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Issues and Concepts in Historical Ecology
The Past and Future of Landscapes and Regions


Carole L. Crumley, Anna Westin, Tommy Lennartsson, Paul Sinclair, Jon Moen, Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist, Anamaria Iuga, Bogdan Iancu, Monica Stroe, Håkan Tunón, Tuija Hilding-Rydevik, Carina Green, Ove Eriksson, Anneli Ekblom, Paul Lane, Karl-Johan Lindholm, Jesper Larsson, Michael Scholl, Elizabeth Jones, Scott Madry, Seth Murray, Amanda Tickner
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  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108420983

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About the Authors
  • Historical ecology is a research framework which draws upon diverse evidence to trace complex, long-term relationships between humanity and Earth. With roots in anthropology, archaeology, ecology and paleoecology, geography, and landscape and heritage management, historical ecology applies a practical and holistic perspective to the study of change. Furthermore, it plays an important role in both fundamental research and in developing future strategies for integrated, equitable landscape management. The framework presented in this volume covers critical issues, including: practicing transdisciplinarity, the need for understanding interactions between human societies and ecosystem processes, the future of regions and the role of history and memory in a changing world. Including many examples of co-developed research, Issues and Concepts in Historical Ecology provides a platform for collaboration across disciplines and aims to equip researchers, policy-makers, funders, and communities to make decisions that can help to construct an inclusive and resilient future for humanity.

    • Discusses concrete examples to help stimulate research and creative action that can be applied in different contexts
    • Presents a holistic framework, taking advantage of a wide variety of data sources, encouraging and facilitating transdisciplinary research
    • Contributes to the development of the research field of historical ecology by showing the result of integrated collaboration and analyses
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Historical ecology has become a master methodology of our time, part of the new holism. This volume explains the how and the why of it. Not only does it offer a critical synthesis with relevant examples, but also a prospectus for likely future developments and applications. The authors bring a wealth of complementary experience and expertise to their task, drawing on different backgrounds to delineate a field of research that is intrinsically and necessarily multi-disciplinary and collaborative. Readers are carefully led through the theoretical connections between an assemblage of intertwined concepts of current and increasing intellectual significance - the Anthropocene and landscape domestication, complexity, memory and local environmental knowledge, shifting baseline syndrome, biocultural diversity, niche construction and co-evolution. Together, these have progressively undermined older 'functionalist' and 'adaptionist' assumptions about how socio-ecological systems really work in the twenty-first century.' Roy Ellen, Centre for Biocultural Diversity, University of Kent

    'Crumley, Westin, Lennartsson et al. have made a monumental contribution in this book to interdisciplinary studies bridging nature and society. They have made a significant advance in the framework known as historical ecology, and they show the relevance of the past to our future, by rich examples from throughout the world to illustrate the value of this framework. Drawing from anthropology, geology, archeology, ecology, paleoecology, geography, landscape and heritage management and history, the framework addresses both local and earth system scale dynamics. A major advance in our ways of knowing our planet.' Emilio F. Moran, Michigan State University

    'A really well edited and coherent volume that both provides a comprehensive update on the mature and rapidly expanding field of historical ecology and points the way forward to additional applications in archaeology, sustainability studies, and restoration ecology. It makes a strong case for the relevance of the longue durée for modern planners, and firmly places archaeology and environmental history with paleoecology as key elements in any coordinated global environmental change research program. The collaborative mutual editing of the participants adds considerable value and underlines the team building approach of cultural ecology and the editors. A fine work that should be widely read by anyone interested in long term sustainability and the role of past in scenario building for the future.' Thomas McGovern, Hunter College, City University of New York

    '… recognizes that pressing environmental issues demand collaborative work between the social, ecological, and physical sciences, the humanities, practitioners, and local and indigenous knowledge … [the authors] offer a flexible framework that informs the historical ecological research process from stages of problem framing to analysis to policy engagement. Richly illustrated, it contributes to building bridges between past, present, and future, knowledge and value systems, local landscapes and global changes … represents a much-needed call for engaging multiple types of evidence needed to examine complexity in human-environmental issues. Grounded on the lived reality of biocultural landscapes from around the world, the historical ecological framework offered by the authors will help to guide collaborative work in ways that are inclusive of multiple evidences and narratives about environmental change. [It] is an outstanding contribution to the social-environmental research community and the global sustainability conversation more broadly, accessible and provocative to scholars, students, and practitioners across multiple fields.' Eduardo S. Brondizio, Indiana University

    'This is an invigorating book, full of new ideas and striking arguments. The contributors have worked hard, and successfully, in their attempt to provide a conceptual framework to a vitally important field of intellectual enquiry.' Tom Williamson, The Agricultural History Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108420983
    • length: 338 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 37 b/w illus. 4 colour illus. 2 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    1. Is there a future for the past? Carole L. Crumley, Anna Westin and Tommy Lennartsson
    2. Historical ecology and the longue durée Paul Sinclair, Jon Moen and Carole L. Crumley
    3. Human and societal dimensions of past climate change Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist
    4. Rural communities and traditional ecological knowledge Anamaria Iuga, Anna Westin, Bogdan Iancu, Monica Stroe and Håkan Tunón
    5. Baselines and the shifting baseline syndrome – exploring frames of reference in nature conservation Tuija Hilding-Rydevik, Jon Moen and Carina Green
    6. Concepts for integrated research in historical ecology Ove Eriksson, Anneli Ekblom, Paul Lane, Tommy Lennartsson and Karl-Johan Lindholm
    7. Diversity in ecological and social contexts Tommy Lennartsson, Ove Eriksson, Anamaria Iuga, Jesper Larsson, Jon Moen, Michael Scholl, Anna Westin and Carole L. Crumley
    8. How to operationalise collaborative research Elizabeth Jones, Anna Westin, Scott Madry, Seth Murray, Jon Moen and Amanda Tickner
    9. Historical ecology in theory and practice: editors' reflections Tommy Lennartsson, Anna Westin and Carole L. Crumley
    10. Taking research into action in historical ecology Carole L. Crumley

  • Editors

    Carole L. Crumley, Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Uppsala
    Carole L. Crumley is Emerita Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Senior Researcher at the Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Sweden. She is a founder of historical ecology, editing Historical Ecology: Cultural Knowledge and Changing Landscapes, 1994. Her research interests are broad in both science and the humanities, including anthropology, archaeology, landscape ecology, palaeoecology and climatology.

    Tommy Lennartsson, Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Uppsala
    Tommy Lennartsson is Biologist and an Associate Professor in Conservation Biology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and researcher at the Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Uppsala. His research focuses on applied aspects of biodiversity conservation and use of natural resources, with a historical perspective and in relation to climate change.

    Anna Westin, Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Uppsala
    Anna Westin is Biologist and an Associate Professor in Agricultural History at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Researcher at the Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Uppsala. Her research uses historical ecology to study biodiversity, ecology, cultural heritage and history.


    Carole L. Crumley, Anna Westin, Tommy Lennartsson, Paul Sinclair, Jon Moen, Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist, Anamaria Iuga, Bogdan Iancu, Monica Stroe, Håkan Tunón, Tuija Hilding-Rydevik, Carina Green, Ove Eriksson, Anneli Ekblom, Paul Lane, Karl-Johan Lindholm, Jesper Larsson, Michael Scholl, Elizabeth Jones, Scott Madry, Seth Murray, Amanda Tickner

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