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From Coastal Wilderness to Fruited Plain : A History of Environmental Change in Temperate North America from 1500 to the Present - Gordon G. Whitney

From Coastal Wilderness to Fruited Plain

A History of Environmental Change in Temperate North America from 1500 to the Present

Hardcover Published: 24th April 2007
ISBN: 9780521394529
Number Of Pages: 488

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From Coastal Wilderness to Fruited Plain is an account of the making of a large part of the American landscape following European settlement. Drawing upon land survey records and early travelers' accounts, Dr Whitney reconstructs the 'virgin' forests and grasslands of the northeastern and central United States during the presettlement period. He then documents successively the clearance and fragmentation of the region's woodlands, the harvest of the forest and its game, the ploughing of the prairies, and the draining of wetlands. The degree to which these activities altered the soil, climate, plant and animal communities, and water cycle are evaluated, and the sustainability of present-day ecosystems is brought into question in this unique account.

'This is a magnificent work ... The book is so well done that I hesitate to mention any specific parts lest I neglect something ... This is a book that every physical geographer should read ... I predict this book will rapidly become a classic and only wish that other scholars would write equally good works on other areas of the world.' Stanley W. Trimble, Progress in Physical Geography 'Whitney's ecological history is scholarly, comprehensive, well written and interesting.' Conservation Biology 'Scholarship shines forth ... whether the interest is in North America, comparative regional studies or approaches to studying forest landscapes, this volume will be a source of insight, entertainment and academic inspiration.' Trends in Ecology and Evolution

List of figures
List of tables
Acknowledgements
Conversion of English to metric units
US state abbreviations
Common and scientific names of trees mentioned in the text
Photographic essay illustrating the character and the demise of the pre-settlement vegetation of the Northeast and the Midwest
Introduction
Reconstructing the past
Nature imposes ...
The forest primeval
Preservers of the ecological balance wheel
European precedents
Assault upon the forest, part I: the farmer
Assault upon the forest, part II: the lumber industry
Assault upon the forest, part III: fuel-wood
Predatory agriculture
Grassland agriculture
Forest influences
A transported flora
An impoverished fauna
The legislated landscape
Conclusion
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521394529
ISBN-10: 052139452X
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 488
Published: 24th April 2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.88