto influenced by migration rates, and vice versa. It is therefore timely to combine these two intertwined phenomena in reconstructing the migratory histo...
Article
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Extinctions stemming from environmental change often trigger trophic cascades and coextinctions. Bottom-up cascades occur when changes in the primary producers in a network elicit flow-on effects to higher trophic levels. However, it remains unclear what determines a species’ vulnerability to bottom-up cascades, and whether such cascades were a lar...
Article
Extinctions stemming from environmental change often trigger trophic cascades and coextinctions. Bottom–up cascades occur when changes in the primary producers in a network elicit flow-on effects to higher trophic levels. However, it remains unclear what determines a species' vulnerability to bottom–up cascades and whether such cascades were a larg...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological data and demographic modelling suggest that the peopling of Sahul required substantial populations, occurred rapidly within a few thousand years and encompassed environments ranging from hyper-arid deserts to temperate uplands and tropical rainforests. How this migration occurred and how humans responded to the physical environments...
Article
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In their comment on our paper “Underestimating the challenges of avoiding a ghastly future” (Bradshaw et al., 2021), Bluwstein et al. (2021) attempt to contravene our exposé of the enormous challenges facing the entire human population from a rapidly degrading global environment. While we broadly agree with the need for multi-disciplinary solutions...
Article
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Feral cats are some of the most destructive invasive predators worldwide, particularly in insular environments; hence, density-reduction campaigns are often applied to alleviate the predation mortality they add to native fauna. Density-reduction and eradication efforts are costly procedures with important outcomes for native fauna recovery, so they...
Article
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The original publication described FosSahul 2.0, the updated version of the FosSahul database comprising collated and quality-rated megafauna fossil ages of the Late Quaternary from Sahul, as well as R code to run the algorithm that rated the quality of each age based on criteria established by Rodríguez-Rey et al. 1. Since the paper was published...
Article
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The peopling of Sahul (the combined continent of Australia and New Guinea) represents the earliest continental migration and settlement event of solely anatomically modern humans, but its patterns and ecological drivers remain largely conceptual in the current literature. We present an advanced stochastic-ecological model to test the relative suppo...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. The regulation of river systems alters hydrodynamics and often reduces lateral connectivity between river channels and floodplains. For taxa such as frogs that rely on floodplain wetlands to complete their lifecycle, decreasing inundation frequency can reduce recruitment and increase the probability of local extinction. 2. We virtually reconstr...
Article
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The causes of Sahul’s megafauna extinctions remain uncertain, although several interacting factors were likely responsible. To examine the relative support for hypotheses regarding plausible ecological mechanisms underlying these extinctions, we constructed the first stochastic, age-structured models for 13 extinct megafauna species from five funct...
Preprint
Full-text available
Extinctions stemming from environmental change often trigger trophic cascades and coextinctions. However, it remains unclear whether trophic cascades were a large contributor to the megafauna extinctions that swept across several continents in the Late Pleistocene. The pathways to megafauna extinctions are particularly unclear for Sahul (landmass c...
Article
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We report three major and confronting environmental issues that have received little attention and require urgent action. First, we review the evidence that future environmental conditions will be far more dangerous than currently believed. The scale of the threats to the biosphere and all its lifeforms — including humanity — is in fact so great th...
Preprint
Full-text available
The causes of Sahul’s megafauna extinctions remain uncertain, although multiple, interacting factors were likely responsible. To test hypotheses regarding plausible ecological mechanisms underlying these extinctions, we constructed the first stochastic, age-structured models for 13 extinct megafauna species from five functional/taxonomic groups, as...
Article
Full-text available
The mechanisms leading to megafauna ( >44 kg) extinctions in Late Pleistocene (126,000—12,000 years ago) Australia are highly contested because standard chronological analyses rely on scarce data of varying quality and ignore spatial complexity. Relevant archaeological and palaeontological records are most often also biased by differential preserva...
