This is a book of essays on the environmental history of the central Andes (Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia) written by a well-known geographer who has 35 years of Andean experiences and reflections behind him. Fieldwork is the main source for the book; the author has also used archival material and local published sources. The themes are quite diverse. There is an authoritative, convincing account of the biogeography of Andean trees (some of them “cultivated”), such as the Buddleia (quishuar), Polylepis, and Podocarpus, and of the historical processes of deforestation, with some interesting information on eucalyptus plantations since the late nineteenth century. The book also includes an attractive chapter on very remote valleys in the Peruvian jungle margin, where recent research shows that the Incas built terraces for the cultivation of coca, although later on haciendas failed to maintain marketable production there....

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