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Title: Dry rainforests: A productive habitat for Australian hunter-gatherers
Contributor(s): Beck, Wendy Elizabeth (author); Balme, Jane (author)
Publication Date: 2003
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Abstract: Most recent work on hunter-gatherer use of rainforests has concluded that, although they are resource rich, they are difficult environments for people to live. This is largely because of the inaccessibility of many of the resources. However, most of this research has been on tropical or ‘wet’ rainforest types. Dry rainforests (seasonal rainforest) have not been so extensively studied yet they have a wide distribution throughout the world and, in the past, had a much wider distribution. In Australia during the Pleistocene the distribution was much wider than the present Holocene remnants suggest especially in the northern and northeastern margin.A comparison of plant resources from different rainforest types in northeastern New South Wales indicates that dry rainforests, in contrast to wet rainforest types, were potentially productive environments for Indigenous Australians in the past. Many of the species present in Australia’s dry rainforests would have been familiar to the first human colonisers. The food resources are easier to access than wet rainforest species and the plant parts available occur in different proportions to those in wet rainforests. Accessible seeds are particularly abundant and so the successful exploitation of the full potential of these forests relies on specialised technologies.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2003(2), p. 4-19
Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press for Research Section, AIATSIS
Place of Publication: Fyshwick, ACT
ISSN: 0729-4352
Field of Research (FOR): 060801 Animal Behaviour
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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