January 12th, 2017 05:12 pm (UTC)
Just yesterday, at a training, the presenter showed a chart of the disease-caused population decline in Native South Americans in early 1500's. it was from the book 1491. They lost 80% of their population in 30 years. Absolutely mind boggling. As a natural resource professional, topic of the talk was land use history. With that population loss, they couldn't maintain their villages, agricultural fields went fallow, and the burning they did to keep the woods open for hunting/travel/foraging stopped. By the time European settlers got here, they found a very different place than the earlier explorers had seen.
Here in Virginia, many of our oldest forests date to the civil war, when population decline and loss of labor caused farmland to revert to woodland.
I would think that more arid parts of the country would change less than the eastern seaboard. All that moisture makes stuff grow like crazy when people aren't keeping it in check. It's the freeze/thaw cycle that's so hard on our roads. They may have them in the southwest, but in Pennsylvania and Virginia, we can barely maintain them adequately now.
Great topic ~Karen