archaeology; central Africa; tropical forests; history; European colonization; dendrology; light-demanding trees; Cameroon; Republic of the Congo; Republic of Central Africa; human impact; disturbance
[en] In central Africa, vegetation history has been documented by paleoenvironmental studies (especially palynology), which mainly concerned the way climate has shaped the forest landscapes. Human impacts in this region have hardly been studied so far, especially at local scale. The main objective of this PhD is to propose an approach based on archaeology and the use of charred botanical remains found in soils, either wood charcoal or seeds, in order to document the Holocene anthropogenic impacts on the forest structure and composition. When coupled with the diachronic analysis of human activities, these land-use biomarkers can allow a better understanding of the relationship between man and his environment in central Africa during this period. Thereby, the first part of this PhD introduces the conceptual framework and the materials and methods used during the research. Then, the second part constitutes the core of the work, and presents the chronology of human activities in the northern Congo Basin, the use of biomarkers to discrimate between these activities, either domestic or agricultural, and the effect of the recent anthropogenic activities in the dynamic of several light-demanding tree populations. Finally, the third part draws the main recommendations of the work, and formulates potential for additional research.
Agriculture & agronomy Life sciences: Multidisciplinary, general & others Arts & humanities: Multidisciplinary, general & others Environmental sciences & ecology Archaeology History
Of trees and men: new insights into man-environment relationships in the moist forests of central Africa during the late Holocene
Defense date :
15 September 2017
Number of pages :
ULiège - Université de Liège
Docteur en Sciences agronomiques et Ingénierie biologique
Doucet, Jean-Louis ; Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Lejeune, Philippe ; Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Jury member :
Hardy, Olivier J.
Hebert, Jacques ; Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT
Jourez, Benoît ; Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
FRIA - Fonds pour la Formation à la Recherche dans l'Industrie et dans l'Agriculture FRFC - Fonds de la Recherche Fondamentale Collective Fonds Léopold II pour l'exploration et la conservation de la nature