Agroforestry -- the practice of integrating trees and other large woody perennials on farms and throughout the agricultural landscape -- is increasingly recognized as a useful and promising strategy that diversifies production for greater social, economic, and environmental benefits. Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Landscapes brings together 46 scientists and practitioners from 13 countries with decades of field experience in tropical regions to explore how agroforestry practices can help promote biodiversity conservation in human-dominated landscapes, to synthesize the current state of knowledge in the field, and to identify areas where further research is needed.
Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Landscapes is the first comprehensive synthesis of the role of agroforestry systems in conserving biodiversity in tropical landscapes, and contains in-depth review chapters of most agroforestry systems, with examples from many different countries. It is a valuable source of information for scientists, researchers, professors, and students in the fields of conservation biology, resource management, tropical ecology, rural development, agroforestry, and agroecology.
". . . the authors sound a pessimistic note about society's short-term memory in their sobering, able history of Camille" --Booklist
"This highly readable account aimed at a general audience excels at telling the plight of the victims and how local political authorities reacted. The saddest lesson is how little the public and the government learned from Camille. Highly recommended for all public libraries, especially those on the Gulf and East coasts."
—Library Journal online
As the unsettled social and political weather of summer 1969 played itself out amid the heat of antiwar marches and the battle for civil rights, three regions of the rural South were devastated by the horrifying force of Category 5 Hurricane Camille.
Camille's nearly 200 mile per hour winds and 28-foot storm surge swept away thousands of homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi. Twenty-four oceangoing ships sank or were beached; six offshore drilling platforms collapsed; 198 people drowned. Two days later, Camille dropped 108 billion tons of moisture drawn from the Gulf onto the rural communities of Nelson County, Virginia-nearly three feet of rain in 24 hours. Mountainsides were washed away; quiet brooks became raging torrents; homes and whole communities were simply washed off the face of the earth.
In this gripping account, Ernest Zebrowski and Judith Howard tell the heroic story of America's forgotten rural underclass coping with immense adversity and inconceivable tragedy.
Category 5 shows, through the riveting stories of Camille's victims and survivors, the disproportionate impact of natural disasters on the nation's poorest communities. It is, ultimately, a story of the lessons learned-and, in some cases, tragically unlearned-from that storm: hard lessons that were driven home once again in the awful wake of Hurricane Katrina.
"Emergency responses to Katrina were uncoordinated, slow, and--at least in the early days--woefully inadequate. Politicians argued about whether there had been one disaster or two, as if that mattered. And before the last survivors were even evacuated, a flurry of finger-pointing had begun. The question most neglected was: What is the shelf life of a historical lesson?"
Ernest Zebrowski is founder of the doctoral program in science and math education at Southern University, a historically black university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Professor of Physics at Pennsylvania State University's Pennsylvania College of Technology. His previous books include Perils of a Restless Planet: Scientific Perspectives on Natural Disasters. Judith Howard earned her Ph.D. in clinical social work from UCLA, and writes a regular political column for the Ruston, Louisiana, Morning Paper.
"Category 5 examines with sensitivity the overwhelming challenges presented by the human and physical impacts from a catastrophic disaster and the value of emergency management to sound decisions and sustainability."
--John C. Pine, Chair, Department of Geography & Anthropology and Director of Disaster Science & Management, Louisiana State University
In these essays that survey the burgeoning field of tropical herpetology, former students and associates pay tribute to Jay Savage's four decades of mentoring. The result is a book unlike any other available in tropical herpetology. Covering a wide array of subjects, Ecology and Evolution in the Tropics is the first book in more than two decades to broadly review research on tropical amphibians and reptiles. A tribute to Savage and an invaluable addition to the herpetological literature, this work will be cited for years to come.
Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests
Edited by William F. Laurance and Carlos A. Peres University of Chicago Press, 2006 Library of Congress SD247.E44 2006 | Dewey Decimal 634.90913
Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests reveals the remarkably diverse panoply of perils to tropical forests and their biota, with particular emphasis on recent dangers. William F. Laurance and Carlos A. Peres identify four categories of emerging threats: those that have only recently appeared, such as the virulent chytrid fungus that is decimating rainforest amphibians throughout the tropical world; those that are growing rapidly in importance, like destructive surface fires; those that are poorly understood, namely global warming and other climatic and atmospheric changes; and environmental synergisms, whereby two or more simultaneous threats—such as habitat fragmentation and wildfires, or logging and hunting—can dramatically increase local extinction of tropical species. In addition to documenting the vulnerability of tropical rainforests, the volume focuses on strategies for mitigating and combating emerging threats. A timely and compelling book intended for researchers, students, and conservation practitioners, Emerging Threats to Tropical Forests will interest anyone concerned about the fate of the world’s most threatened tropical ecosystems.
