Agrarian Landscapes in Transition

Agrarian Landscapes in Transition : Comparisons of Long-Term Ecological & 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

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 20mm | 521.63g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 54 halftones, 6 line illustrations
  • 0195367960
  • 9780195367966

Table of contents

Authors Biographical Notes ; Acknowledgements ; Introduction - Charles L. Redman, Arizona State University (CAP LTER) ; Chapter 1: Changing Agrarian Landscapes across America: A Comparative Perspective - Kenneth M. Sylvester and Myron P. Gutmann, University of Michigan (Shortgrass Steppe LTER) ; Chapter 2: New Englands Forest Landscape: Ecological Legacies and Conservation Patterns Shaped by Agrarian History - David R. Foster, Brian Donahue, Dave Kittredge, Glenn Motzkin, Brian Hall, Billie Turner, and Elizabeth Chilton, Harvard University (Harvard Forest LTER) ; Chapter 3: Agrarian Transformation of Southern Appalachia - Ted L. Gragson, Paul V. Bolstad, and Meredith Welch Devine, University of Georgia (Coweeta LTER) ; Chapter 4: Dustbowl Legacies: Long-Term Change and Resilience in the Shortgrass Steppe - Kenneth M. Sylvester and Myron P. Gutmann, University of Michigan (Shortgrass Steppe LTER) ; Chapter 5: The Political Ecology of SW Michigan Agriculture, 1837-2000 - Alan Rudy, Craig Harris, Brian Thomas, Michelle Worosz, Siena Kaplan, and Evann C. O'Donnell Michigan State University (Kellog Bioligical Station) ; Chapter 6: Agrarian Landscape Transition in the Flint Hills of Kansas: Legacies and Resilience - Gerad Middendorf, Derrick Cline, and Leonard Bloomquist (deceased), Kansas State University (Konza Prairie LTER) ; Chapter 7: Water Can Flow Uphill: A Narrative of Central Arizona - Charles L. Redman and Ann P. Kinzig, Arizona State University (CAP LTER) ; Conclusion - Ted L. Gragson, University of Georgia (Coweeta LTER)
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About Charles Redman

Charles Redman received his BA from Harvard University, and his MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. He taught at New York University and at SUNY-Binghamton before coming to Arizona State University in 1983. Since then, he served nine years as Chair of the Department of Anthropology, seven years as Director of the Center for Environmental Studies and, in 2004, was chosen to be the Julie Ann Wrigley Director of the newly formed Global Institute
of Sustainability. Redman's interests include human impacts on the environment, sustainable landscapes, rapidly urbanizing regions, urban ecology, environmental education, and public outreach. He is the author or co-author of 10 books (see below). Redman is currently working on building upon the
extensive urban-environmental research portfolio of the Global Institute of Sustainability through the new School of Sustainability, for which he serves as Director. The School is educating a new generation of leaders through collaborative

learning, transdisciplinary approaches, and problem-oriented training to address the environmental, economic, and social challenges of the 21st century.

David 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 program.
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