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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): L. Gillson; K. J. Willis
Publication Date: 2004

Too often, wilderness conservation ignores a temporal perspective greater than the past 50 years, yet a long-term perspective (centuries to millennia) reveals the dynamic nature of many ecosystems. Analysis of fossil pollen, charcoal and stable isotopes, combined with historical analyses and archaeology can reveal how ongoing interactions between climatic change, human activities and other disturbances have shaped today's landscapes over thousands of years. This interdisciplinary approach can inform wilderness conservation and also contribute to interpreting current trends and predicting how ecosystems might respond to future climate change. In this paper, we review literature that reveals how increasing collaboration among palaeoecologists, archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and ecologists is improving understanding of ecological complexity. Drawing on case studies from forested and non-forested ecosystems in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Australia, we discuss how this integrated approach can inform wilderness conservation and ecosystem management. © 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

Citation: Gillson, L., and K. J. Willis. 2004. 'As Earth's testimonies tell': wilderness conservation in a changing world. Ecology Letters, v. 7, no. 10, p. 990-998. 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2004.00658.x.

Cataloging Information

Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    International    National
  • anthropogenic
  • Australia
  • climate change
  • climate change
  • complexity
  • conservation
  • dynamic ecosystems
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • Europe
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • forests
  • human caused fires
  • nonlinearity
  • restoration ecology
  • South America
  • thresholds
  • wilderness areas
  • wildfires
Tall Timbers Record Number: 26970Location Status: Not in fileCall Number: Not in FileAbstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 50373

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of Tall Timbers.