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Influences on plant nutritional variation and their potential effects on hominin diet selection
- Henry, Amanda G., Hutschenreuther, Antje, Paine, Oliver C.C., Leichleiter, Jennifer, Codron, Daryl, Codron, Jacqui, Loudon, James, Adolph, Stephanie, Sponheimer, Matt
- Review of palaeobotany and palynology 2019 v.261 pp. 18-30
- antifeedants, diet, foods, habitats, nutrient availability, nutritive value, wild plants, South Africa
- The selection of foods in any environment depends on a variety of factors, including the nutrient availability and antifeedant loads in the component habitats. How these nutritional properties vary and covary in time and space is not well known, particularly among wild plant species. We collected plant samples from several habitats within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa, and measured their macronutrient and antifeedant properties in order to explore how season, habitat, plant type, and plant organ affected the quality of these potential plant foods. Our results have implications for early hominin use of similar habitats.