Special Issue "Long-Term Anthropic Influences on the Diversity of Amazonian Landscapes and Biota"
A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2009).
Interests: historical ecology; ethnobiology; amazonia
Forests and savannas of Amazonia represent intersections of nature and culture. Biological evolution and historical contingency have become intertwined in the explanation of landscapes and their attendant biota in Amazonia. Most models of explanation of species distributions across diverse Amazonian environments tend to be incomplete in one way or another. The refuge model and vicariance biogeography explain diversity by genetic drift, and mostly are different in terms of time scale. Neither considers human factors that could have affected local diversity (alpha diversity) and the diversity across disjunctive landscapes (beta diversity). In contrast to these models, historical ecology, as a research program, offers an understanding of Amazonian landscapes and biota that derives from comprehension of historical contingency and the biological preadaptations of species to human activities on the landscapes affected by those activities. Specific kinds of diversity to be examined with insights from historical ecology include heterogeneity of archaeological landscapes, variation in soil microbes due to agrarian technologies of the past (especially Amazon Dark Earths), patterned distributions of flora (both domesticated and not), and fluctuations in microfauna and other fauna due to human impacts of the past.
Prof. Dr. William Balée
- historical ecology
- contingency factors
- alpha and beta diversity
- landscape heterogeneity
- agrarian technologies