Reconstruction of Tree Species Composition of Pre-settlement Forests in the Great Appalachian Valley of Georgia for use in Ecological, Ethnohistorical, and Archaeological Research**


Historic 1832 survey plats containing witness tree locations and species descriptions were converted to GIS data products using photo interpretation. The data was then used to map and create an inventory of tree species composition of the pre-settlement forest of part of the Great Appalachian Valley. An analysis of tree species composition using the NatureServe Ecological Classification of Forest Types was used to identify landscape-scale pre-settlement ecosystems. The quantitative and spatial data indicates that xeric, fire adapted forests were dominant in the landscape. The results of this analysis can inform ethnohistorical and archaeological research about the relationship between landscape ecology and Native American community locations as well as ecosystem conservation and reconstruction efforts. Additional data showing the location of Native American structures at the time of surveying can also provide potential geospatial locations of possible archaeological sites.

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