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date: 15 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It has been suggested that anthropogenic burning may have altered Southwest landscapes at a large scale. Southwestern biomes vary in their propensity for and their susceptibility to anthropogenic burning practices. Anthropogenic burning to enhance the productivity of wild plant foraging or agriculture was probably limited in scale; on the other hand, fire use in hunting, religious practice, and warfare may have impacted larger scales, though at lower intensity. Middle-elevation forests, woodlands, and grasslands were the biotic zones most likely to be impacted by anthropogenic burning, but sophisticated mimicry of natural fire regimes means that the evidence of such impact is ambiguous.

Keywords: agriculture, anthropogenic burning, Southwest, biome, fire

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