In the mysterious and pristine forests of the tropics, a wealth of ethnobotanical panaceas and shamanic knowledge promises cures for everything from cancer and AIDS to the common cold. To access such miracles, we need only to discover and protect these medicinal treasures before they succumb to the corrosive forces of the modern world. A compelling biocultural story, certainly, and a popular perspective on the lands and peoples of equatorial latitudes—but true? Only in part. In The Ethnobotany of Eden, geographer Robert A. Voeks unravels the long lianas of history and occasional strands of truth that gave rise to this irresistible jungle medicine narrative.
By exploring the interconnected worlds of anthropology, botany, and geography, Voeks shows that well-intentioned scientists and environmentalists originally crafted the jungle narrative with the primary goal of saving the world’s tropical rainforests from destruction. It was a strategy deployed to address a pressing environmental problem, one that appeared at a propitious point in history just as the Western world was taking a more globalized view of environmental issues. And yet, although supported by science and its practitioners, the story was also underpinned by a persuasive mix of myth, sentimentality, and nostalgia for a long-lost tropical Eden. Resurrecting the fascinating history of plant prospecting in the tropics, from the colonial era to the present day, The Ethnobotany of Eden rewrites with modern science the degradation narrative we’ve built up around tropical forests, revealing the entangled origins of our fables of forest cures.
How were the tropical Americas formed? This ambitious volume draws on extensive, multidisciplinary research to develop new views of the geological formation of the isthmus linking North and South America and of the major environmental changes that reshaped the Neotropics to create its present-day marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
Recent discoveries show that dramatic changes in climate and ocean circulation can occur very quickly, and that ecological communities respond just as rapidly. Abrupt changes in the composition of fossil assemblages, formerly dismissed as artifacts of a poor fossil record, now are seen as accurate records of swift changes in the composition of ocean communities.
The twenty-four contributors use current work in paleontology, geology, oceanography, anthropology, ecology, and evolution to paint this challenging portrait of rapid environmental and evolutionary change. Their conclusions argue for a revision of existing interpretations of the fossil record and the processes—including invading Eurasian peoples—that have produced it.
Images of Jamaica and the Bahamas as tropical paradises full of palm trees, white sandy beaches, and inviting warm water seem timeless. Surprisingly, the origins of those images can be traced back to the roots of the islands’ tourism industry in the 1880s. As Krista A. Thompson explains, in the late nineteenth century, tourism promoters, backed by British colonial administrators, began to market Jamaica and the Bahamas as picturesque “tropical” paradises. They hired photographers and artists to create carefully crafted representations, which then circulated internationally via postcards and illustrated guides and lectures.
Illustrated with more than one hundred images, including many in color, An Eye for the Tropics is a nuanced evaluation of the aesthetics of the “tropicalizing images” and their effects on Jamaica and the Bahamas. Thompson describes how representations created to project an image to the outside world altered everyday life on the islands. Hoteliers imported tropical plants to make the islands look more like the images. Many prominent tourist-oriented spaces, including hotels and famous beaches, became off-limits to the islands’ black populations, who were encouraged to act like the disciplined, loyal colonial subjects depicted in the pictures.
Analyzing the work of specific photographers and artists who created tropical representations of Jamaica and the Bahamas between the 1880s and the 1930s, Thompson shows how their images differ from the English picturesque landscape tradition. Turning to the present, she examines how tropicalizing images are deconstructed in works by contemporary artists—including Christopher Cozier, David Bailey, and Irénée Shaw—at the same time that they remain a staple of postcolonial governments’ vigorous efforts to attract tourists.
"While tropical forests are being cleared at an alarming rate, the clearing is rarely complete and is often not permanent. A considerable amount of tropical forest exists as remnants that have significant value both for the conservation of biological diversity and for meeting the needs of local people.This volume brings together world-renowned scientists and conservationists to address the biological and socio-economic value of forest remnants and to examine practical efforts to conserve those remnants. An outgrowth of a year-long study by the policy program at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Forest Patches in Tropical Landscapes provides a broad overview of theory and practice, and will help foster both interdisciplinary research and more effective approaches to tropical conservation and development.
