科博館參與跨國研究 全新創見榮登著名國際期刊

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【記者 玉女 台中 報導】

來自全球8個國家,15個大學研究單位,共計19位專研第四紀的古生物學家,於2017年齊聚澳洲國立大學(Australian National University),研究團隊彙整大量的研究資料,經過7天縝密討論,終於獲得重大結論:「更新世時期的人類,並不是造成島嶼生物滅絕的兇手!」這項全新創見已刊登於國際著名學術期刊《美國國家科學院院刊》(Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, PNAS)2021年118卷20期,篇名為”No evidence for widespread island extinctions after Pleistocene hominin arrival”。《美國國家科學院院刊》是美國國家科學院(National Academy of Sciences)的官方期刊,創刊於1914年,是全球被引用最多的科學期刊之一,每年出版逾3,500篇研究論文。

更新世(Pleistocene)亦稱洪積世,時間自2,588,000年前到11,700年前,是地質時代中新生代第四紀的早期,此時期多數動、植物屬種與現代相似。國立自然科學博物館地質學組研究員張鈞翔博士作為研究團隊一員,以臺灣第四紀動物群的遷徙與組成,以及人類的發展關連性,融入此篇重要的國際學術研究發表中。

科博館參與的此項跨國研究檢視了過去260萬年來,人類居住所有島嶼的考古和古生物學記錄,發現人類並不是那麼具有破壞性。人類到達島嶼和生物滅絕的記錄之間並沒有重疊,換句話說,人類的到來對於生物多樣性的喪失影響並不大,推翻學界普遍認為人類一旦進入一個新的生態系統,就會造成無數破壞甚至導致物種滅絕的想法。化石證據顯示,過去人類成功的島嶼拓展並不會帶來全面生態的破壞,而是與之共存。

人類作為大自然的一份子,維持生物多樣性對人類本身絕對有利,若島嶼生物滅絕,失去獨特的生態條件,人類也將難以倖免!現今先進的技術、人為外來物種的轉移以及快速人口的增加,都將對島嶼生態體系造成威脅,而真正造成島嶼滅絕的因素,推測可能在於全球氣候的變遷和海平面升降所帶來的環境變化。透過研究過去人類在島嶼生活數千年以至數萬年,並未導致這些脆弱的生態系統失去平衡的案例,可以讓我們從中汲取寶貴經驗,學習並了解如何維護島嶼生態體系。

此項跨國研究由澳洲格里菲斯大學(Griffith University)人類演化研究中心(Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution)的洛伊斯教授(Julien Louys)領銜召集,成員來自澳洲、臺灣、美國、日本、法國、德國、荷蘭與挪威,研究結果對古生物學與人類學都屬全新見解,也再一次彰顯國際合作與跨域擴大整合研究的重要性。科博館擁有豐富的化石館藏與研究能量充沛的研究人員,而積極參與各項國際學術研究,更是科博館堅定的任務與使命!

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