The impact of people on islands

Since being appointed as an Associate Editor of Vegetation History & Archaeobotany last year I have the pleasure of working on a number of exciting and interesting manuscripts from the tropics. I am particularly delighted that the first of these (Astudillo, 2018) has now been published. I particularly liked this manuscript because of: (i) the close relationship that was shown between the historical and fossil records, and (ii) the clear signal shown from working on a island system. This linkage is something I have been thinking about in my own research on Mauritius recently (Gosling et al., 2017) and is, I believe, particularly valuable to do because it demonstrates the validity of techniques to track human activity when applied in contexts without historical documentation. The impact of people on the Galapagos is shown by Astudillo (2018) from investigation of multiple proxies (charcoal, phytoliths and macrofossils) to build up a comprehensive picture of human impacts on one of the most famous places for biodiversity on Earth. Hopefully this study is just the start of investigations into past human impacts on the Galapagos islands, and I hope that you enjoy reading the manuscript!

REFERENCES

Astudillo, F.J. (2018) Environmental and historical archaeology of the Galápagos islands: archaeobotany of Hacienda El Progreso, 1870–1920. Vegetation History & Archaobotany online. DOI: 10.1007/s00334-018-0668-9

Gosling, W.D., de Kruif, J., Norder, S.J., de Boer, E.J., Hooghiemstra, H., Rijsdijk, K.F. & McMichael, C.N.H. (2017) Mauritius on fire: Tracking historical human impacts on biodiversity loss. Biotropica 49, 778-783. DOI: 10.1111/btp.12490

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