Should I stay or should I go? The emergence of partitioned land use among human foragers

Jacob Freeman, John Anderies, Raymond P. Mauldin, Robert J. Hard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Taking inspiration from the archaeology of the Texas Coastal Plain (TCP), we develop an ecological theory of population distribution among mobile hunter-gatherers. This theory proposes that, due to the heterogeneity of resources in space and time, foragers create networks of habitats that they access through residential cycling and shared knowledge. The degree of cycling that individuals exhibit in creating networks of habitats, encoded through social relationships, depends on the relative scarcity of resources and fluctuations in those resources. Using a dynamic model of hunter-gatherer population distribution, we illustrate that increases in population density, coupled with shocks to a biophysical or social system, creates a selective environment that favors habitat partitioning and investments in social mechanisms that control the residential cycling of foragers on a landscape. Our work adds a layer of realism to Ideal Distribution Models by adding a time allocation decision process in a variable environment and illustrates a general variance reduction, safe-operating space tradeoff among mobile human foragers that drives social change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0218440
JournalPloS one
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Population distribution
Land use
Ecosystem
land use
population distribution
habitats
Archaeology
Demography
Dynamic models
social change
coastal plains
Population Density
Social Change
dynamic models
space and time
Shock
population density
hunters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Should I stay or should I go? The emergence of partitioned land use among human foragers. / Freeman, Jacob; Anderies, John; Mauldin, Raymond P.; Hard, Robert J.

In: PloS one, Vol. 14, No. 7, e0218440, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Freeman, Jacob ; Anderies, John ; Mauldin, Raymond P. ; Hard, Robert J. / Should I stay or should I go? The emergence of partitioned land use among human foragers. In: PloS one. 2019 ; Vol. 14, No. 7.
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