Data from: Plant controls on Late Quaternary whole ecosystem structure and function

Elizabeth S. Jeffers, Nicki J. Whitehouse, Adrian Lister, Gill Plunkett, Phil Barratt, Emma Smyth, Philip Lamb, Michael W. Dee, Stephen J. Brooks, Katherine J. Willis, Cynthia A. Froyd, Jenny E. Watson & Michael B. Bonsall
Plants and animals influence biomass production and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems; however their relative importance remains unclear. We assessed the extent to which mega-herbivore species controlled plant community composition and nutrient cycling, relative to other factors during and after the Late Quaternary extinction event in Britain and Ireland, when two-thirds of the region’s mega-herbivore species went extinct. Warmer temperatures, plant-soil and plant-plant interactions, and reduced burning contributed to the expansion of woody plants and...
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