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Historical land-use information from culturally modified trees

Andersson, Rikard (2005). Historical land-use information from culturally modified trees. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2005:61
ISBN 91-576-6960-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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In a global perspective, the human impact on forest ecosystems varies greatly in type, frequency and magnitude. Knowledge of the history of forest use is crucial for understanding the development of forests, which in turn helps to understand how societies react to forest development. Culturally modified trees (CMTs), recorded in the western U.S., northern Scandinavia and south-eastern Australia, are features that can be dated precisely, and they bear witness to unique events of human activity. CMTs are traces from historical uses of forest resources that reflect the activities of local communities and extend far back in time, and therefore offer information not usually available from other sources. In this thesis I argue that CMTs have high potential for assessing human activity and possibly human impacts on forest ecosystems, particularly those concerning local indigenous uses. Periods of increased activity in a certain area are reflected in peaks in the distribution of CMT dates. These also show the time period and speed of abandonment of a traditional forest use in a landscape. The possibility to learn about the people, their behaviour and activities in the forest are good, but their impact on ecosystems will always be difficult to assess when only CMT data are available. Therefore, it is important to learn as much as possible about traditional customs expressed in CMTs, in combination with oral and ethnological sources, and the role of CMTs in the traditional use of the forest. In this way it is possible to estimate what the density and distribution of CMTs in the landscape actually tells us about historical impact on the ecosystem. CMTs contradict the idea of “pristine” forests but symbolize the traditional view that people are part of nature rather than separate from it.

Authors/Creators:Andersson, Rikard
Title:Historical land-use information from culturally modified trees
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :May 2005
Number of Pages:36
ALLI. Östlund, L., Keane, B., Arno, S. & Andersson, R. Culturally scarred trees in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana USA–Interpreting Native American historical forest use in a wilderness area. Accepted but not published in Natural Areas Journal. II. Andersson, R. & Östlund, L. 2004. Spatial patterns, density changes and implications on biodiversity for old trees in the boreal landscape of northern Sweden. Biological Conservation 118: 443-453. III. Andersson, R., Östlund, L. & Törnlund, E. The last European landscape to be colonized: a case study of land use change in the far north of Sweden 1850-1930. Accepted in Environment and History. IV. Andersson, R., Östlund, L., & Lundqvist, R. Carved trees in grazed forests in boreal Sweden - analysis of remaining trees, interpretation of past land-use and implications for conservation. Vegetation History and Achaeobotany. Published online. DOI: 10.1007/s00334-005-0066-y. Reproduced “With kind permission of Springer Science and Business Media”. V. Andersson, R., Östlund, L. & Kempe, G. Inventory strategies for assessing culturally modified trees in boreal Sweden (Manuscript).
Place of Publication:Umeå
ISBN for printed version:91-576-6960-0
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
B Geography and history > B50 History
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:forest trees, cultural behaviour, history, forest resources, ecosystems, environmental impact
Keywords:culturally modified trees, scarred trees, carved trees, Scots pine, forest reserves, forest history, northern Sweden, historical land-use, traditional ecological knowledge
Permanent URL:
ID Code:858
Department:(S) > Institutionen för skoglig vegetationsekologi (930701-061231)
Deposited By: Rikard Andersson
Deposited On:18 May 2005 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:07

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