Wetland agroecoystems in the Maya Lowlands of Belize : LiDAR and multi-proxy environmental change




Krause, Samantha Marie

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Globally, scholars have identified wetlands as critical environments for global carbon storage, water filtration, biodiversity, and many other ecosystem functions. Despite their importance, too few studies have focused on wetlands in the tropical Americas. This dissertation provides new and innovative knowledge on the extent and character of prehistoric indigenous wetland agricultural systems in the Maya Lowlands of Belize by exploring wetland development and paleoenvironmental change over the course of the late Holocene. The overall results of this project are as follows: provide new information and understanding of never before researched wetland agroecosystems; 2. determine the extent of human and environmental interaction and regional climate history in this crucial zone of the Neotropics, 3: answer questions concerning the scale and types of Maya to modern wetland management over time; 4: offer greater awareness concerning contemporary landscape degradation within critical wetland systems in the face of future climate change scenarios, and 5. provide future resources for policy and management of American wetlands as a critical geographic area.


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