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Modelling Anthropocene Trophic Cascades of the Judean Desert Ecosystem: A Hidden Dimension in the History of Human-Environment Interactions

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 802752

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2019

  • End date

    31 December 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 499 562,50

  • EU contribution

    € 1 499 562,50

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA

Israel

Objective

This project aims to explore the effects of human settlement intensity on desert ecological community structure, focusing on the hitherto unstudied phenomenon of trophic cascades in antiquity. Its key research question is whether human-induced changes in arid land biodiversity can feedback to affect natural resources important for human subsistence, such as pasture and wood. The role of such feedback effects in ecological systems is increasingly acknowledged in recent years in the biological literature but has not been addressed in the study of human past. The research question will be approached using bioarchaeological methods applied to the uniquely-preserved material record from the middle and late Holocene settlement sequence (approximately 4,500 BCE to 700 CE) of the Dead Sea Ein Gedi Oasis, and to the contemporary palaeontological assemblages from caves located in the surrounding Judean Desert. The proposed research is expected to bridge between aspects of current thinking on ecosystem dynamics and the study of human past by exploring the role of trophic cascades as an invisible dimension of Anthropocene life in marginal environments. The study of the history of human impact on such environments is important to resource management planning across a rapidly expanding ecological frontier on Earth, as climate deterioration brings more people in contact with life-sustaining and sensitive arid land ecosystems.
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Host institution

UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA

Address

Abba Khushy Blvd Mount Carmel
31905 Haifa

Israel

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 499 562,50

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 1 499 562,50

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 802752

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2019

  • End date

    31 December 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 499 562,50

  • EU contribution

    € 1 499 562,50

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA

Israel