Research Topic

Effects of Novel Environments on Domesticated Species

About this Research Topic

Between c. 8000 and 2000 years ago, a period of early globalization had brought together previously isolated domesticated plant and animal species into hitherto uninhabited environments, hence establishing a new kind of farming system involving both indigenous and novel domesticates that were newly introduced. One such example involved the trans-Eurasian exchange of domesticated cereals: various wheat and barley taxa spread from their center of origin in southwestern Asia into East Asia, while domesticated broomcorn and foxtail millet dispersed in the opposite direction from northern China to southwestern Asia and Europe. A parallel exchange of domesticated plants and animals across the Indian Ocean has also been documented archaeologically. The cross-continental movements of domesticated species during the middle and late Holocene had profound implications to ordinary lives and societies in ancient times, transforming human foodways that still impact modern-day systems.

There is considerable momentum in documenting this period of food globalization, and the consequent knowledge is having a profound effect on our understanding of the human past on a global scale. While the movements of plant and animal domesticates across Eurasian continents are well documented in the archaeological record, what is less known is the precise mechanism that the prehistoric communities employed to adapt novel domesticates in new environments or into the long-standing local practices. This Research Topic explores the effects of new environments (physical and cultural) on domesticated species. We will explore the delights (and flaws) of farming and herding practices in novel environments and the interplay between human selections and consequent variations in the domesticates’ morphotypes and phenotypes.

Within the scope of the defined research goals, potential topics include, but are not limited to, questions about:
• Paleodiet and palaeoenvironment
• Nutrition, mobility, and ecology
• Subsistence, farming, and pastoral activities
• Human interactions with plants, animals, and landscapes
• Symbiosis in plant and animal domestication
• Evolution of plant and animal species
• Plant dispersal and adaptation in new environmental niches


Keywords: food globalization, plant and animal domestication, dispersal of domesticates, environment adaptation, archaeological science


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Between c. 8000 and 2000 years ago, a period of early globalization had brought together previously isolated domesticated plant and animal species into hitherto uninhabited environments, hence establishing a new kind of farming system involving both indigenous and novel domesticates that were newly introduced. One such example involved the trans-Eurasian exchange of domesticated cereals: various wheat and barley taxa spread from their center of origin in southwestern Asia into East Asia, while domesticated broomcorn and foxtail millet dispersed in the opposite direction from northern China to southwestern Asia and Europe. A parallel exchange of domesticated plants and animals across the Indian Ocean has also been documented archaeologically. The cross-continental movements of domesticated species during the middle and late Holocene had profound implications to ordinary lives and societies in ancient times, transforming human foodways that still impact modern-day systems.

There is considerable momentum in documenting this period of food globalization, and the consequent knowledge is having a profound effect on our understanding of the human past on a global scale. While the movements of plant and animal domesticates across Eurasian continents are well documented in the archaeological record, what is less known is the precise mechanism that the prehistoric communities employed to adapt novel domesticates in new environments or into the long-standing local practices. This Research Topic explores the effects of new environments (physical and cultural) on domesticated species. We will explore the delights (and flaws) of farming and herding practices in novel environments and the interplay between human selections and consequent variations in the domesticates’ morphotypes and phenotypes.

Within the scope of the defined research goals, potential topics include, but are not limited to, questions about:
• Paleodiet and palaeoenvironment
• Nutrition, mobility, and ecology
• Subsistence, farming, and pastoral activities
• Human interactions with plants, animals, and landscapes
• Symbiosis in plant and animal domestication
• Evolution of plant and animal species
• Plant dispersal and adaptation in new environmental niches


Keywords: food globalization, plant and animal domestication, dispersal of domesticates, environment adaptation, archaeological science


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2021 Abstract
31 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2021 Abstract
31 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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