Foundations of Tropical Forest Biology presents a timely collection of pioneering work in the study of these diverse and fascinating ecosystems. Modeled on the highly successful Foundations of Ecology, this book consists of facsimiles of papers chosen by world experts in tropical biology as the "classics" in the field. The papers are organized into sections on related topics, each introduced with a discussion of their role in triggering subsequent research. Topics covered include ecological and evolutionary perspectives on the origins of tropical diversity; plant-animal interactions; patterns of species diversity and distribution of arthropods, vertebrates, and plants; forest dynamics and ecosystem ecology; conservation biology; and tropical forest management.
Foundations of Tropical Forest Biology makes essential works in the development of tropical biology available in a convenient form to both senior scholars interested in the roots of their discipline and to students encountering the field for the first time, as well as to everyone concerned with tropical conservation.
"The many diseases that are endemic in most of the developing nations of the world (and that may also affect travelers to these regions) are, at world levels, the most important sources of morbidity that affect the entire human race. The change in morbidity patterns in the more developed nations should not be permitted to blind the more affluent countries to the implications of this simple statement. Thus, direct and useful guides are needed to assure efficient and economical diagnosis and treatment of those infections that are endemic to the less affluent two-thirds of the earth.
"The algorithms in this book have been developed by Drs. Warren and Mahmoud, as the result of a systematic effort to produce such guides. The book is presented as another in the series "Studies in Infectious Disease Research" and is a most welcome addition, certain to supply a major and hitherto inadequately fulfilled need."—from the Foreword, by Edward H. Kass, M. D., Ph.D
Most scientists and researchers working in tropical areas are convinced that parks and protected areas are the only real hope for saving land and biodiversity in those regions. Rather than giving up on parks that are foundering, ways must be found to strengthen them, and Making Parks Work offers a vital contribution to that effort. Focusing on the "good news" -- success stories from the front lines and what lessons can be taken from those stories -- the book gathers experiences and information from thirty leading conservationists into a guidebook of principles for effective management of protected areas. The book: offers a general overview of the status of protected areas worldwide presents case studies from Africa, Latin America, and Asia written by field researchers with long experience working in those areas analyzes a variety of problems that parks face and suggests policies and practices for coping with those problems explores the broad philosophical questions of conservation and how protected areas can -- and must -- resist the mounting pressures of an overcrowded worldContributors include Mario Boza, Katrina Brandon, K. Ullas Karanth, Randall Kramer, Jeff Langholz, John F. Oates, Carlos A. Peres, Herman Rijksen, Nick Salafsky, Thomas T. Struhsaker, Patricia C. Wright, and others.
In this reflective account of life in the tropics, Alexander Skutch offers readers both his observations and his interpretations of what he has experienced. In the many chapters about birds and their behavior, he describes a dove that defends its nest with rare courage, castlebuilders who create elaborate nests of interlaced twigs, oropendolas that cluster long woven pouches in high treetops, and an exceptionally graceful hummingbird who fails to pay for its nectar by pollinating the flowers that yield it. Skutch also describes curious plants and their flowers, including a birthwort that holds its pollinating flies captive and fern fronds that twine high up trunks in the rain forest.
With penetrating clarity, Skutch considers the significance of all this restless activity: he examines the origins of beauty and our ability to appreciate it, the foundations of tropical splendor, the factors that help us feel close to nature or alienated from it, and the possibility of consciousness and emotion in animals. He also addresses the quandary of the biologist contemplating painful experiments on animals rather than learning by direct observation, and he asserts that our capacity to care for the world around us is the truest criterion of our evolutionary advancement.
Skutch brings a thoughtful, unequaled voice to the description of the world he has grown to know and understand, a world considered forbidding by most northerners and still largely unexplored.
Every year hundreds of thousands of travelers head for the Tropics to thrill to the raucous call of a howler monkey booming across the emerald cathedral of a rainforest, or to marvel at a brightly colored clown fish gliding fearlessly among the stinging tentacles of a sea anemone on a coral reef. Ranging from South and Central America to Africa, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and the Caribbean, A Naturalist's Guide to the Tropics provides engaging overviews of the geology, climate, soils, plants, animals, and major ecosystems of the Tropics. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with color plates, photographs, and drawings.
