This paper concerns evidence for past human impacts on the environment in the lowland tropical New Guinea region. Against a background regional overview, we consider two sequences, one archaeological, the other palaeoecological, from opposite ends of Manus Island, the largest island of the Admiralty Islands that now constitute Manus Province, Papua New Guinea. Contrasts in these local sequences prevent their easy alignment with grand narratives of regional prehistory. We show instead that closer examination of local contexts, especially the nature of agroecosystems, gives useful insights that help to disentangle natural processes of forest vegetation change and the effects of human activities. We consider aspects of the ecology of the tree genus Calophyllum L. (Clusiaceae), which occurs in both sequences, to assess the possibility of a human role in the dynamics of forest dominated by Calophyllum euryphyllum Lauterb. (Clusiaceae).
|Title of host publication||Altered Ecologies: Fire, climate and human influence on terrestrial landscapes (Terra Australis 32)|
|Editors||Haberle, S G, Stevenson, J and Prebble, M|
|Place of Publication||Canberra Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|