Agrarian Landscapes in Transition: Comparisons of Long-Term Ecological and Cultural Change

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Agrarian Landscapes in Transition researches human interaction with the earth. With hundreds of acres of agricultural land going out of production every day, the introduction, spread, and abandonment of agriculture represents the most pervasive alteration of the Earth's environment for several thousand years. What happens when humans impose their spatial and temporal signatures on ecological regimes, and how does this manipulation affect the earth and nature's desire for equilibrium?

Studies were conducted at six Long Term Ecological Research sites within the US, including New England, the Appalachian Mountains, Colorado, Michigan, Kansas, and Arizona. While each site has its own unique agricultural history, patterns emerge that help make sense of how our actions have affected the earth, and how the earth pushes back. The book addresses how human activities influence the spatial and temporal structures of agrarian landscapes, and how this varies over time and across biogeographic regions. It also looks at the ecological and environmental consequences of the resulting structural changes, the human responses to these changes, and how these responses drive further changes in agrarian landscapes.

The time frames studied include the ecology of the earth before human interaction, pre-European human interaction during the rise and fall of agricultural land use, and finally the biological and cultural response to the abandonment of farming, due to complete abandonment or a land-use change such as urbanization.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195367966
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/18/2008
  • Series: Long-Term Ecological Research Network Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles L. Redman is the director of the School of Sustainability, the Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and the Environment at Arizona State University, and co-director of the Central Arizona Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research site.

David R. Foster is an ecologist and director of the Harvard Forest at Harvard University, where he is a faculty member in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and principal investigator for the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Charles L. Redman Redman, Charles L. 3

1 Changing Agrarian Landscapes across America: A Comparative Perspective Kenneth M. Sylvester Sylvester, Kenneth M. Myron P. Gutmann Gutmann, Myron P. 16

2 New England's Forest Landscape: Ecological Legacies and Conservation Patterns Shaped by Agrarian History David R. Foster Foster, David R. Brian Donahue Donahue, Brian David Kittredge Kittredge, David Glenn Motzkin Motzkin, Glenn Brian Hall Hall, Brian Billie Turner Turner, Billie Elizabeth Chilton Chilton, Elizabeth 44

3 Agricultural Transformation of Southern Appalachia Ted L. Gragson Gragson, Ted L. Paul V. Bolstad Bolstad, Paul V. Meredith Welch-Devine Welch-Devine, Meredith 89

4 Dustbowl Legacies: Long-Term Change and Resilience in the Shortgrass Steppe Kenneth M. Sylvester Sylvester, Kenneth M. Myron P. Gutmann Gutmann, Myron P. 122

5 The Political Ecology of Southwest Michigan Agriculture, 1837-2000 Alan P. Rudy Rudy, Alan P. Craig K. Harris Harris, Craig K. Brian J. Thomas Thomas, Brian J. Michelle R. Worosz Worosz, Michelle R. Siena S. K. Kaplan Kaplan, Siena S. K. Evann C. O'Donnell O'Donnell, Evann C. 152

6 Agrarian Landscape Transition in the Flint Hills of Kansas: Legacies and Resilience Gerad Middendorf Middendorf, Gerad Derrick Cline Cline, Derrick Leonard Bloomquist Bloomquist, Leonard 206

7 Water Can Flow Uphill: A Narrative of Central Arizona Charles L. Redman Redman, Charles L. Ann P. Kinzig Kinzig, Ann P. 238

Conclusion Ted L. Gragson Gragson, Ted L. 272

Index 279

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