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Burning Effects On Savannah Environments

Burning - Savannah


Titre : Burning Effects On Savannah Environments

Organismes NSF : Division Of Behavioral and Cognitive Sci (BCS)

Durée : August 1, 2015 — July 31, 2017

Dr. Kristen Hawkes of the University of Utah will undertake research to investigate the ways Hadza foragers living in northern Tanzania take advantage of burned landscapes in their exploitation of wild plants and animals. Fire use is increasingly recognized as an important component of hunting and gathering that affects foraging return rates and has shaped local environments world-wide, but the role of fire in subsistence activities by the Hadza and other African foragers has been understudied. Postdoctoral associate Dr. Christopher Parker will bring his experience measuring the immediate benefits and ecological consequences of hunter-gatherer fire use in the Western Desert of Australia to specify distinctive features of fire’s effects in this African context. The project will expand his comparative expertise ; and participating graduate students will learn and practice techniques of systematic behavioral observations and quantitative fire ecology that will serve their future careers. Recording information on fire use will contribute to the preservation of traditional Hadza knowledge, which is threatened by the increasing effects of globalization and will characterize human-environment interactions that can aid policy makers charged with managing fire’s impact in similar ecological settings.
Documentation of Hadza expertise on fire use in their East African homeland will build the foundation for estimating and calibrating the nature and magnitude of fire’s effect on foraging returns in African savannas in the deeper past. Enumerating these effects will allow estimates of the selective advantages that led earlier members of our lineage to controlled fire use and will help identify the pathways by which the distinctively human dependence on fire and cooking evolved. This research will fill a gap in knowledge by quantifying the benefits of burns with the guidance of people who are intimately knowledgeable about local ecology. The research will identify which aspects of foraging are most and least affected by burns in this equatorial savanna and which resource types see the most significant changes in profitability when altered by fire. Results will be the basis for characterizing the likely role of fire-induced ecological alteration on foraging opportunities in ancient sub-Saharan Africa and improve hypotheses about the effects of those alterations on the emergence of our genus.

Partenaire (s) : Kristen Hawkes hawkes (Principal Investigator)

Sponsor  : University of Utah 75 S 2000 E SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84112-8930 (801)581-6903

Financement : $179,888.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

Page publiée le 9 janvier 2017, mise à jour le 13 octobre 2017