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1 August 2003 Rainforest Composition and Histories of Human Disturbance in Solomon Islands
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Abstract

On the basis of a Solomon Islands case study, we report that tropical rainforests hitherto perceived as untouched, pristine, virgin, etc., are actually sites of former settlement, extensive forest clearance, and irrigated/swidden agriculture. An unusually wide range of sources—rainforest ecology, forest classification and mapping, ethnobotany, land-use history, oral traditions, ethnographic and archaeological observations—supports our conclusions. These observations have bearings for contemporary perspectives on scenarios for rainforest regeneration after logging. They also force a revision of certain assumptions concerning Melanesian prehistory and historical demography, and indicate that interdisciplinary links between botany, archaeology and social anthropology are needed to achieve a better appreciation of rainforest dynamics.

Tim Bayliss-Smith, Edvard Hviding, and Tim Whitmore "Rainforest Composition and Histories of Human Disturbance in Solomon Islands," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 32(5), (1 August 2003). https://doi.org/10.1579/0044-7447-32.5.346
Accepted: 1 September 2002; Published: 1 August 2003
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