Reference : Present-day central African forest is a legacy of the 19th century human history
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
Life sciences : Phytobiology (plant sciences, forestry, mycology...)
Arts & humanities : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Arts & humanities : History
Arts & humanities : Archaeology
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/205439
Present-day central African forest is a legacy of the 19th century human history
English
Morin, Julie mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > > > Form. doct. sc. agro. & ingé. biol.]
Fayolle, Adeline mailto [Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels >]
Favier, Charly [ISEM -Montpellier > > > >]
Bremond, Laurent [ISEM - Montpellier > > > >]
Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie [CIRAD > > > >]
Bayol, Nicolas [FRM > > > >]
Lejeune, Philippe mailto [Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels >]
Beeckman, Hans [Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale > > > >]
Doucet, Jean-Louis mailto [Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales >]
17-Jan-2017
eLife
eLife Sciences Publications
e20343
Yes (verified by ORBi)
International
2050-084X
Cambridge
United Kingdom
[en] central Africa ; archaeology ; history ; paleoecology ; dendrology ; environment ; ecology ; light-demanding trees ; logging ; Cameroon ; Republic of the Congo ; Central African Republic ; European colonization ; 19th century ; human impact ; tropical forest ; modelisation ; radiocarbon ; endangered species ; land-use ; disturbances ; global change ; sustanability ; intact forest
[en] The populations of light-demanding trees that dominate the canopy of central African forests are now aging. Here, we show that the lack of regeneration of these populations began ca. 165 ya (around 1850) after major anthropogenic disturbances ceased. Since 1885, less itinerancy and disturbance in the forest has occurred because the colonial administrations concentrated people and villages along the primary communication axes. Local populations formerly gardened the forest by creating scattered openings, which were sufficiently large for the establishment of light-demanding trees. Currently, common logging operations do not create suitable openings for the regeneration of these species, whereas deforestation degrades landscapes. Using an interdisciplinary approach, which included paleoecological, archaeological, historical, and dendrological data, we highlight the long-term history of human activities across central African forests and assess the contribution of these activities to present-day forest structure and composition. The conclusions of this sobering analysis present challenges to current silvicultural practices and to those of the future.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Fonds pour la formation à la Recherche dans l'Industrie et dans l'Agriculture (Communauté française de Belgique) - FRIA ; Fonds Roi Léopold III ; ANR ; National Environment Research Council (Royaume-Uni) - NERC
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/205439
10.7554/eLife.20343

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