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1 September 2008 Dominant Plants Of The Maya Forest And Gardens Of El Pilar: Implications For Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions
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Abstract
The ancient Maya have been accused of destroying their forests yet the Maya forest today is replete with economic value, and contemporary traditional Maya forest gardeners manage and maintain the dominant plants of the forest for their economic values. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions of the Maya area have relied on the distribution of primarily wind borne pollen in ancient soil deposits, but the majority of these plants are pollinated biotically. An examination of the pollen syndromes of the dominant species of the Maya forest and the forest gardens demonstrates that only one of the dominant plants of the forest today appears in the pollen record of paleoenvironmental soil cores. In contrast, all the herbs and grasses of the high performance milpa, although dominated by maize, are in the pollen record. Rather than deforested, I suggest that the ancient Maya created a mosaic of field to forest, very little of which can be effectively defined in the palynological record.
and Anabel Ford "Dominant Plants Of The Maya Forest And Gardens Of El Pilar: Implications For Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions," Journal of Ethnobiology 28(2), (1 September 2008). https://doi.org/10.2993/0278-0771-28.2.179
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