How did agriculture affect human biological change


Agriculture has long been regarded as an improvement in the human condition: Once Homo sapiens

Homo sapiens

Homo sapiens is the binomial nomenclature (also known as the scientific name) for the only extant human species. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and many other extinct species of hominid; H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo.

made the transition from foraging to farming in the Neolithic


The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the N…

, health and nutrition improved, longevity increased, and work load declined.


How did the development of agriculture affect human population?

Second, almost everywhere agriculture developed, human population increased at the same time. Domestication, especially of plants, produced more food per unit area of land than had hunting and gathering—more people could be fed from the same amount of land. In addition, agriculture provided food that could be stored for long periods

What are the negative effects of Agriculture on human health?

Dawn of agriculture took toll on health. “But early agriculturalists experienced nutritional deficiencies and had a harder time adapting to stress, probably because they became dependent on particular food crops, rather than having a more significantly diverse diet.”.

How does biodiversity affect agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture embraces biodiversity by minimizing its impact on wild ecosystems and incorporating numerous plant and animal varieties into complex, on-farm ecosystems. Biodiversity is what makes every environment on earth unique. While we see biodiversity in the breathtaking shapes and colors of the natural world, it starts with genetics.

What are the effects of the Agricultural Revolution on nutrition?

2) Agricultural foods shifted nutrition from a generalized diet to one focused on carbohydrates and poorer-quality protein. 3) In most settings, agriculture caused a decline in workload/activity.


What is LEH in dentistry?

Objectives: Linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) is a common skeletal marker of physiological stress (e.g., malnutrition or illness) that is studied within and across populations, without reference to familial risk. We examine LEH prevalence in a population with known genealogical relationships to determine the potential influence of genetic heritability and shared environment. Methods: LEH data of 239 individuals from a single population were recorded from the Ohio State University Menegaz-Bock collection dental casts. All individuals were of known age, sex, and genealogy. Narrow-sense heritability estimates were obtained for LEH presence and count data from all unworn, fully erupted teeth (excluding third molars) using SOLAR (v.8.1.1). Age, sex, and age-sex interaction were included as covariates. Models were re-run with a household effect variable. Results: LEH persists across generations in this study population with moderate, significant heritability estimates for presence in four teeth, and count in four teeth (three teeth were significant for both). When a household effect variable was added, no residual heritability remained for LEH count on any tooth. There was no significant household effect for three of the four teeth that had significant heritability estimates for LEH presence. Age was a significant covariate. Further analyses with birth year data revealed a secular trend toward less LEH. Conclusions: This study provides evidence for familial risk of LEH (genetic and environmental) that has consequences for the broad use of this skeletal marker of stress. These results have repercussions for archaeological assemblages, or population health studies, where genetic relatives and household groups might be heavily represented.

What is nutrition transition?

The term nutrition transition coined in the early 1990s by Barry Popkin describes global alterations in diet structure, body composition, and physical activity patterns, with a special emphasis on emerging economies undergoing rapid demographic, socioeconomic, and acculturative changes. The health-related outcomes of these shifts in the form of non-communicable chronic degenerative diseases (NCDs) have been well described in the industrialized world over the past four decades. There is growing evidence that these changes are extending to the developing world, specifically the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) depending on the degree of socio-economic development achieved. Large segments of the global population are consequently affected. Furthermore, these changes in emerging economies are occurring at a rapid pace, younger age, and in an environment where infectious and nutrition-related deficiency diseases continue to persist. Consequently, these economies face a double burden of disease wherein the struggles of undernutrition coexist with the maladies of overnutrition within the same individual, family, or community. This paradox poses important challenges in mitigating the unhealthy aspects of nutrition transition from a public health perspective.

What is the dental morphology of the early Americans?

The dental morphology of the earliest Americans is poorly known , partly because existing data are largely unpublished and partly because dental wear is typically extreme in the few complete dentitions available. The remains of Naia, a 13,000–12,000 year-old young woman from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, possess a complete dental record in perfect condition, offering the unique opportunity to record the dental morphology of an early Paleoindian and a chance to address the long-standing debate about whether these first people exhibited Sundadont or Sinodont dental morphology. As an individual, her dentition would fit comfortably in the Sinodont grouping. However, when she is included in the population of North American skeletal remains that can be confidently placed before ∼9000 years ago, a different pattern emerges. The Paleoindians fall neatly between the two dental patterns, suggesting that the founding North American population exhibits a dental pattern of its own, independent of its east Asian relatives.

What is the content of the manual?

