Vegetation und Mensch in Südamerika aus historischer Sicht
The history of interrelations between vegetation and man in South America can be divided into three phases: Indian phase, colonial phase and industrial phase. The vegetation regions of South America are related to the main groups of land-use in the Indian phase - a. hunting, fishing and gathering, b. aboriginal shifting cultivation combined with hunting, fishing and gathering, c. permanent cultivation and grazing, d. without landuse (Fig. 1). For these vegetation regions the adaptations of human land-use to the natural environment are treated. The good adaptation to the ecological conditions during the Indian phase of land-use has led to minor impacts on vegetation - with the exception of areas with permanent cultivation. As a contrast human influence during the colonial phase has been considerably stronger as a result of the implementation of inadequate land-use forms, exploitation without regard to sustainability and a strong increase in population figures. Yet still vast areas remained untouched by any human impact. The anthropogeneous impact during the industrial phase is similar in all vegetation regions and is not necessarily related to these. It is briefly presented with examples of mining, industry, hydroelectric and road construction. Following road construction, which has made large areas accessible in the first place, panicularly in the Amazone basin, large-scale vegetation changes and devastation have taken place as results of slash-and-burn-cultivation and cattle farming. A general map of recent land-use area illustrates the enormous change of the past decades.