Forest history

Last changed: 30 January 2018

Forest history is the exciting research on the ever-changing relationships between people and the forest over time, but also about the various uses of forest resources from an historical perspective.

Our research is primarily focused on the northern boreal forests, but we also do research in other parts of Sweden as well as in North and South America. We study and reconstruct past interactions between people and forest ecosystems, and we also try to interpret the long-term trends in overall human impact on the forest. The research focus on different ethnic groups, over different time perspectives and different spatial scales, from settlements and forest stands to landscapes and even regions.

The fundamental concepts and processes which are of particular interest to our research include deforestation, reforestation, shifts in vegetation patterns, ecosystem transformation (species composition, stand structure, landscape structure) and the relationship between individuals or groups of people and forest ecosystems. Several retrospective methods are practiced; dendrochronology, pollen-analysis and interpretation of historical records and we have intense collaboration with archaeologists, palaeoecologists, historians and economic historians. 


Prof Lars Östlund
PhD Anna-Maria Rautio 
PhD Torbjörn Josefsson 
PhD student Hanna Lundmark
PhD student Gudrun Norstedt
PhD student Sarah Cogos




Professor Lars Östlund
Phone +46-(0)90-786 8442
Cellular +46-(0)70-511 1299