Revised definition of copal

Pleistocene copal, Holocene copal, and Defaunation resin


From a paper in "Nature" by

We propose here a new definition of the term copal: ancient resin having an age between 2.58 Ma and 1760 AD. In addition, we propose the use of the terms: Pleistocene copal (2.58–0.0117 Ma), Holocene copal (0.0117 Ma—1760 AD), and as a novel term: Defaunation resin, defined as resin exuded after 1760 AD, which is the starting point of the Industrial Revolution54 (Fig. 1) and coincides with the Great Acceleration presented by Steffen et al.55 from 1750 to 2010. The term is based on the defaunation concept according to Dirzo et al.56: “The term defaunation, used to denote the loss of both species and populations of wildlife, as well as local declines in abundance of individuals, needs to be considered in the same sense as deforestation, a term that is now readily recognized and influential in focusing scientific and general public attention on biodiversity issues.”

Here is a pdf of the original article (November 2020)

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