The Nature of Mediterranean Europe. An Ecological History (Relié)

  • Yale University Press

  • Paru le : 05/02/2001
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Mediterranean Europe - from southern Portugal through Spain, France, Italy and Greece to SW Turkey, with the islands is often interpreted as a "Lost Eden",... > Lire la suite
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Mediterranean Europe - from southern Portugal through Spain, France, Italy and Greece to SW Turkey, with the islands is often interpreted as a "Lost Eden", once verdant and fertile, then progressively degraded and desertified by human mismanagement and the unsustainable follies of successive civilizations. In this engaging book, two distinguished scholars challenge this pessimistic view, arguing that it stems in part from the failure of the recent landscape to measure up to the imaginary past as idealized by artists, poets and scientists of the early modern Enlightenment. Drawing on their own fieldwork as well as on historical records, archaeology, pollen analysis and previous research, A.T. Grove and Oliver Rackham trace the evolution of climate, vegetation and landscape in southern Europe from prehistoric times to the present. They point out that the climate bas usually been unstable, and plant cover has had to accommodate to its extremes and has become resilient also under different patterns of human activity. They explore the relation between deluges, which promote erosion and shape valley floors and deltas, and climatic fluctuations as measured by the advance of glaciers. They investigate the nature and function of agricultural terraces, of fires, of Mediterranean savannas, and of karsts, badlands and other desert-like landscapes. Finally, they point to the real threats to Mediterranean landscapes in the future, arising from over-development of coastal areas and abandonment of mountains.
    • Ruined landscapes and the question of desertification
    • Present climate and weather
    • Geology and geomorphology: the dynamics of a restless region
    • Plant life: the dramatis personae of historical ecology
    • Aspects of human history
    • Cultivation terraces
    • Climate in the last 150 years: the period of instrumental measurements
    • The little ice age: extreme weather in historic times
    • Vegetation in Prehistory
    • Natural vegetation in historic times
    • Mediterranean savanna: trees without forests
    • Fire: misfortune or adaptation?
    • Current erosion and its measurement
    • Badlands
    • Erosion history and Prehistory: climate, weather or man-made?
    • Euro-deserts and karst
    • Deltas and soft coasts
    • Over-use of ground-water
    • Desertification or change: what to do about it?.
  • Date de parution : 05/02/2001
  • Editeur : Yale University Press
  • ISBN : 0-300-08443-9
  • EAN : 9780300084436
  • Présentation : Relié
  • Nb. de pages : 384 pages
  • Poids : 1.86 Kg
  • Dimensions : 22,4 cm × 29,3 cm × 3,2 cm
A-T Grove is a geographer and emeritus Fellow of Downing College, University of Cambridge. Oliver Rackham is a botanist and ecological historian, and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge.

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