Whether you're a first-time visitor or a veteran of many trips, this convenient guidebook can help you plan your vacation and serve as a knowledgeable companion to answer the many questions that may arise during the course of your journey. Why are tropical birds and fishes so colorful? What is an atoll, and how do they form? Why are tropical soils red and sterile, while rainforests are lush and green? Why does Madagascar have lemurs but not monkeys? Special features of the book include chapters on the conservation status of the Tropics and how to prepare with "caution without obsession" for tropical dangers such as infectious diseases and charging rhinoceroses.
The first comprehensive introduction to the natural history of the Tropics worldwide, A Naturalist's Guide to the Tropics has been completely revised and updated by the author and the translator to reflect the most current information available.
* first field guide in English to cover all the world's tropics, not just specific regions or countries
* more than 350 illustrations, many in color
* sturdy flexibound cover and compact size ideal for travelers
* boxes in text define scientific terms or explore side topics in more detail, such as "What Is Biodiversity?" and "Why Is Tropical Fauna So Colorful?"
* discusses tropical dangers and precautions to cope with them, such as vaccinations to obtain and foods to avoid
Not by Timber Alone presents the findings of the Harvard Institute for International Development study, commissioned by the International Tropical Timber Organization, that examined the economic value of tropical hardwood forests as productive living systems and the potential for their multiple use management.
The average kilometer of tropical rainforest is teeming with life; it contains thousands of species of plants and animals. As The Ornaments of Life reveals, many of the most colorful and eye-catching rainforest inhabitants—toucans, monkeys, leaf-nosed bats, and hummingbirds to name a few—are an important component of the infrastructure that supports life in the forest. These fruit-and-nectar eating birds and mammals pollinate the flowers and disperse the seeds of hundreds of tropical plants, and unlike temperate communities, much of this greenery relies exclusively on animals for reproduction.
Synthesizing recent research by ecologists and evolutionary biologists, Theodore H. Fleming and W. John Kress demonstrate the tremendous functional and evolutionary importance of these tropical pollinators and frugivores. They shed light on how these mutually symbiotic relationships evolved and lay out the current conservation status of these essential species. In order to illustrate the striking beauty of these “ornaments” of the rainforest, the authors have included a series of breathtaking color plates and full-color graphs and diagrams.
Race, Place, and Medicine examines the impact of a group of nineteenth-century Brazilian physicians who became known posthumously as the Bahian Tropicalista School of Medicine. Julyan G. Peard explores how this group of obscure clinicians became participants in an international debate as they helped change the scientific framework and practices of doctors in Brazil. Peard shows how the Tropicalistas adapted Western medicine and challenged the Brazilian medical status quo in order to find new answers to the old question of whether the diseases of warm climates were distinct from those of temperate Europe. They carried out innovative research on parasitology, herpetology, and tropical disorders, providing evidence that countered European assumptions about Brazilian racial and cultural inferiority. In the face of European fatalism about health care in the tropics, the Tropicalistas forged a distinctive medicine based on their beliefs that public health would improve only if large social issues—such as slavery and abolition—were addressed and that the delivery of health care should encompass groups hitherto outside the doctors’ sphere, especially women. But the Tropicalistas’ agenda, which included biting social critiques and broad demands for the extension of health measures to all of Brazil’s people, was not sustained. Race, Place, and Medicine shows how imported models of tropical medicine—constructed by colonial nations for their own needs—downplayed the connection between socioeconomic factors and tropical disorders. This study of a neglected episode in Latin American history will interest Brazilianists, as well as scholars of Latin American, medical, and scientific history.
Requiem for Nature
John Terborgh Island Press, 1999 Library of Congress QH77.T78T47 1999 | Dewey Decimal 333.720913
For ecologist John Terborgh, Manu National Park in the rainforest of Peru is a second home; he has spent half of each of the past twenty-five years there conducting research. Like all parks, Manu is assumed to provide inviolate protection to nature. Yet even there, in one of the most remote corners of the planet, Terborgh has been witness to the relentless onslaught of civilization.Seeing the steady destruction of irreplaceable habitat has been a startling and disturbing experience for Terborgh, one that has raised urgent questions: Is enough being done to protect nature? Are current conservation efforts succeeding? What could be done differently? What should be done differently? In Requiem for Nature, he offers brutally honest answers to those difficult questions, and appraises the prospects for the future of tropical conservation. His book is a clarion call for anyone who cares about the quality of the natural world we will leave our children.Terborgh examines current conservation strategies and considers the shortcomings of parks and protected areas both from ecological and institutional perspectives. He explains how seemingly pristine environments can gradually degrade, and describes the difficult social context –a debilitating combination of poverty, corruption, abuses of power, political instability, and a frenzied scramble for quick riches –in which tropical conservation must take place. He considers the significant challenges facing existing parks and examines problems inherent in alternative approaches, such as ecotourism, the exploitation of nontimber forest products, "sustainable use," and "sustainable development."Throughout, Terborgh argues that the greatest challenges of conservation are not scientific, but are social, economic, and political, and that success will require simultaneous progress on all fronts. He makes a compelling case that nature can be saved, but only if good science and strong institutions can be thoughtfully combined.
