The ecology of humans (Homo sapiens) is a topic that is highly diversified into the fields of demographics, anthropology, and various social science fields such as economics and political science. While there is a large body of mathematical literature associated with the first of these, the other fields have fallen behind in the realm of quantitative theory. Here the goal is to treat humans as another element of the ecosystem and explore their impacts in terms of their use of “natural resources.” This involves defining ecosystem services or human gain from the global ecosystem in relationship to the workings of the natural ecosystem or ecosystem function (Ruhl et al., 2007). While our exploitation of ecosystem services involves a wide range of actions that impact the ecosystem here the focus is on the direct taking (consumption) of resources through the act of harvesting. The approach is to formulate models for the act of harvesting in two different ways. The first involves the earliest form of foraging or hunting as manifest today primarily in large scale forestry and fishing respectively. The second considers the later advent in human history of actually controlling the ecosystem by husbandry of domesticated plants and animals. This seems
to have first arisen in Asia Minor (Bar-Yosef and Belfer-Cohen, 1989; Bar-Yosef, 1998) but clearly arose separately in southeast Asia and the Americas ( see Mithen, 2003). In both cases the analysis will consider competition between resource elements and the structure of human society. In the case of the fisheries example this includes food chain and food web dynamics to which human predation is added. In the agricultural situation the choice in commodities and their interaction with capital (monetary) resources is explored as one example of societal structure.