Publication Date



Land-use systems among foragers may be conceptualized as a combination of home range size, mobility, and local group size. An ecological model is constructed which links these three variables to the distributional structure of food resources. It is hypothesized that along a gradient of increasing resource clumping, home range size increases, local group size increases, and mobility becomes more logistical. The model is evaluated for its capacity to account for variations in land use among a number of ethnographically documented aboriginal groups from the Northwest Coast of North America. The nature of food resources along this latitudinal gradient is discussed and indices of distributional structure are developed with climatic data. Terrestrial production diminishes northward along this coast, so that a progressively greater proportion of the energy available for human exploitation exists in the form of clumped, marine resources. Consistent with the proposed relationship between land-use systems and resource clumping, it is demonstrated that there is a northward trend of increase in home range size, local group size, and the importance of logistic mobility. It is suggested that the separation in space-time between procurement and consumption of resources may be a useful measure of organizational complexity in social as well as economic systems.

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Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Anthropology

First Committee Member (Chair)

Lewis R. Binford

Second Committee Member

John Martin Campbell

Third Committee Member

David E. Stuart

Fourth Committee Member

Philip K. Bock

Included in

Anthropology Commons