The content of the manual covers basic issues related to the functioning of natural (biological) tribological systems, as well as their artificial substitutes. The characteristics of the described systems are based on the rules resulting from the general theory of systems, the basis of which, together with an indication of the differences between biological and technical tribological systems, is given in the initial sections of the work. An important part of the work is devoted to the tribological characteristics of two important biotribological systems – joints and the stomatognathic system. Using the results of own works and available literature, the author presented the most important issues of friction, wear and lubrication in natural and artificial joints and in relation to hard tooth tissues and dental materials. The work contains important information on the functioning of other biotribological systems, such as, for example, the organ of vision, as well as systems whose elements are skin and hair. One of the chapters was devoted to the description of tribological issues related to the use of implants, which are usually off the beaten paths of biotribology. A reader who wants to know the basic research procedures used in biotribological research can read them in the chapter on methodological aspects of this type of research. A certain novelty when it comes to the literature on the subject is the presentation of the so-called biomimetic approach to the analysis of biotribological systems, associated with the use of observation of biological systems to shape the structure and properties of tribological technical systems. The textbook is addressed to students, doctoral students and employees of universities; it can also be useful in teaching certain subjects at medical universities.

What changes did humans experience during the Neolithic period?

… During the Neolithic, human populations experienced shifts in economy, landscape management, sanitary conditions, and social structure. In addition to increases in skeletal indicators of stress, the period saw reductions in height and skeletal robusticity, and craniofacial and dental changes in relation to dietary changes (Meiklejohn and Babb 2011; Larsen 1995; Pinhasi and Meiklejohn 2011). One way of mitigating the uncertainty of these changes would have been to create social cohesion through repetitive ritual that was an extension of practices that characterized hunter-gatherers in preceding periods. …

How did the Neolithic period affect the way of life?

It impacted the way of life and social relations among individuals in permanent farming villages. Moreover, the emergence of elites and social inequality fostered interpersonal and inter- and intra-group violence associated with the defense of resources, socio-economic investments, and other cultural concerns. This study evaluated violence among the first horticulturalists in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile during the Neolithic transition between 1000 BCE – 600 CE. Furthermore, it analyzed trauma caused by interpersonal violence using a sample of 194 individuals. Strontium isotopic composition was examined to determine whether violence was local or among foreign parties. Settlement patterns, weapons, and rock art also were evaluated to assess expressions of violence. Skeletal and soft tissues presented the most direct evidence for violence. About 21% (n = 40) of adult individuals, particularly men, showed trauma compatible with interpersonal violence, with 50% (n = 20) of trauma appearing fatal. The findings suggested that violence was between local groups and that social and ecological constraints likely triggered violence within local communities.

What is stress in archaeology?

The term “stress” remains poorly defined, often misused, and has clearly lost its meaning in the study of archaeological human remains. In this special issue we reconsider the use of this term in human remains research, to untangle what we actually mean when we say “stress” in archaeology. To this aim, we looked at this topic from two broad perspectives: dental anthropology and paleopathology. Based on revision of the previous work on this topic, the new contributions of this issue, and in the light of the rapid advancement in other medical disciplines, we conclude that the term “stress” is not suitable for the study of archaeological skeletal remains unless it is precisely defined (e.g. mechanical stress).

How did agriculture affect human evolution?

Beginning some ten to twelve thousand years ago, fully modern Homo sapiens began to alter their diets in ways that would profoundly impact their lives and livelihoods on a global scale.

Where did animal domestication start?

Starting from at least ten independent centers of plant and animal domestication in Asia, South and North America, and Africa, the shift from foraging to farming laid the foundation for remarkable increase in population size and fundamental changes in health, quality of life, and workload.

When did agriculture begin?

Evidence of domestication begins to appear in the archeological record following the end of the last Ice Age (the end of the Pleistocene, roughly 10,000-12,000 years ago), though the process may have begun earlier, at least in some areas.

What is the independent development of agriculture?

The independent development of agriculture more or less simultaneously (compared to the time frame of human existence) in a number of regions of the world, was a truly revolutionary change, and strongly suggests that some global process was at work.

What are the consequences of changing diet?

These changes also had consequences for human biology. Alterations in diet leading to nutritional deficiencies, increases in tooth decay, and other problems; shifts in the patterns of labor; increased exposure to diseases (due to living in larger settlements); and the effects of living in new climates , among others, resulted in evolutionary changes, in reaction to, but also in some ways enhancing human’s ability to live under the new conditions brought about by agriculture.

How did hunter-gatherer groups affect the food supply?

