WGLogoLandCover6KWelcome to the web page for the Latin American land-cover section of the international “LandCover6k” working group. LandCover6k is a working group within the “Past Global Changes” (PAGES) research project which is part of “Future Earth“.

The LandCover6k working group has been established to address the problem of human modification of landscapes in global vegetation-climate models. The problem of human modification of landscapes is being addressed by bringing together palaeoecologists, historians, archaeologists and modellers to createland-cover and land-use maps based on empirical palaeoecological, historical, and archaeological data against which climate-vegetation models can be tested. The LandCover6k working group will use state-of-the-art modelling approaches to reconstruct past landscapes for five time windows: c. 9000, 6000, 4000, 450 (AD 1500) and 100 (AD 1850) years ago. The strategy for developing land-cover maps for Latin America is:

  1. Qualitative assessment of land-cover in Latin America (following Flantua et al., 2016), and
  2. Quantification of land-cover in Latin America.

The Latin American land-cover section of the LandCover6k working group is coordinated by Sonia Fontana, Thomas Giesecke (both University of Göttingen) and William Gosling (University of Amsterdam), and is working in close parallel with the Latin America land-use section (coordinated by Umberto Lombardo [University Pompeu Fabra], and William Dolittle [University of Austin, Texas]) and the Methodology focused on the tropics section (coordinated by Anupama Krishnamurthy [French Institute of Pondicherry], and Bronwen Whitney [Northumbria University]).

We are currently inviting the contribution of qualitative assessments of past Latin American land-cover in conjunction with the submission of data sets (for subsequent parallel quantitative analysis). We are aiming for an qualitative assessment publication to be released during 2017 to coincide with the completion of the first phase of the LandCover6k working group. Following the publication of the qualitative assessment, and working in parallel with the Methodology section, we envisage that a quantitative publication ‘testing’ the qualitative assessments to be released during the second phase of LandCover6k.

To obtain a copy of the proforma for qualitative assessment and data submission protocol contact William Gosling (University of Amsterdam) directly.


  • Flantua, S.G.A., Hooghiemstra, H., Vuille, M., Behling, H., Carson, J.F., Gosling, W.D., Hoyos, I., Ledru, M.P., Montoya, E., Mayle, F., Maldonado, A., Rull, V., Tonello, M.S., Whitney, B.S. & Gonzalez-Arango, C. (2016) Climate variability and human impact in South America during the last 2000 years: Synthesis and perspectives from pollen records. Climate of the Past 12, 483-523. doi: 10.5194/cp-12-483-2016