Reference : Late-Holocene moist forests of Central Africa: contribution of charcoal analysis
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Late-Holocene moist forests of Central Africa: contribution of charcoal analysis
Morin, Julie mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > Form. doct. sc. agro. & ingé. biol.]
Bremond, Laurent [EPHE France > > > >]
Gillet, Jean-François [Nature Forest Environment > > > >]
Doucet, Jean-Louis mailto [Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales >]
Beeckman, Hans [Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale > > > >]
BES–SFE Meeting
9-12 December 2014
BES–SFE Meeting
[en] archaeology ; central Africa ; soil charcoal ; Cameroon ; tropical forest ; Republic of the Congo ; Central African Republic ; history ; European colonization ; anthropogenic disturbances ; tree ring analysis ; light-demanding species ; tropical trees ; IUCN ; endangered species ; Holocene ; charcoal analysis
[en] Wood charcoals are often uncovered in the soils of the tropical regions. They remain little studied, however, and this observation is even truer for charcoals coming from the dense humid forests of Central Africa. Here we aim at showing the interest of the analysis of soil charcoals in this region so as to understand the dynamics of past forest environments during the late-Holocene. Several examples of taxonomical identifications conducted on charcoals sampled in soil pits in Cameroon and in the Republic of the Congo are presented along with radiocarbon dates. These charcoals were hand-split then observed under an incident light microscope. The wood anatomical features that were preserved in charcoals and described according to a standard method were compared to a reference collection of woods. Results demonstrated that past burnings that spanned from 2,500 BP to Recent were human-induced and scattered in the study area. The identified species are still present in the environment today and localized changes in the vegetation occurred over the past two millennia. Charcoal analysis can thus allow a better understanding of the past history of the tropical forests in relationship with the ancient anthropogenic disturbances.
FRIA - Fonds pour la formation à la Recherche dans l'Industrie et dans l'Agriculture ; F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique ; FRFC - Fonds de la Recherche Fondamentale Collective
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Best poster award

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