By contrast, plant and animal husbandry, the care and controlled breeding of selected species, led to genetic changes that allowed greater yields and increased the geographic ranges across which the domesticated species could be grown, among other changes, thus greatly expanding the potential food resources available to humans.

How did humans live?

During the great majority of human existence, even if we only count the span of modern humans (dating back 200,000 years at most), people lived off naturally occurring resources, by hunting animals and gathering plant foods. This economic system is generally known as hunting and gathering or foraging.

When did humans move to Europe?

Modern humans moved into Europe from the Near East sometime between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago , absorbing and/or displacing the existing Neanderthal inhabitants. Both populations had hunting and gathering economies. Then, about 8,500 years ago, new immigrants, also from the Near East, began spreading into Europe.

Do Europeans have genetic differences?

The study concludes that modern Europeans have significant genetic differences with early Neolithic populations of the region, despite having a largely common ancestry. The authors propose that these differences reflect evolutionary adaptations to the adoption of an agricultural lifestyle in a new environment as well as successive waves of immigration.

When did agriculture start?

When populations around the globe started turning to agriculture around 10,000 years ago , regardless of their locations and type of crops, a similar trend occurred: the height and health of the people declined.

Who led the first comprehensive, global review of the literature regarding stature and health during the agriculture transition?

Mummert led the first comprehensive, global review of the literature regarding stature and health during the agriculture transition, to be published by the journal Economics and Human Biology.

Why is it important to consider the rapid physiological increases in human stature during the 20th century?

Some economists and other scientists are using the rapid physiological increases in human stature during the 20th century as a key indicator of better health. “I think it’s important to consider what exactly ‘good health’ means,” Mummert says.

Is producing food beneficial?

We tend to think that producing food is always beneficial, but the picture is much more complex than that,” says Emory anthropologist George Armelagos, co-author of the review. “Humans paid a heavy biological cost for agriculture, especially when it came to the variety of nutrients.

Was agriculture adopted in an identical fashion and time span across the globe?

One confounding factor is that agriculture was not adopted in an identical fashion and time span across the globe. In some ancient societies, such as those of the North American coasts, crops may have merely supplemented a seafood diet. “In these cases, a more sedentary lifestyle, and not necessarily agriculture, could have perpetuated decreased stature,” Mummert says.

How many positions on the genome did natural selection occur?

Although the authors caution that sample size remains the biggest limitation of the study, comparing the ancient genomes to one another and to those of present-day people of European ancestry revealed 12 positions on the genome where natural selection related to the introduction of farming in northern latitudes appears to have happened.

How did Pinhasi use the new genetic material?

Members of the team used several technological advances to obtain and analyze the new genetic material. For example, they exploited a method pioneered by Pinhasi’s laboratory to extract DNA from a remarkably rich source: a portion of the dense, pyramid-shaped petrous bone that houses the internal auditory organs. In some cases, the bone yielded 700 times more human DNA than could be obtained from other bones, including teeth.

How can we see how natural selection happened?

Now, an international team reports in Nature that researchers can see how natural selection happened by analyzing ancient human DNA.

What does Reich hope for?

Reich, for one, hopes researchers will one day have thousands of ancient genomes to analyze. He would also like to see this type of study applied to non-European populations and even to other species.

Why is natural selection out of reach?

Studying natural selection, however, remained out of reach because it required more ancient genomes than were available.

What are the genes that changed during the transition from hunting and gathering to farming?

Many of the genes are associated with height, immunity, lactose digestion, light skin pigmentation, blue eye color and celiac disease risk.

Why are people from southern Europe shorter than those from northern Europe?

The new study suggests that the height differential arises both from people in the north having more ancestry from Eurasian steppe populations, who seem to have been taller, and people in the south having more ancestry from Neolithic and Chalcolithic groups from the Iberian peninsula, who seem to have been shorter.

How does biodiversity help the farm?

Maintaining biodiversity in the wild and in crops has benefits on the farm. Even though they are managed by humans, farms are still ecosystems. The plants, soil, and animals all depend on one another for nutrients and habitat. In a functional agro-ecosystem, healthy soil microbes provide nutrients to plants, the root systems of which hold the soil in place. Plants provide food and habitat to beneficial insects and birds that pollinate them and manage pests. Livestock can recycle leftover parts of crops and provide natural fertilizer to fields and pasture through manure. Agroecosystems depend on diversity to stay in balance, and industrial agriculture disturbs this.

How does extensification affect biodiversity?

