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.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 333 g
Dimensions: 228 x 153 x 12 mm
'... 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
"A wealth of information is packed into this small book, and it should be essential reading even for scholars skeptical of the panarchical perspective, those who may think the impact of early and mid-Holocene burning is overlooked, or those who believe the Delcourts exaggerate the negative effects of late pre-Columbian agricultural societies. The writing is clear and engaging, and the figures summarize complex data ingeniously."
Canadian Journal of Archaeology