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Prehistoric Native Americans and Ecological Change
Human Ecosystems in Eastern North America since the Pleistocene


  • Date Published: February 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521050760

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • This book shows that Holocene human ecosystems are complex adaptive systems in which humans interacted with their environment in a nested series of spatial and temporal scales. Using panarchy theory, it integrates paleoecological and archaeological research from the Eastern Woodlands of North America providing a paradigm to help resolve long-standing disagreements between ecologists and archaeologists about the importance of prehistoric Native Americans as agents for ecological change. The authors present the concept of a panarchy of complex adaptive cycles as applied to the development of increasingly complex human ecosystems through time. They explore examples of ecological interactions at the level of gene, population, community, landscape and regional hierarchical scales, emphasizing the ecological pattern and process involving the development of human ecosystems. Finally, they offer a perspective on the implications of the legacy of Native Americans as agents of change for conservation and ecological restoration efforts today.

    • Presents a new paradigm to help resolve long-standing controversy between ecologists and archaeologists about the importance of Native Americans as agents of ecological change
    • Uses both paleoecological and archaeological data to provide a contemporary view of the development of Holocene human ecosystems
    • Demonstrates importance of prehistoric human activities in the ecology of eastern North America, and the implications for conservation biology, forest management and ecological restoration
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… the book is a welcome addition to the study on human ecosystems in prehistoric times … [it] merits attention as an important study in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology.' International Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521050760
    • length: 216 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.333kg
    • contains: 29 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Panarchy as an Integrative Paradigm: Overview
    1. The need for a new synthesis
    2. Panarchy theory and Quaternary ecosystems
    3. Holocene human ecosystems
    Part II. Ecological Feedbacks and Processes: Overview
    4. Gene-level interactions
    5. Population-level interactions
    6. Community-level interactions
    7. Landscape-level interactions
    8. Regional-level interactions
    Part III. Application and Synthesis: Overview
    9. The ecological legacy of prehistoric Native Americans

  • Authors

    Paul A. Delcourt, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    Paul A. Delcourt is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

    Hazel R. Delcourt, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    Hazel R. Delcourt is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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