One of the most dramatic examples of biodiversity loss through extensification is the ongoing destruction of the tropical rainforest. Rainforests are hotspots of biodiversity, with the Amazon alone containing nearly 25 percent of all living terrestrial species. 8 80 percent of deforestation worldwide is attributed to the expanding footprint of agriculture. 9 While “slash and burn” agriculture — where farmers cut and burn small areas of forest, and farm them for a few seasons before moving on to another plot — is often blamed for this deforestation, these approaches actually do less harm than the industrially scaled agriculture, which is permanently replacing forest. Growing crops like soy and oil palms or raising cattle offers farmers more income than preserving forest, which drives the permanent deforestation of over 100,000 square miles a year, an area about the size of the UK. 1011

What are the innovations that helped farmers produce more food per acre?

Widespread adoption of steel plows, hybrid seeds, GMOs, chemical fertilizers and pesticides helped farmers produce more food per acre than ever before. More recently, the adoption of genetically modified seeds helped to increase yields even further. This productivity comes at a great cost, however. Wide fields of a single crop (called monocultures) provide simplicity for farmers and a steady supply of feed to factory farms, but they are biodiversity deserts. Maintaining monocultures requires intense chemical inputs that reduce the abundance of wild species both on and off the farm.

Why is biodiversity important in agriculture?

Long ago, humans harnessed and steered genetic diversity by domesticating edible plants and animals. Even without understanding genetics, the earliest farmers did this simply by choosing to raise plants that produced large, edible seeds. As these domesticated plants spread across the world, they evolved their own variations. Like their wild counterparts, crops also depend on genetic diversity for traits that help them resist disease and stay productive under stress. Genetic variation within crops also brings us the huge variety of foods we enjoy. Biodiversity within livestock is important for the same reasons, and there are thousands of heritage breeds of pigs, cattle, poultry and other animals that are beautiful, unique and specially adapted to their environments.

How do plants help the ecosystem?

Plants provide food and habitat to beneficial insects and birds that pollinate them and manage pests. Livestock can recycle leftover parts of crops and provide natural fertilizer to fields and pasture through manure. Agroecosystems depend on diversity to stay in balance, and industrial agriculture disturbs this.

What is biodiversity and agriculture?

Biodiversity and Agriculture. Biodiversity is the immense variety we see in all life on earth. As living things adapt to their environment and evolve over time, more and more variation emerges. Scientists estimate that at least 8.7 million unique species of animals, plants, fungi, and other organisms exist on Earth, …

How does monocropping destroy biodiversity?

Industrial agriculture’s impacts are not limited to habitat destruction through its expanding footprint: its reliance on heavy chemicals to create giant stands of single crops has serious consequences for plant, animal and microorganism biodiversity.

How did agriculture affect the human population?

Second, almost everywhere agriculture developed, human population increased at the same time. Domestication, especially of plants, produced more food per unit area of land than had hunting and gathering—more people could be fed from the same amount of land. In addition, agriculture provided food that could be stored for long periods

How did agriculture affect the spread of infectious disease?

1) Agriculture (and associated population increase) resulted in population sedentism and crowding. Accumulation of waste and increased transmission of microbes owing to crowding provided the conditions conducive to the spread and maintenance of infectious disease. 2) Agricultural foods shifted nutrition from a generalized diet to one focused on …

What was the most recent epoch in human evolution?

1) The Holocene epoch—the most recent 10,000 years—was not a static period in human evolution or in biological change generally. During this time, Homo sapiens dramatically altered their diets to include for the first time domesticated plants and domesticated animals.

How did corn spread?

Corn, for example, spread from its primary center in Mexico (probably in the lowland tropics) to the American Southwest. Eventually, corn agriculture reached North America’s Atlantic coast about 1,000 yBP. The spread occurred not through people carrying corn but through people describing their agricultural successes to neighbors, those neighbors telling their neighbors, and so forth, until the idea spread for thousands of miles over a series of generations.

What happens when you shift from hard foods to soft foods?

The bone supporting the teeth reduced in size faster than the teeth reduced. As a result, humans now have many more orthodontic issues requiring the artificial straightening of teeth.

How did the shift from foraging to farming affect the quality of food?

1) Wherever the shift from foraging to farming occurred, quality of diet declined owing to a decrease in the breadth of diet and a reduction in the nutritional quality of foods eaten. 2) Poorer-quality diets led to a decline in health as foragers became farmers.

What happened to the quality of diet during the shift from foraging to farming?

1) Wherever the shift from foraging to farming occurred, quality of diet declined owing to a decrease in the breadth of diet and a reduction in the nutritional quality of foods eaten.


Leave a Comment