We often envision the New World before the arrival of the
Europeans as a land of pristine natural beauty and undisturbed
environments. However, David Lentz offers an alternative view by
detailing the impact of native cultures on these ecosystems prior
to their contact with Europeans. Drawing on a wide range of experts
from the fields of paleoclimatology, historical ecology,
paleontology, botany, geology, conservation science, and resource
management, this book unlocks the secret of how the Western
Hemisphere's indigenous inhabitants influenced and transformed
their natural environment.
A rare combination of collaborators uncovers the changes that
took place in North America, Mexico, Central America, the Andes,
and Amazonia. Each section of the book has been comprehensively
arranged so that a botanical description of the natural vegetation
of the region is coupled with a set of case studies outlining local
human influences. From modifications of vegetation, to changes in
soil, wildlife, microclimate, hydrology, and the land surface
itself, this collection addresses one of the great issues of our
time: the human modification of the earth.
Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Anthropology, History
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