Special Issue "Applying the Quaternary in Africa: The Role of the Past in Supporting the Future"

A special issue of Quaternary (ISSN 2571-550X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019) | Viewed by 272

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Rob Marchant
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
York Institute for Tropical Ecosystems, University of York, York Y010 5NG, UK
Interests: tropical ecology; conservation; palaeoclimate; palaeoecology; fire ecology; modelling; management; sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Lindsey Gillson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Plant Conservation Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, University of the Cape Town, Cape Town 7700, South Africa
Interests: applied palaeoecology; conservation and ecosystem management; resilience; thresholds; heterogeneity; variability; complexity and non-equilibrium; linking ecological and social systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Stephen M. Rucina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Palynology and Palaeobotany Section, Department of Earth Sciences, National Museums of Kenya, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Interests: East Africa; pollen; environmental change; natural heritage; conservation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Africa, more than any other continent, is highly reliant on the natural capital and resources for underpinning many national economies. For example, in East Africa, the world famous National Park network brings in vital tourist revenue across the region. The Tanzania and Kenya Borderlands region is home to fourteen protected areas, which include the Amboseli, Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Parks; these alone attract millions of visitors per year with billions of US$ in associated tourist revenue that is vital to the national economies. Many African countries are dominated by the agricultural or pastoral sectors that in many cases are facing a series of challenges around intensification, environmental change and growing populations. Climate change is highly uncertain, and likewise, the associated impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, protected areas and associated socioeconomic benefits are largely unknown. One of the key findings from Quaternary science has been the documentation of large and rapid fluctuations in wetlands and lakes, driven by regional hydrological variability. This climatic variability has had massive impacts on water and grazing resources during periods of drought, and is predicted to do so in the future, as pressures on these natural resources intensify due to fragmentation, and increasing human populations. As these pressures continue to intensify and modify natural resources, there is a need for policies and practice that  promote resilience and successful adaptation strategies. Before this can occur, an appreciation is needed about how people perceive climate change, their current adaptation measures, and other factors that may influence decisions to adapt current practices. Again, salutary lessons can be learned from a historical perspective and longer-term Quaternary perspective. Meeting, and addressing, the challenges that African ecosystems face in a world of rising populations and environmental change makes the need to understand human-environment interactions (past, present and future) more pressing, particularly because it is only through people—from local communities to policy makers—that a sustainable mode of human-environment interaction will be desired, implemented and hopefully achieved. This Special Issue welcomes papers from a wide range of disciplines on how a Quaternary perspective on ecosystem and environmental change can be used to assess the challenges to future management of natural capital and natural resources.

Prof. Rob Marchant
Dr. Lindsey Gillson
Dr. Stephen M. Rucina
Guest Editors


Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Quaternary is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Africa
  • natural resources
  • environmental change
  • natural capital
  • applied conservation
  • Quaternary perspective
  • Ecosystems
  • climatic variability
  • Adaptive Capacity

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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