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Ornamental plant domestication by aesthetics-driven human cultural niche construction

Altman, Arie; Shennan, Stephen; Odling-Smee, John; (2022) Ornamental plant domestication by aesthetics-driven human cultural niche construction. Trends in Plant Science , 27 (2) pp. 124-138. 10.1016/j.tplants.2021.09.004. Green open access

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Abstract

Unlike plants that were domesticated to secure food, the domestication and breeding of ornamental plants are driven by aesthetic values. Here, we examine the major elements of the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES) theory that bridges the gap between the biology of ornamental plant domestication and the sociocultural motivations behind it. We propose that it involves specific elements of cumulative cultural evolution (CCE), plant gene-human culture coevolution (PGHCC), and niche construction (NC). Moreover, ornamental plant domestication represents an aesthetics-driven dimension of human niche construction that coevolved with socioeconomic changes and the adoption of new scientific technologies. Initially functioning as symbolic and aesthetic assets, ornamental plants became globally marketed material commodities as a result of the co-dependence of human CCE and prestige-competition motivations.

Type: Article
Title: Ornamental plant domestication by aesthetics-driven human cultural niche construction
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2021.09.004
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2021.09.004
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: aesthetics, cultural evolution, extended evolutionary synthesis, gene-culture coevolution, ornamental plant domestication, socio-cultural niche construction, symbolic-material assets
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10158225
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