Though seasonally dry tropical forests are equally as important to global biodiversity as tropical rainforests, and are one of the most representative and highly endangered ecosystems in Latin America, knowledge about them remains limited because of the relative paucity of attention paid to them by scientists and researchers and a lack of published information on the subject.
Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests seeks to address this shortcoming by bringing together a range of experts in diverse fields including biology, ecology, biogeography, and biogeochemistry, to review, synthesize, and explain the current state of our collective knowledge on the ecology and conservation of seasonally dry tropical forests.
The book offers a synthetic and cross-disciplinary review of recent work with an expansive scope, including sections on distribution, diversity, ecosystem function, and human impacts. Throughout, contributors emphasize conservation issues, particularly emerging threats and promising solutions, with key chapters on climate change, fragmentation, restoration, ecosystem services, and sustainable use.
Seasonally dry tropical forests are extremely rich in biodiversity, and are seriously threatened. They represent scientific terrain that is poorly explored, and there is an urgent need for increased understanding of the system's basic ecology. Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests represents an important step in bringing together the most current scientific information about this vital ecosystem and disseminating it to the scientific and conservation communities.
For decades, conservation and research initiatives in tropical forests have focused almost exclusively on old-growth forests because scientists believed that these “pristine” ecosystems housed superior levels of biodiversity. With Second Growth, Robin L. Chazdon reveals those assumptions to be largely false, bringing to the fore the previously overlooked counterpart to old-growth forest: second growth.
Even as human activities result in extensive fragmentation and deforestation, tropical forests demonstrate a great capacity for natural and human-aided regeneration. Although these damaged landscapes can take centuries to regain the characteristics of old growth, Chazdon shows here that regenerating—or second-growth—forests are vital, dynamic reservoirs of biodiversity and environmental services. What is more, they always have been.
With chapters on the roles these forests play in carbon and nutrient cycling, sustaining biodiversity, providing timber and non-timber products, and integrated agriculture, Second Growth not only offers a thorough and wide-ranging overview of successional and restoration pathways, but also underscores the need to conserve, and further study, regenerating tropical forests in an attempt to inspire a new age of local and global stewardship.
Based on a Conservation International conference in Panama, Sustainable Harvest and Marketing of Rain Forest Products brings together the world's leading experts on rain forest development and sustainability.
The stories collected in This Is Not the Tropics come from the geographic center of a divided nation, and its protagonists evoke a split personality—one half submerged in America’s own diehard mythology, the other half searching to escape tradition. Together they form a portrait of the Plains that is both quirky and poignant. While the themes in this collection are familiar—love and betrayal, loneliness and regret, the needs of the individual versus the needs of the community—the tales themselves are startling and new. Whether it is the story of an eccentric out-of-work accordion player; a woman ending a long marriage against the backdrop of a visit from her failing mother; a young girl who wishes to solve a mystery until real mystery enters her life; or all of the men in a small Nebraska town who annually compete in a hilariously earnest beauty pageant, these are tales that speak of the lives lived in the small towns, the prairie cities, and on the dirt roads off blue highways in the middle of nowhere and everywhere.
In Tropical Aesthetics of Black Modernism, Samantha A. Noël investigates how Black Caribbean and American artists of the early twentieth century responded to and challenged colonial and other white-dominant regimes through tropicalist representation. With depictions of tropical scenery and landscapes situated throughout the African diaspora, performances staged in tropical settings, and bodily expression of tropicality during Carnival, artists such as Aaron Douglas, Wifredo Lam, Josephine Baker, and Maya Angelou developed what Noël calls “tropical aesthetics”—using art to name and reclaim spaces of Black sovereignty. As a unifying element in the Caribbean modern art movement and the Harlem Renaissance, tropical aesthetics became a way for visual artists and performers to express their sense of belonging to and a rootedness in a place. Tropical aesthetics, Noël contends, became central to these artists’ identities and creative processes while enabling them to craft alternative Black diasporic histories. In outlining the centrality of tropical aesthetics in the artistic and cultural practices of Black modernist art, Noël recasts understandings of African diasporic art.
