Bannister 110

Vegetation responses to long term environmental changes at a savanna-forest boundary

Ongoing anthropogenic changes, such as land-use change, climate changes, and rising CO₂, can alter vegetation distribution and function. Ecotones and biome boundaries, such as at the boundary between savannas and closed forests, may be the most vulnerable to these environmental changes. Here, I use both historical survey data and tree ring records to explore the impacts of ~150 years of past environmental changes on the savanna-forest boundary region of the Midwest US.

Hydroclimate variability influenced social interaction in the prehistoric American Southwest

In agricultural societies, farmers rely on their social networks to absorb the impacts of droughts and floods by facilitating resource flows to affected settlements and population flows away from them. These benefits depend on how well one's social network connects populations that experience different weather patterns. Here I use an empirical archaeological case study from the late pre-Hispanic period in the North American Southwest to examine the relationship between drought variability and human social networks over a 250 year period.

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