Reading ancient forest landscapes in the Belgian Campine region. An exercise in historical ecology.

Sara Adriaenssens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)

Abstract

The interdisciplinary research project focusses on the ecological history of ancient forests in the so-called Campine region of the current Province of Antwerp, Belgium. This region is dominated by relatively poor sandy soils and the landscape consisted mainly out of heathlands and small-scale arable fields. Forests were very limited in number and extent. This untill the 19th century when the heathlands were transformed in pine forests in the context of the new mining acitivities in Wallonia and Limburg.

The aim of the project is to examine the reciprocal relationships, during the ancien régime, between social and economic variables (property, power, market) on the one hand and forest landscape and biological characteristics on the other hand. These questions are applied to three rare examples of large ancient forest complexes (Zoerselbos, Grotenhout and Peerdsbos) in the Campine region. The three forests have been examined focussing on historical property relations and dynamics, their botanical composition, landscape features and past management activities and this in relation to the heuristic potential (historical sources, historical ecological values and relicts in the landscape).

In this presentation, a synthesis will be presented of the similarties and differences in the ecological history of these three ancient forests.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference Frontiers in Historical Ecology (August 30 to September 2), Birmensdorf
EditorsMatthias Bürgi
PublisherSwiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow end Landscape Research (WSL)
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventUnknown -
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …

Publication series

NameInternational Conference Frontiers in Historical Ecology (August 30 to September 2), Birmensdorf

Conference

ConferenceUnknown
Period1/01/11 → …

Bibliographical note

Matthias Bürgi

Keywords

  • Ancient foerst
  • Campine region
  • Landscape history
  • Sandy soils
  • Mangement history

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