Early forest destruction, Biodiversity and Climate:
Fossil pollen and other historical and prehistorical data archives show that humankind influenced natural ecosystems on a large scale long before the beginning of industrialisation. The Neolithic Revolution, which started in a variety of human population centres, led to extensive clearing of forests due to an increasing demand for pasture and farmland. This first occurred in the Mediterranean, followed by China and other regions.
The newly cultivated landscape also altered the existing biodiversity. In the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe, the transformation of the landscape to a more open and mosaic-like structure enhanced the diversity of species. For the extra-European regions, a comparable conclusion is hardly possible due to the lack of proper data and studies.
The extensive clearing of forests since the middle of the Holocene changed the Earth‘s surface and led to emissions of greenhouse gases, resulting in an impact on regional and global climate. The magnitude of those changes is mainly discussed with regard to the hypothesis of an early Anthropocene.