Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
M. M. R. Freeman
This study is concerned with critically evaluating and applying recent developments in theoretical ecology to the definition and measurement of the human ecological (Hutchinsonian) niche. An examination of Donald L. Hardesty's attempt to operationalize the concept as a multidimensional hypervolume indicates that, as a result of the failure to adequately divorce the concept from its biological evolutionary context in theory, and the uninformed use of a mathematical formula which does not allow comparative statements to be drawn, this approach is only of limited utility in ecological anthropology. Certainly, such an approach does not provide a sufficiently ecological framework for the analysis of Inuit lifeways. While a refined version of Hardesty's approach is presented and tested in the context of particular harvest data, the outcome suggests that, while the concept of 'ecotope' is more applicable to representing the I total I ecological reality of human aggregates, the application of the multidimensional niche, in conjunction with the multidimensional habitat, is thus far to be considered as impractical.
Kirkby, Kenneth Howard, "From Hutchinsonian Niche to Ecotope: An Examination of Donald L. Hardesty's Application of the Hutchinsonian Niche Concept" (1978). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5328.
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