Long-term Forest Dynamics Plots (FDPs) allow ecologists to explain patterns in diversity and dynamics in tropical forests around the world. In this collection, Elizabeth Losos and Egbert Giles Leigh Jr. assemble extensive standardized data—collected here in one location for the first time—from sixteen tropical FDPs and synthesize the findings, putting these unique and valuable plots in a global context by highlighting the utility of the collected data for conservation and forest management.
Written by experts in the field of tropical ecology, Tropical Forest Diversity and Dynamism will appeal to students and professionals with an interest in community ecology and patterns of diversity.
We live in an increasingly fragmented world, with islands of natural habitat cast adrift in a sea of cleared, burned, logged, polluted, and otherwise altered lands. Nowhere are fragmentation and its devastating effects more evident than in the tropical forests. By the year 2000, more than half of these forests will have been cut, causing increased soil erosion, watershed destabilization, climate degradation, and extinction of as many as 600,000 species.
Tropical Forest Remnants provides the best information available to help us
understand, manage, and conserve the remaining fragments. Covering geographic areas from Southeast Asia and Australia to Madagascar and the New World, this volume summarizes what is known about the ecology, management, restoration, socioeconomics, and conservation of fragmented forests. Thirty-three papers present results of recent research as
well as updates from decades-long projects in progress. Two final chapters synthesize the state of research on tropical forest fragmentation and identify key priorities for future work.
In Tropical Freedom Ikuko Asaka engages in a hemispheric examination of the intersection of emancipation and settler colonialism in North America. Asaka shows how from the late eighteenth century through Reconstruction, emancipation efforts in the United States and present-day Canada were accompanied by attempts to relocate freed blacks to tropical regions, as black bodies were deemed to be more physiologically compatible with tropical climates. This logic conceived of freedom as a racially segregated condition based upon geography and climate. Regardless of whether freed people became tenant farmers in Sierra Leone or plantation laborers throughout the Caribbean, their relocation would provide whites with a monopoly over the benefits of settling indigenous land in temperate zones throughout North America. At the same time, black activists and intellectuals contested these geographic-based controls by developing alternative discourses on race and the environment. By tracing these negotiations of the transnational racialization of freedom, Asaka demonstrates the importance of considering settler colonialism and black freedom together while complicating the prevailing frames through which the intertwined histories of British and U.S. emancipation and colonialism have been understood.
The contrast between the temperate and the tropical is one of the most enduring themes in the history of the Western geographical imagination. Caught between the demands of experience and representation, documentation and fantasy, travelers in the tropics have often treated tropical nature as a foil to the temperate, to all that is civilized, modest, and enlightened. Tropical Visions in an Age of Empire explores images of the tropical world—maps, paintings, botanical drawings, photographs, diagrams, and texts—produced by European and American travelers over the past three centuries.
Bringing together a group of distinguished contributors from disciplines across the arts and humanities, this volume contains eleven beautifully illustrated essays—arranged in three sections devoted to voyages, mappings, and sites—that consider the ways that tropical places were encountered, experienced, and represented in visual form. Covering a wide range of tropical sites in the Pacific, South Asia, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, the book will appeal to a broad readership: scholars of postcolonial studies, art history, literature, imperial history, history of science, geography, and anthropology.
Did our ancestors live in tropical forests? Although we see the rainforest as a bountiful environment teeming with life forms, most anthropologists and archaeologists have long viewed these areas as too harsh for human occupation during the pre-agricultural stages of hominid development.
Under the Canopy turns conventional wisdom on its head by providing a well-documented, geographically diverse overview of Stone Age sites in the wet tropics. New research indicates that, as humanity and its precursors increased their geographical and ecological ranges, rainforests were settled at a much earlier period than had previously been thought.
Featuring the work of leading scholars from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Malaysia, Panama, Spain, and the United States, Under the Canopy creates a new niche in paleolithic studies: the archaeology of tropical rainforests. This book provides the first synthesis of archaeological research in early foraging sites across the rainforest zone, and indicates that tropical forests could harbor important clues to human evolution, origins of modern behavior, cultural diversity, and human impact on tropical ecosystems.