The Geography of American Tree Species and Associated Place Names
Place names attached to natural and cultural landscape features may imply valuable information about settlement-era tree distribution and how they were regarded by European settlers. In this study, spatial distribution of tree-related place names was found to be highly consistent with reconstructions of the pre-Columbian distributions of native tree species. Abundance of tree-related place names was correlated with contemporary estimates of major timber species abundance. The findings of this research could be useful in efforts to conserve American forests and restore economically and culturally important species such as the American chestnut (Castanea dentata). The results also suggested that previous reconstructions of pre-Columbian species' distributions may not be entirely accurate.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-03-01
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