Article
Full-text available
The 2016 version of the FosSahul database compiled non-human vertebrate megafauna fossil ages from Sahul published up to 2013 in a standardised format. Its purpose was to create a publicly available, centralized, and comprehensive database for palaeoecological investigations of the continent. Such databases require regular updates and improvements...
Article
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In its invasive range in Australia, the European rabbit threatens the persistence of native flora and fauna and damages agricultural production. Understanding its distribution and ecological niche is critical for developing management plans to reduce populations and avoid further biodiversity and economic losses. We developed an ensemble of species...
Article
Full-text available
The timing, context and nature of the first people to enter Sahul is still poorly understood owing to a fragmented archaeological record. However, quantifying the plausible demographic context of this founding population is essential to determine how and why the initial peopling of Sahul occurred. We developed a stochastic, age-structured model usi...
Article
Full-text available
The first peopling of Sahul (Australia, New Guinea and the Aru Islands joined at lower sea levels) by anatomically modern humans required multiple maritime crossings through Wallacea, with at least one approaching 100 km. Whether these crossings were accidental or intentional is unknown. Using coastal-viewshed analysis and ocean drift modelling com...
Article
With ongoing introductions into Australia since the 1700s, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has become one of the most widely distributed and abundant vertebrate pests, adversely impacting Australia's biodiversity and agro‐economy. To better understand the population and range dynamics of the species and its impacts, occurrence and abund...
Article
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The last large marsupial carnivores-the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilis harrisii) and thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus)-went extinct on mainland Australia during the mid-Holocene. Based on the youngest fossil dates (approx. 3500 years before present, BP), these extinctions are often considered synchronous and driven by a common cause. However, many...
Article
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The current distribution of species, environmental conditions and their interactions represent only one snapshot of a planet that is continuously changing, in part due to human influences. To distinguish human impacts from natural factors, the magnitude and pace of climate shifts since the Last Glacial Maximum are often used to determine whether pa...
Article
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It has been difficult to access projections of global-scale climate change with high temporal resolution spaning the late Pleistocene and Holocene. This has limited our ability to discern how climate fluctuations have affected species’ range dynamics and extinction processes, turn-over in ecological communities and changes in genetic diversity. Pal...
Article
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Uses of long-term ecological proxies in strategies for mitigating future biodiversity loss are too limited in scope. Recent advances in geochronological dating, palaeoclimate reconstructions and molecular techniques for inferring population dynamics offer exciting new prospects for using retrospective knowledge to better forecast and manage ecologi...
Article
The study of palaeo-chronologies using fossil data provides evidence for past ecological and evolutionary processes, and is therefore useful for predicting patterns and impacts of future environmental change. However, the robustness of inferences made from fossil ages relies heavily on both the quantity and quality of available data. We compiled Qu...
Article
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Fossils represent invaluable data to reconstruct the past history of life, yet they are often rare and difficult to find. The traditional fossil-hunting approach focuses on small areas and has not yet taken advantage of modelling techniques commonly used in ecology to account for an organism’s past distributions. We propose a new method to assist f...
Article
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Late Quaternary megafauna extinctions impoverished mammalian diversity worldwide. The causes of these extinctions in Australia are most controversial but essential to resolve, because this continent-wide event presaged similar losses that occurred thousands of years later on other continents. Here we apply a rigorous metadata analysis and new ensem...
Article
Full-text available
Late Quaternary megafauna extinctions impoverished mammalian diversity worldwide. The causes of these extinctions in Australia are most controversial but essential to resolve, because this continent-wide event presaged similar losses that occurred thousands of years later on other continents. Here we apply a rigorous metadata analysis and new ensem...
Article
Full-text available
Confidence in fossil ages is a recognized constraint for understanding changes in archaeological and palaeontological records. Poor estimates of age can lead to erroneous inferences—such as timing of species arrival, range expansions and extinctions—preventing robust hypothesis testing of the causes and consequences of past events. Therefore, age r...
