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1 April 2010 Forest History in East Africa's Eastern Arc Mountains: Biological Science and the Uses of History
Christopher A. Conte
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Abstract

In this article, I argue that conservation science in its role of advocate for the natural world could profitably draw from site-specific histories that integrate human and natural histories. Both fields analyze the dynamic interaction of structure and process. In East Africa's Eastern Arc Mountains, where forests contain high levels of species endemism and biological diversity, the prevailing historical paradigm from conservation science represents today's forests as surviving fragments of much larger forests. This view builds upon a century-long tradition of scientific scholarship that has developed theories for the evolution of Eastern Arc forests that encompass geological time scales. However, the relatively brief, millennialscale land-use history of the mountains, insofar as it is currently understood, suggests that human manipulation of forest biota involved periods of deforestation and regeneration, as well as the introduction of exotic plants.

©2010 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. AU rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Christopher A. Conte "Forest History in East Africa's Eastern Arc Mountains: Biological Science and the Uses of History," BioScience 60(4), 309-313, (1 April 2010). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2010.60.4.9
Published: 1 April 2010
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KEYWORDS
BIOLOGY
conservation
Eastern Arc Mountains
forest
history
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