Huastec noncrop resource management: Implications for prehistoric rain forest management

TitleHuastec noncrop resource management: Implications for prehistoric rain forest management
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1981
AuthorsAlcorn, JB
JournalHuman Ecology
Date PublishedDecember 1981
Keywordsanthropology/archaeometry; domestication; ecology; environmental management; Huastec; rainforests; resource management; sociology; tropical agroecosystem

The Huastec have interacted with elements of a diverse flora in northeastern Mexico for 30 centuries. A Huastec plant-management model is derived from patterns reflected in all anthropogenic vegetation zones, from the dooryard to the forest, and used to discuss the possible effects of human activities upon the prehistoric rain forest. Huastec plant management is discussed from an analytical perspective which views plant management as resulting from the integration of two types of plant manipulation: the manipulation of vegetation en masse and the manipulation of individual plants. Decisions about plant manipulation reflect a concern for minimal labor investment to place the resource at hand. Noncrop plant manipulation practices potentially influence the evolution of individual plants and plant communities primarily by affecting species' distribution and population parameters. Since the impact of plant-management practices clearly goes beyond domestication, ways of evaluating such practices in order to expand our understanding of ethnobotanical interactions and their impact are suggested.

Journal Abbreviation

Hum Ecol


0300-7839, 1572-9915

Short TitleHuastec noncrop resource management