Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Rural Landscapes of Europe - How Man Has Shaped European Nature

15.09.2009
As the six months of Swedish Presidency of the EU gets underway, the Swedish Research Council Formas is publishing an English edition of a book about the European cultural landscape, titled The Rural Landscapes of Europe - How Man has Shaped European Nature.

The cultural landscapes and nature in Europe are the result of thousands of years of human impact and constitute our common heritage. Wars, revolutions, and diseases have affected nature.

The landscape has been cultivated and become overgrown, back and forth. Forestry, agriculture, and animal husbandry have altered the flora and fauna. The book offers a holistic view of the cultural landscape from both a biological and a historical perspective.

"I hope that Sweden, during its Presidency, will be able to show the tremendous wealth we have in our European cultural landscapes. Conservationists and biologists need to know how important the sweep of history has been for the natural environment and the landscape we see today. At the same time I also want historians and stewards of the cultural environment to understand how important biology and the conditions of the landscape have been for the course of history," says Professor Urban Emanuelsson, the author of the book.

The history of European landscapes is depicted from the early Stone Age to modern times. The contents weave together biological diversity and nature conservancy with history and archeology. The book contains chapters on open land as a key problem for nature conservancy, the evolution of prehistoric plants and animals to today's species, the introduction of agriculture, the cultural landscape of ancient times, grazing culture, wood, lumber, and winter fodder, extermination and dissemination of animals and plants, cultivated wetlands, hunting, war, and pestilence, the sea, etc. A couple of chapters deal with political developments, various types of revolutions that changed the European landscape, and the importance of the Soviet Union for the Eastern European landscape.

"Russia is often left out of descriptions of European nature, and Eastern Europe usually receives short shrift. This may be due to language barriers and the isolation from the rest of Europe before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But for those interested in nature, Eastern Europe is a an area of great interest, in many ways more interesting than Western Europe," says Urban Emanuelsson.

"In connection with their joining the EU, these countries also want to implement efficient forestry and agriculture. Will they be able to afford to work with conservation? Can they develop their environmental substitutions so that valuable landscapes can be preserved and become an important component in the sustenance of rural areas? We should be more actively involved in Rumania's fantastic and multifaceted landscape so that people can continue to live there and earn decent livings from ecotourism, for example, as a complement to forestry and farming."

A concluding chapter depicts what the author regards as weaknesses in current efforts to conserve the natural and cultural environment, and he suggests ways in which these weaknesses can be remedied.

"A distinction is still often made between conserving the natural and cultural environments. To me, this is an artificial dichotomy that is unfortunately perpetuated by both public authorities and non-profit organizations. Those wishing to preserve the environment should include the whole landscape. A key concept would then be 'the biological cultural heritage.' Europe's cultural heritage also encompasses trees shaped by humans and the appearance of different types of nature," says Urban Emanuelsson.

The Rural Landscapes of Europe is intended for individuals who work with the conservation of nature and culture, researchers, students, and anyone interested in nature conservation, biological diversity, history, and the connections between these fields. The tone is that of popular science.

The book has 383 pages and is richly illustrated. It costs SEK 596 (including VAT, excluding shipping and postage) and can be ordered from www.formas.se or from Formas Customer Service, phone +46 (0)8-690 95 22. For review copies, please contact lena.jansson@formas.se, +46 (0)8-775 40 65.

Urban Emanuelsson
Urban Emanuelsson is a professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and for many years has been the director of the Swedish Biodiversity Center. He is a plant ecologist specializing in the cultural landscape and issues involving historical ecology. He also works with environmentally sensitive social planning and with international nature stewardship in various regions of the world.
For more information:
Urban Emanuelsson, urban.emanuelsson@cbm.slu.se, cell phone: +46 (0)70-620 43 41.

Birgitta Johansson, Swedish Research Council Formas, birgitta.johansson@formas.se

Emilie von Essen, Swedish Research Council Formas, eve@formas.se

Tina Zethraeus | idw
Further information:
http://www.formas.se
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>