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Title: Dynamic human landscapes of the Rio del Oso: Restoration and the simulation of past ecological conditions in the Upper Rio Grande Basin

Author: Periman, Richard D.;

Date: 1999

Source: In: Finch, Deborah M.; Whitney, Jeffrey C.; Kelly, Jeffrey, F.; Loftin, Samuel R. Rio Grande ecosystems: linking land, water, and people: Toward a sustainable future for the Middle Rio Grande Basin. 1998 June 2-5; Albuquerque, NM. Proc. RMRS-P-7. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 12-19.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The successful restoration of riparian ecosystems to sustainable conditions requires that we understand the dynamic historical relationships between humans and the environment. Research is needed that measures the continuing effects of past human activities on contemporary ecosystem structure and function. An interdisciplinary approach is needed that incorporates expertise from archaeology, paleoecology, plant ecology, and geology. In this paper, I discuss how prehistoric peoples have altered ecological processes and changed the vegetation and overall physiography of northern New Mexico’s Rio del Oso Valley. In the Rio del Oso study, we are using paleobotanical, sedimentary, archaeological, and historical data sets to reconstruct past vegetational structure and function, and to identify the cumulative influences of past human activities on today’s ecosystems. This information is used to generate three dimensional simulations of environmental conditions through time. These computer reconstructions and analyses of past landscapes will give land managers a greater range of information for use in planning, decision making, and restoration.

Keywords: Rio Grande Basin, conservation, watershed, endangered species, sensitive species, restoration

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Periman, Richard D. 1999. Dynamic human landscapes of the Rio del Oso: Restoration and the simulation of past ecological conditions in the Upper Rio Grande Basin. In: Finch, Deborah M.; Whitney, Jeffrey C.; Kelly, Jeffrey, F.; Loftin, Samuel R. Rio Grande ecosystems: linking land, water, and people: Toward a sustainable future for the Middle Rio Grande Basin. 1998 June 2-5; Albuquerque, NM. Proc. RMRS-P-7. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 12-19.

 


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