A witness tree analysis of the effects of Native American Indians on the pre-European settlement forests in East-Central Alabama

H. Thomas Foster, Bryan Black, Marc David Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Witness tree data from the southeastern United States (lat 33°30′ N, long 86°30′ W) were analyzed using catchment and distance analysis to quantify the effects of Native American settlement on the composition of forest trees. Thirty Creek Indian villages comprising 18 settlement catchments were included in the sample, which is the largest Native American-forest interaction study using witness trees to date. Lower frequencies of Pinus spp, were observed within village catchments of the Coastal Plain and Ridge and Valley. Elevated frequencies of early succession species were observed surrounding 2 km village catchments. Distance analysis at two relatively isolated towns showed that Pinus increases in frequency beyond 2000 m from villages while Carya had the opposite result. Field and fruit species were more frequent within 6000 m of villages and then dropped off in frequency. Fire-sensitive tree species appear to be in a spatially cyclical pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-47
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Anthropology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A witness tree analysis of the effects of Native American Indians on the pre-European settlement forests in East-Central Alabama'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this