This volume introduces the ecological history of woodland vegetation in South India. It incorporates a critical overview of the theories of ecological on the subcontinent while detailing the history of long-term changes in the tree and shrub vegetation of the Indian peninsula that have resulted from climate change and the impact of human activities on the landscape. The volume also demonstrates the potential of microscopic analysis of archaeological wood charcoal remains for the purpose of palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Included in the volume is a practical guide for the microscopic identification of the principal timber species of South India, accompanied by detailed information on the synecology and autecology of native trees and shrubs, and ethnographic evidence on their diverse uses and properties. An accompanying CD-ROM contains the complete identification guide and many full color illustrations of South Asian trees and shrubs to facilitate analysis.