The Historical Ecology Handbook

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Paperback $45 ISBN: 9781559637466 Published January 2001
Paperback $60 ISBN: 9781597260336 Published August 2005
Ebook Format $55.99 ISBN: 9781610913348 Published August 2005


The Historical Ecology Handbook

A Restorationist's Guide To Reference Ecosystems

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For bulk purchases, please contact Angela Osborn.

Edited by Dave Egan and Evelyn A. Howell

469 pages pages | 6 X 9

A fundamental aspect of the work of ecosystem restoration is to rediscover the past and bring it into the present -- to determine what needs to be restored, why it was lost, and how best to make it live again. Yet until now, there has been no guide to the various techniques available for determining that information and how those techniques can be used.

For the first time, The Historical Ecology Handbook makes essential connections between past and future ecosystems, bringing together leading experts to offer a much-needed introduction to the field of historical ecology and its practical application by on-the-ground restorationists.

The book begins with an overview chapter that introduces important concepts from ecology and restoration, and discusses various factors that need to be taken into account when attempting to discover and use historical information. Following that is a chapter-by-chapter presentation of individual techniques focusing on both culturally derived evidence (documents, maps, photographs, land surveys, oral history) and biological records (woodlot surveys, tree rings, pollen, packrat middens, opal phytoliths, animal remains, records of changes in soil and hydrology). Each chapter is written by a leading expert and offers essential background, tools, and resources needed for using the technique in a restoration effort. The book ends with four in-depth case studies that demonstrate how various combinations of techniques have been used in restoration projects.

Case studies are from Nantucket, the Indiana Dunes, the Greater Grand Canyon Region, and the San Francisco Area Historical Project. Among the contributors are M. Kat Anderson, Kenneth L. Cole, Owen K. Davis, Peter W. Dunwiddie, Robin Grossinger, Michael L. Morrison, Michael J. O'Brien, Thomas W. Swetnam, Stanley W. Trimble, Gordon G. Whitney, and many others.

The Historical Ecology Handbook is a unique and groundbreaking guide to determining historic reference conditions of a landscape. It offers an invaluable compendium of tools and techniques, and will be essential reading for anyone working in the field of ecological restoration.

PART I. Cultural Evidence

Chapter 1. Archaeology, Paleoecology, and Ecological Restoration

Chapter 2. The Contribution of Ethnobiology to the Reconstruction and Restoration of Historic Ecosystems

Chapter 3. The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Written Records

Chapter 4. Oral History: A Guide to Its Creation and Use

Chapter 5. Maps and Photographs

Chapter 6. Government Land Office Survey and Other Early Land Surveys


PART II. Biological Evidence

Chapter 7. Inferring Forest Stand History from Observational Field Evidence

Chapter 8. Using Dendrochronology to Reconstruct the History of Forest and Woodland Ecosystems

Chapter 9. Palynology: An Important Tool for Discovering Historic Ecosystems

Chapter 10. Packrat Middens as Tool for Resconstructing Historic Ecosystems

Chapter 11. Techniques for Discovering Historic Animal Assemblages

Chapter 12. Geomorphology, Hydrology, and Soils

Chapter 13. Inferring Vegetation History from Phytoliths


PART III. Synthesis: Cases Studies Using Reference Conditions

Chapter 14. Using Historical Data in Ecological Restoration: A Case Study from Nantucket

Chapter 15. A Multiple-scale History of Past and Ongoing Vegetation Change within the Indiana Dunes

Chapter 16. Implementing the Archeo-environmental Reconstruction Technique: A Case Study from the Greater Grand Canyon Region

Chapter 17. Documenting Local Landscape Change: The San Francisco Area Historical Project


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469 pages pages | 6 X 9
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