Special Issue "Changing Nature of Socio-Ecological Interactions in the Americas: From PalaeoAmerican Through to Present Day"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Encarni Montoya

Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera (ICTJA-CSIC)
Website | E-Mail
Interests: human impact; Northern South America; palaeoecology; vegetation responses
Guest Editor
Dr. Bronwen S. Whitney

Northumbria University
Website | E-Mail
Interests: tropical palaeoecology; historical biogeography; seasonally-dry tropical ecosystems; human–environment interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For their very short existence in geological history, as a species, humans have demonstrated an unparalleled capacity to directly and indirectly impact the Earth’s system at a global scale and we are arguably one of the most influential recent drivers of the planet’s dynamics. The relationship between humans and the environment is complex and the velocity of change and variability of interactions through time are poorly understood. Despite the uncertainties, it is clear that modern humans colonised most of the globe outside the poles by the late Glacial–Holocene transition, thereby introducing a new forcing factor in the environment over at least the last 10,000 years. Human impacts on these different environments, however, were heterogeneous and influenced by a wide range of factors including the cultural development of the emerging societies, historical biogeography, climate change and human migration. From a socio-ecological point of view, the European arrival on the American continent is considered among the most important events that drastically transformed the environmental history of such a large area in the last millennium. In this sense, indigenous depopulation by wars, diseases or slavery, development of new land use strategies, and the introduction of new species promoted a profound change in the socio-ecological scenario of the Americas. Such activities also altered the dynamics and trends of the American ecosystems by introducing new drivers of change.

In this Special Issue, we will explore the signal of the European arrival in past American environments, from local to continental scales, and we welcome contributions from a wide range of Quaternary disciplines. Contributions could be focused in any Quaternary time scale including the determination of the environmental baselines prior to intensive human influence, the arrival of the first Europeans, and present-day socio-ecological dynamics resulting from the invasion. We would encourage studies with an interdisciplinary approach in order to assess the complex interactions resulting from this transformative shift in the history of the American continents.

Dr. Encarni Montoya
Dr. Bronwen S. Whitney
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 papers will be 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) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. 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.


  • Anthropogenic vegetation
  • Archaeology
  • European invasion
  • Land use
  • Pre-European peopling
  • Late Quaternary
  • American depopulation
  • Palaeobiogeography
  • Palaeoecology
  • Vegetation responses

Published Papers

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