Pérez-Barbería, F.J. (2017) Deer and global warming. Deer 43-45
Red deer are one of the 250 worldwide ungulate species. Ungulates are the link between producers and consumers in the trophic chain; key taxa in the evolution and development of humans, (i) as a hunting resource and promoters of human brain evolution through fabrication of hunting arms and clothing; (ii) as source of protein, milk, fibre, and work tools during the Neolithic revolution and in the present; (iii) as facilitators of human gene flow as a means of long distance transport; (iv) more recently their role as landscape and biodiversity engineers has been recognised, due to their impact on vegetation through grazing and browsing and on soils through nutrients mobilization, trampling and drainage; and (v) as promoters of rural economy through hunting ecotourism. But these species, specially ruminants, are also important actors in climate change through their emision of methane (CH4), a key component of greenhouse gases and global warming.
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