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10 April 2016
Poster (Scientific congresses and symposiums)
Late-Holocene moist forests of Central Africa: contribution of charcoal analysis
Morin, Julie; Bremond, Laurent; Gillet, Jean-François et al.
2014BES–SFE Meeting


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Keywords :
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
Abstract :
[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.
Disciplines :
Phytobiology (plant sciences, forestry, mycology...)
Earth sciences & physical geography
Environmental sciences & ecology
Arts & humanities: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Morin, Julie ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Form. doct. sc. agro. & ingé. biol.
Bremond, Laurent;  EPHE France
Gillet, Jean-François;  Nature Forest Environment
Doucet, Jean-Louis ;  Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales
Beeckman, Hans;  Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale
Language :
Title :
Late-Holocene moist forests of Central Africa: contribution of charcoal analysis
Publication date :
December 2014
Number of pages :
Event name :
BES–SFE Meeting
Event organizer :
BES–SFE Meeting
Event place :
Lille, France
Event date :
9-12 December 2014
Audience :
Funders :
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
Commentary :
Best poster award


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