As Earth's testimonies tell': wilderness conservation in a changing world
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): L. Gillson; K. J. Willis
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • 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
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 50373
Tall Timbers Record Number: 26970
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Not in File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy 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 the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


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.

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.