Article
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A better understanding of the likely effects of climate and land-use change on the geographic distributions of species and the persistence of ecological communities is needed to conserve future biodiversity. Recent advances have integrated population-dynamic processes into species distribution models (SDMs), to reduce potential biases in prediction...
Article
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Recent efforts to incorporate migration processes into species distribution models (SDMs) are allowing assessments of whether species are likely to be able to track their future climate optimum and the possible causes of failing to do so. Here we projected the range shift of European beech over the 21(st) century using a process-based SDM coupled t...
Article
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Climate refugia, locations where taxa survive periods of regionally adverse climate, are thought to be critical for maintaining biodiversity through the glacial–interglacial climate changes of the Quaternary. A critical research need is to better integrate and reconcile the three major lines of evidence used to infer the existence of past refugia –...
Article
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AimDespite the recent improvements made in species distribution models (SDMs), assessing species' ability to migrate fast enough to track their climate optimum remains a challenge. This study achieves this goal and demonstrates the reliability of a process-based SDM to provide accurate projections by simulating the post-glacial colonization of Euro...
Article
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Paleo-data suggest that East African mountain treelines underwent an altitudinal shift during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Understanding the ecological and physiological processes underlying treeline response to such past climate change will help to improve forecasts of treeline change under future global warming. In spite of significant improve...
Article
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Conservation and natural resource managers need information on the potential effects of climate change for the species and ecosystems they manage. We evaluated potential future changes in climate and bioclimatic habitat for ecoregions (as defined by The Nature Conservancy) and managed areas (e.g., national parks) in Oregon, USA. We used future clim...
Article
Full-text available
Phenomenological approaches to model species migration are usually based on kernel-based methods. These methods require a good knowledge of the dispersal agent behavior for a given species. They also calculate the location of individuals independently to each other (except the mother plant) and then suppress some of them according to additional int...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
PhD research Thesis title: A modelling perspective of the invasive European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Australia: a research thesis addressing questions that are central concerns in pest management practice and theory. Supervisors: Dr. Damien Fordham, Dr. Frederik Saltre, Dr. Camille Mellin
Project
This project will provide new insights on how past events since the Last Glacial Maximum (~20,000 years ago) caused megafauna extinctions, and shaped the present day distribution of the Neotropical vegetation such as the emblematic Amazon rainforest, the Cerrado tropical savanna, or the Argentine Pampas. Following previous attempts to decide whether climate change or human colonisation were responsible for the megafauna extinction based on local timing comparison, this project will focus on ecological processes involved, simulate, and validate them with independent fossil records at global scale to examine the plausibility of each hypothesis. These include whether climate warming, human predation, and human-induced fire could have affected vegetation patterns and megaherbivore populations at large scales.
Project
Despite modern humans (Homo sapiens) being the only surviving representatives of the Hominin group, they coexisted in Eurasia from ~ 45 ka (ka = 1000 years) ago up until ~ 30 ka ago with Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis), sharing both morphological similarities and genetics. They inhabited mutual territories during almost 15 ka throughout the last cold episode of the Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stage 3; ~ 60 to 25 ka) until Neanderthal populations disappeared entirely. It is unclear if and to what extent modern humans contributed to the demise of Neanderthals because the nature of these interactions with each other is still highly debated (i.e., cultural sharing, kinship, conflicts, etc.). This research evaluate the plausible causes of Neanderthal range shifts related to these questions. We aim to identify the Neanderthal population timing of extinction across Eurasia during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition (~ 120 ka to 25 ka) related to Homo sapiens colonisation and Marine Isotope Stage 3 climate changes. We are first identifying and quantifying changes in Neanderthal distribution until their extinction from archaeological data by defining their regional pattern and trajectories of extirpation (local extinction). To identify which factors (i.e., H. sapiens’ expansion and vegetation/climate changes) best correlate with it, we are mapping the regional timing of arrival of modern humans in Europe as model predictors along with climate variables. We are also building non-spatial and spatial demographic models for the overall Neanderthal population driven by temporal climate variability and modern human interactions to simulate Neanderthal abundance trajectories.