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  Ecosystem engineering among ancient pastoralists in Northern Central Asia

Ventresca Miller, A. R., Spengler III, R. N., Haruda, A., Miller, B. K., Wilkin, S., Robinson, S., et al. (2020). Ecosystem engineering among ancient pastoralists in Northern Central Asia. Frontiers in Earth Science, 8: 168. doi:10.3389/feart.2020.00168.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-84E0-7 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-84E1-6
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Ventresca Miller, Alicia R.1, Author              
Spengler III, Robert N.1, Author              
Haruda, Ashleigh, Author
Miller, Bryan Kristopher1, Author              
Wilkin, Shevan1, Author              
Robinson, Sarah, Author
Roberts, Patrick1, Author              
Boivin, Nicole L.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: environmental change, Anthropocene, pastoralism, landscape modification, ecosystem engineering
 Abstract: Ecosystem engineering is an innovative concept that recognizes that organisms impact their environment, and that these changes can be detected over time. Thus, additional datasets from the ecological longue durée are necessary, specifically in response to the onset of the Anthropocene and the impacts of humans and their commensal organisms upon ecologies of all scales. For example, the management and herding of domesticated animals are recognized as having dramatic implications for soil stability, vegetation coverage, and even atmospheric composition the world over. Yet, the point at which pastoralism became a recognizable factor in altering earth systems, with large-scale environmental ramifications, is poorly understood. Here, we respond to this by reviewing and presenting data from the archeological and paleoenvironmental record across northern Central Asia in order to assess broader ecosystem impacts of pastoralism, from time periods when this economic pattern was a relatively novel component of local ecologies and involved limited population densities, through to periods in which it became intensive, coincident with agriculture, and linked to increased sedentism. Probing diverse, published analytical datasets and case studies, we examine pastoral adaptations and environmental impacts, highlighting a region where tensions surrounding resilience and sustainability of pastoralism have peaked in modern times. We draw upon these findings to examine the challenges faced by pastoralists today, and the ways in which archeological data might inform on management decisions into the future.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-06-02
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: 14
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/feart.2020.00168
Other: shh2623
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Title: Frontiers in Earth Science
  Abbreviation : Front. Earth Sci.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Lausanne : Frontiers Media
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 8 Sequence Number: 168 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2296-6463
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2296-6463