Historical Ecology

Historical Ecology can be described as the interface between ecology and historical geography that undertakes studies of lost or degenerated historic ecosystems (Eagan and Howell eds., 2005). This encompasses data, techniques, and perspectives from paleoecology; land-use history from old maps, historical aerial photographs, oral histories, and land surveys; and long-term ecological research and monitoring extended over decades. Currently the Grand Bay NERR is using 19th century US Coast Survey and land survey plat maps, aerial photos, oral histories from local residents, and dendrochronology (tree ring data) methods to better understand how ecosystems and their resources have been altered over the centuries. This information can help guide natural resource management practices and set references for restoration initiatives.