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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


PRIETO, MARÍA DEL ROSARIO; VILLAGRA, PABLO EUGENIO; LANA, NERINA BELÉN  and  ABRAHAM, ELENA MARÍA. The use of historical documents to reconstruct the vegetation of the Llanura de la Travesía (Argentina) during early nineteenth century. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2003, vol.76, n.4, pp.613-622. ISSN 0716-078X.

The Llanura de la Travesía extends in the Mendoza and San Luis provinces between the Andean piedmont and the Sierras Pampeanas. The goal of this study was to reconstruct the vegetation and soil characteristics of the Llanura de la Travesía during early 1800s by means of a combinationg of information from several documentary sources. The reconstruction was based mainly on the reports of Don Faustino Ansay, recorded in 1802 to verify the state of the Camino de la Travesía or Real (Royal Road) from Corocorto (present Villa de la Paz) to San Luis. This information was complemented with field notes from other travelers along the road. Our results revealed that plant cover and density increased from west to east, as it is observed today. However, the absence of Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco in the Ansay´s report, suggests that changes in the distribution of some tree species have occurred. This study validates the use of documental information to reconstruct past vegetation and soil characteristics. This information can be used as a valuable tool to detect environmental changes

Keywords : environmental history; "monte"; reconstruction of vegetation.

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