Landscape Ecology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 563–569 | Cite as

Deep time: the emerging role of archaeology in landscape ecology

Perspective

Abstract

Given the goals of landscape ecology, information from archaeological sites provides a useful source of evidence regarding cultural practices, anthropogenic change, local conditions, and distributions of organisms at a variety of scales across both space and time. Due to the time depth available from the archaeological record, long-term processes can be studied and issues of land use legacies, human influence on landscape heterogeneity, and system histories can be addressed. Archaeological data can produce a diachronic record of past population size, population structure, biogeography, age-at-death, and migration patterns, useful for making ecosystem and wildlife management decisions. Researchers can use archaeological knowledge to differentiate between native and alien taxa, inform restoration plans, identify sustainable harvesting practices, account for modern distributions of taxa, predict future biogeographic changes, and elucidate the interplay of long- and short-term ecological processes.

Keywords

Archaeology Land use Prehistory Anthropogenic change History Restoration Management Paleoecology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

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