This large volume draws on evidence from fieldwork, historical records, archaeology, pollen analysis and recent research in discussing the ecology of Mediterranean Europe from the past to the present day. Grove and Rackham provide clear explanations and discussions of different ecosystems, of ruined landscapes, climate fluctuations and vegetation change, the impact of fire, terracing, agriculture and man's changing subsistence strategies, of coastal erosion and deforestation. A highly readable book, packed full of information, which also assesses the pessimistic view that many people hold over the future of the landscape and environment.
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Mediterranean Europe-southern Portugal and Spain, France, Italy, the Balkans, Greece, and the Mediterranean islands-is often interpreted as a "Lost Eden," once verdant and fertile, then progressively degraded and desertified by human mismanagement and the ignorance and folly of successive civilizations. In this engaging book, two distinguished scholars challenge this pessimistic view.A. T. Grove and Oliver Rackham trace the evolution of climate and vegetation in southern Europe from prehistoric times to the present. They point out that since the climate has usually been unstable there, plant cover has had to accommodate to its extremes and has therefore become resilient under different patterns of human activity. They show that deluges, a major factor in promoting erosion and shaping valley floors and deltas, were more frequent during times of advancing glaciers than they are now. They assess the nature and functioning of agricultural terraces, the Mediterranean savanna, and karsts, badlands, and other desert-like landscapes. Finally, they point to the real threats to Mediterranean landscapes in the recent past and the immediate future: not only coastal development, but also bulldozing, excessive irrigation, and the consequences of depopulation in the interior.From the Back Cover:
"A thought-provoking and challenging scientific study, The Nature of Mediterranean Europe is a treasure-trove of information about Mediterranean ecology, geography, and culture."-Martin Hellicar, Global Dialogue
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Book Description Yale University Press, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0300100558
Book Description Yale University Press, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0300100558