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Forestry and flooding in the Annecy Petit Lac Catchment, Haute-Savoie 1700-2000

Forestry and flooding in the Annecy Petit Lac Catchment, Haute-Savoie 1700-2000
Forestry and flooding in the Annecy Petit Lac Catchment, Haute-Savoie 1700-2000
Upland environments are particularly vulnerable to the stresses of climate change. The strength and persistence of such forces are not easy to measure and hence comparison of climate impacts with anthropogenic impacts has remained problematic. This paper attempts to demonstrate the nature of human impact on forest cover and flooding in the Annecy Petit Lac Catchment in pre-Alpine Haute Savoie, France, between 1730 and 2000. Local documentary sources and a pollen record provided a detailed history of forest cover and management, making it possible to plot changes in forest cover against local and regional precipitation records, and their individual and combined impacts on flooding. A main period of large-scale, uniform and rapid deforestation in the catchment was identified in the early nineteenth century, but sub-catchment patterns of reforestation and regeneration have varied up to the present. The period of deforestation was accompanied by demographic expansion and regional scale exogenous forces, such as small scale industrial development, foreign occupation, war, caveats and laws, acting alongside local scale endogenous forces and land fragmentation, agricultural crisis, and the desire for pasture. These all produced conflict between individual needs and those of communities and resulted in localised changes in forest cover. Joint phases of deforestation and flooding are more evident in individual second order tributaries than the whole catchment, but there appears to be no obvious or simple causal link between forest cover change, climate anomalies and flooding.
0967-3407
403-428
Crook, D.S.
e80aed4e-a0f4-4f60-92d2-f04e70687b05
Siddle, D.J.
3c9b006b-2642-4186-8e16-82f2201e9807
Jones, R.T.
ed4ffbaf-fea8-4f2d-bc26-ed708d734cab
Dearing, J.A.
dff37300-b8a6-4406-ad84-89aa01de03d7
Foster, G.C.
d9d8d9cd-e5e8-4545-8a9c-16518e05db56
Thompson, R.
67564738-11f6-4b13-b0f5-48eb4ce12b96
Crook, D.S.
e80aed4e-a0f4-4f60-92d2-f04e70687b05
Siddle, D.J.
3c9b006b-2642-4186-8e16-82f2201e9807
Jones, R.T.
ed4ffbaf-fea8-4f2d-bc26-ed708d734cab
Dearing, J.A.
dff37300-b8a6-4406-ad84-89aa01de03d7
Foster, G.C.
d9d8d9cd-e5e8-4545-8a9c-16518e05db56
Thompson, R.
67564738-11f6-4b13-b0f5-48eb4ce12b96

Crook, D.S., Siddle, D.J., Jones, R.T., Dearing, J.A., Foster, G.C. and Thompson, R. (2002) Forestry and flooding in the Annecy Petit Lac Catchment, Haute-Savoie 1700-2000. Environment and History, 8 (4), 403-428.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Upland environments are particularly vulnerable to the stresses of climate change. The strength and persistence of such forces are not easy to measure and hence comparison of climate impacts with anthropogenic impacts has remained problematic. This paper attempts to demonstrate the nature of human impact on forest cover and flooding in the Annecy Petit Lac Catchment in pre-Alpine Haute Savoie, France, between 1730 and 2000. Local documentary sources and a pollen record provided a detailed history of forest cover and management, making it possible to plot changes in forest cover against local and regional precipitation records, and their individual and combined impacts on flooding. A main period of large-scale, uniform and rapid deforestation in the catchment was identified in the early nineteenth century, but sub-catchment patterns of reforestation and regeneration have varied up to the present. The period of deforestation was accompanied by demographic expansion and regional scale exogenous forces, such as small scale industrial development, foreign occupation, war, caveats and laws, acting alongside local scale endogenous forces and land fragmentation, agricultural crisis, and the desire for pasture. These all produced conflict between individual needs and those of communities and resulted in localised changes in forest cover. Joint phases of deforestation and flooding are more evident in individual second order tributaries than the whole catchment, but there appears to be no obvious or simple causal link between forest cover change, climate anomalies and flooding.

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More information

Published date: November 2002

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 55648
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/55648
ISSN: 0967-3407
PURE UUID: 8a3995ab-4aa0-43fc-8583-9b5cf139ac2f
ORCID for J.A. Dearing: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1466-9640

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Dec 2008
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:43

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