Biology and history in eastern Asian landscapes compared with Europe

Joachim Regnéll, Urban Emanuelsson

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattning (abstract)


This project is a continuation 0f Urban Emanuelsson's book "The rural landscapes of Europe - How man has shaped European nature" from 2009 which was written from a biological-historical perspective. In eastern Asia climate is roughly comparable with Europe, and both areas have long and independent land use traditions. Vegetation patterns can also be compared although differences are also pronounced and eastern Asia more species rich. Rice and millet/wheat production developed in both areas as well as societies relying on nomadic animal rearing. Human development has, however, been highly independent in the two areas, which makes comparisons interesting. In this project eastern Asia (roughly China north of Chang Jiang, Mongolia, SE Russia from Buryatia ta Primorye, Korea and Japan) and Europe (within its historical borders) will be compared.

Some factors that have led to different landscape patterns in the two areas are:

• Different attitudes towards grazing stock

• Different attitudes towards forest

• Different food cultures

• Different routes and timing of cultural influence from other areas

• Different kinds of religious conceptions about the landscape

• Different kinds of major political movements during the past 100 years

We work in a distinctly interdisciplinary way, and the interaction of environmental and social factors behind landscape changes is in focus. Archaeology and the geological and climate-related basis for the biodiversity are being addressed, followed by descriptions of cultural variation and different forms of land-use. Timing and reasons for the introduction of agriculture in different areas is of particular interest. Competition between grazing, agriculture, forest use and other land-use, is being described, particularly along ecological border zones, as well as the effects on the landscape by religious conceptions. How the biota has changed through time, often drastically so, is being described in relation to both human interference and climate and other changes. Historical influence of land use and the present day landscapes, also where these are apparently or allegedly "natural" is of particular concern. The current situation will be discussed, and weight given to how the landscape today can be used for recreation and tourism.

Progress is made through field visits and literature studies. The end product will be a book with co-authorship of scholars within the region to be published within two years time.


KonferensThe 55th symposium of the international association for vegetation science. Climate change and vegetation science. Special focus: Vegetation diversity and dynamics in culture landscapes of coastal-island regions. 23-28 July 2012 Hotel Hyundai Mokpo, Korea
Period80-01-01 → …

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