The Development of Late Holocene Farmed Landscapes: Analysis of Insect Assemblages using a Multi-period Dataset

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The Development of Late Holocene Farmed Landscapes: Analysis of Insect Assemblages using a Multi-period Dataset. / Smith, David; HIll, Geoff; Kenward, Harry.

In: The Holocene, 19.10.2018.

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@article{66314a26700d461eb0abe7d412462153,
title = "The Development of Late Holocene Farmed Landscapes: Analysis of Insect Assemblages using a Multi-period Dataset",
abstract = "Global agricultural intensification and expansion has led to the spread of a fairly cosmopolitan insect fauna associated with arable land and pasture. Studies of modern expansion and intensification of agriculture have shown profound effects in terms of declines in biodiversity, with implications for current nature conservation. However, modern entomological studies of farmland faunas do notconsider if such effects occurred over a longer period of time or are merely a modern phenomenon.We examine the substantial British archaeoentomological dataset for the development of beetle (Coleoptera) faunas in a range of intensively farmed archaeological landscapes dating from the Late Neolithic through to the early Medieval period (c. 24,000 cal. BC – AD 900). The archaeological beetle fauna typically consisted of generalist species which still dominate modern farmland. Our analysis indicates that there is an essentially stable {\textquoteleft}core group{\textquoteright} of taxa that repeatedly occur regardless of period, location or the specific nature of the archaeological feature involved. On the basis of thisresult, we argue that the effects of the expansion of intensive farming on insect faunas seen in the modern world is a continuation of a longer pattern. We suggest that this is an example of human econiche replacement and ecosystem engineering. The approach taken here is applicable elsewhere in the world and we offer suggestions for future British and international research strategies. ",
keywords = "Coleoptera, prehistoric farming, field systems, landscape development, econiche replacement, archaeoentomology",
author = "David Smith and Geoff HIll and Harry Kenward",
year = "2018",
month = oct,
day = "19",
doi = "10.1177/0959683618804645",
language = "English",
journal = "The Holocene",
issn = "0959-6836",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Development of Late Holocene Farmed Landscapes: Analysis of Insect Assemblages using a Multi-period Dataset

AU - Smith, David

AU - HIll, Geoff

AU - Kenward, Harry

PY - 2018/10/19

Y1 - 2018/10/19

N2 - Global agricultural intensification and expansion has led to the spread of a fairly cosmopolitan insect fauna associated with arable land and pasture. Studies of modern expansion and intensification of agriculture have shown profound effects in terms of declines in biodiversity, with implications for current nature conservation. However, modern entomological studies of farmland faunas do notconsider if such effects occurred over a longer period of time or are merely a modern phenomenon.We examine the substantial British archaeoentomological dataset for the development of beetle (Coleoptera) faunas in a range of intensively farmed archaeological landscapes dating from the Late Neolithic through to the early Medieval period (c. 24,000 cal. BC – AD 900). The archaeological beetle fauna typically consisted of generalist species which still dominate modern farmland. Our analysis indicates that there is an essentially stable ‘core group’ of taxa that repeatedly occur regardless of period, location or the specific nature of the archaeological feature involved. On the basis of thisresult, we argue that the effects of the expansion of intensive farming on insect faunas seen in the modern world is a continuation of a longer pattern. We suggest that this is an example of human econiche replacement and ecosystem engineering. The approach taken here is applicable elsewhere in the world and we offer suggestions for future British and international research strategies.

AB - Global agricultural intensification and expansion has led to the spread of a fairly cosmopolitan insect fauna associated with arable land and pasture. Studies of modern expansion and intensification of agriculture have shown profound effects in terms of declines in biodiversity, with implications for current nature conservation. However, modern entomological studies of farmland faunas do notconsider if such effects occurred over a longer period of time or are merely a modern phenomenon.We examine the substantial British archaeoentomological dataset for the development of beetle (Coleoptera) faunas in a range of intensively farmed archaeological landscapes dating from the Late Neolithic through to the early Medieval period (c. 24,000 cal. BC – AD 900). The archaeological beetle fauna typically consisted of generalist species which still dominate modern farmland. Our analysis indicates that there is an essentially stable ‘core group’ of taxa that repeatedly occur regardless of period, location or the specific nature of the archaeological feature involved. On the basis of thisresult, we argue that the effects of the expansion of intensive farming on insect faunas seen in the modern world is a continuation of a longer pattern. We suggest that this is an example of human econiche replacement and ecosystem engineering. The approach taken here is applicable elsewhere in the world and we offer suggestions for future British and international research strategies.

KW - Coleoptera, prehistoric farming, field systems, landscape development, econiche replacement, archaeoentomology

U2 - 10.1177/0959683618804645

DO - 10.1177/0959683618804645

M3 - Article

JO - The Holocene

JF - The Holocene

SN - 0959-6836

ER -