Methods in Historical Ecology : Insights from Amazonia book cover
1st Edition

Methods in Historical Ecology
Insights from Amazonia

ISBN 9780367182212
Published October 12, 2020 by Routledge
210 Pages

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Book Description

This book presents some of the most recent tools, methods and concepts in historical ecology. It introduces students and researchers to state-of-the-art techniques and showcases a wide array of methods dedicated to understanding the history of tropical landscapes. The chapters cover the detection and characterisation of archaeological features, living organisms as witnesses of past human activities, ethnoecological knowledge of ancient anthropogenic landscapes and societal impacts of historical ecology. Whilst mainly based on Amazonian experiences, the contributions aim to strengthen synergies between disciplines and to propose solutions that can be applied elsewhere in the field.

Table of Contents


Guillaume ODONNE and Jean-François MOLINO

Part I – Detection and characterisation of archaeological features

Chapter 1. Archaeology of invisible landscapes


Chapter 2. Pedological perspective: concepts and facts


Chapter 3. Soil micromorphology

Jeanne BRANCIER and Cécilia CAMMAS

Chapter 4. Physicochemical analysis of Neotropical soils

Jeanne BRANCIER, Amandine COURTE, Dominique TODISCO and Michel BROSSARD

Chapter 5. Magnetic properties of soils

François LÉVÊQUE

Chapter 6. Geomagnetic survey

François LÉVÊQUE

Chapter 7. Pedestrian archaeological surveys in Neotropical rainforests

Mickael MESTRE and Martijn VAN DEN BEL

Chapter 8. Detecting ditched sites on LiDAR-generated Digital Elevation Models: from technical specifications to interpretation keys

Mickaël MESTRE, Grégoire VINCENT, Caroline BEDEAU, Nina ANTONOFF, Olivier BRUNAUX, Pierre GAUTREAU and Matthieu NOUCHER

Part II – Living organisms as witnesses of past human activities

Chapter 9. Phytoliths: a tool for Neotropical historical ecology, with focus on bamboo-dominated forests

Laurent BREMOND and Charly FAVIER

Chapter 10. Anthracology in the tropics: how wood charcoals help us to better understand today ecosystems

Stéphanie BODIN, Julie MORIN-RIVAT, Laurent BREMOND, Rita SCHEEL-YBERT, Christophe TARDY and Christophe VASCHALDE

Chapter 11. Forest trees inventories

Jean-François MOLINO, William BALÉE, Julien ENGEL, Claire MARTIN and Daniel SABATIER

Chapter 12. Historical genomics


Chapter 13. Landscape-scale study of soil communities

Nina GAZAL, Antoine BRIN, Sophie MANZI, Emeline HOUËL, Emmanuel LAPIED, Thibaud DECAËNS and Mélanie ROY

Chapter 14. The multiple roles of soil animals in the interpretation of archaeological soils and sediments in lowland tropical South America

Doyle McKEY, Delphine RENARD and Rumsaïs BLATRIX

Part III – Ethnoecological knowledge on ancient anthropogenic landscapes

Chapter 15. History and ethnohistory of ancient settlements

Pierre GRENAND and Damien DAVY

Chapter 16. Ethnoecology of landscape uses and interpretations

Damien DAVY, Pierre GRENAND and Guillaume ODONNE

Chapter 17. From single species to multiethnic ethnobotanical databases to understand past land use

Guillaume ODONNE, Damien DAVY and Pierre GRENAND

Chapter 18. Historical ecology as an instrument in defence of forest peoples: reflections from the Tapajós River, Brazil

Bruna CIGARAN da ROCHA and Vinicius Eduardo HONORATO de OLIVEIRA

Chapter 19. Applied historical ecology

William BALÉE and Meredith DUDLEY

Conclusion. Historical ecology: challenges and perspectives in a changing world


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Guillaume Odonne is affiliated with the Centre National de la Recherche scientifique (CNRS) within the Laboratoire Ecologie, Evolution, Interactions des Systèmes Amazoniens (LEEISA) in Cayenne, French Guiana.

Jean-François Molino is based at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) in Montpellier, France. He is deputy director of the Joint Research Unit AMAP (botAnique et Modélisation de l'Architecture des Plantes et des végétations).