Biomass of Domestic Stock

To obtain a maximum value for the biomass of domesticated megafauna, I calculated the present proportion of human biomass to domestic stock biomass as tabulated by Hern (1999). I then used that proportion to back-calculate the maximum biomass of domestic stock, given the estimated biomass of humans, going back to 10.5 kyr B.P., by which time

240 / Anthony D. Barnosky pigs, goats, sheep, and cattle were first domesticated (Pedrosa et al., 2005; Beja-Pereira et al., 2006; Chen et al., 2006; Fernandez et al., 2006; Larson et al., 2007). For time slices up to 6 kyr B.P., only pigs, goats, and cattle were included in the domestic livestock count. More recent time slices also included horses, buffalo, camels, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and catfish. Clearly for prehistoric times, this method provides an overestimate of domestic stock biomass, because no one would argue that the first ranchers had as many domestic stock per person as is the case presently. However, because the purpose of this part of the analysis was to see whether domestic stock compensated for a reduction in wild megafauna, the overestimation actually makes the conclusions more robust.

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