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Space Competition and Time Delays in Human Range Expansions. Application to the Neolithic Transition

Space competition effects are well-known in many microbiological and ecological systems. Here we analyze such an effect in human populations. The Neolithic transition (change from foraging to farming) was mainly the outcome of a demographic process that spread gradually throughout Europe from the Near East. In Northern Europe, archaeological data show a slowdown on the Neolithic rate of spread that can be related to a high indigenous (Mesolithic) population density hindering the advance as a result of the space competition between the two populations. We measure this slowdown from a database of 902 Early Neolithic sites and develop a time-delayed reaction-diffusion model with space competition between Neolithic and Mesolithic populations, to predict the observed speeds. The comparison of the predicted speed with the observations and with a previous non-delayed model show that both effects, the time delay effect due to the generation lag and the space competition between populations, are crucial in order to understand the observations

Public Library of Science

Author: Isern Sardó, Neus
Fort, Joaquim
Vander Linden, Marc
Abstract: Space competition effects are well-known in many microbiological and ecological systems. Here we analyze such an effect in human populations. The Neolithic transition (change from foraging to farming) was mainly the outcome of a demographic process that spread gradually throughout Europe from the Near East. In Northern Europe, archaeological data show a slowdown on the Neolithic rate of spread that can be related to a high indigenous (Mesolithic) population density hindering the advance as a result of the space competition between the two populations. We measure this slowdown from a database of 902 Early Neolithic sites and develop a time-delayed reaction-diffusion model with space competition between Neolithic and Mesolithic populations, to predict the observed speeds. The comparison of the predicted speed with the observations and with a previous non-delayed model show that both effects, the time delay effect due to the generation lag and the space competition between populations, are crucial in order to understand the observations
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/294627
Language: eng
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Rights: Attribution 2.5 Spain
Rights URI: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/es/
Subject: Equacions de reacció-difusió
Reaction-diffusion equations
Neolític -- Models matemàtics
Neolithic period -- Mathematical models
Title: Space Competition and Time Delays in Human Range Expansions. Application to the Neolithic Transition
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: Recercat

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