Sunday, 4 November 2012

Term "Umwelt transition" applied in landscape studies chapter

As I have been made aware, my 2009 article "Umwelt transitions" has been quoted in the following book chapter:
Benediktsson, Karl 2010. A Stroll through Landscapes of Sheep and Humans [176, 190, cf. 179 – Tønnessen 2009b, quoted as Tønnesen 2009]. In: Karl Benediktsson and Katrín Anna Lund (eds): Conversations with landscape, 173-191. Farnham (UK), Burlington (US): Ashgate.
Excerpt (p. 176):
There is, as Tønnesen (2009) has discussed in detail, a certain static quality to von Uexküll’s conceptualisation . His is a world where organisms and their Umwelten are a perfect match; with no consideration being given to temporal change, gradual or sudden, that might upset this harmonious whole. In a world where global environmental change is being discussed with ever more urgency, this seems more than a little quaint. Tønnesen (2009) proposes the concept of Umwelt transition to accommodate the notion of change with this set of thinking.
The notion of Umwelt transition is further applied on p. 179:
The subsequent story is well known: the vegetative character of the landscape changed drastically in the centuries following settlement (Arnalds 1987). The wood cover shrunk considerably, due to direct clearing and burning by humans as well as animal browsing pressure. Over time the unsustainability of the land use system became evident. Especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and coupled with particularly harsh climatic conditions as well as large volcanic eruptions, soil erosion reached catastrophic proportions. An Umwelt transition was taking place. Gradually, the conversation between animals and humans via landscape became less and less amicable.

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