Aarhus Universitets segl

History as grounds for interdisciplinarity: promoting sustainable woodlands via an integrative ecological and socio-cultural perspective

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisReviewForskningpeer review

  • Heather Anne Swanson
  • Jens Christian Svenning
  • Alark Saxena, Northern Arizona University
  • ,
  • Robert Muscarella, Uppsala University
  • ,
  • Janet Franklin, University of California at Riverside
  • ,
  • Matteo Garbelotto, University of California at Berkeley
  • ,
  • Andrew S. Mathews, University of California at Santa Cruz
  • ,
  • Osamu Saito, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
  • ,
  • Annik E. Schnitzler, Universite de Lorraine
  • ,
  • Josep M. Serra-Diaz, Universite de Lorraine
  • ,
  • Anna L. Tsing

While calls for interdisciplinary research in environmental contexts are common, it often remains a struggle to integrate humanities/qualitative social sciences insights with those of bio-physical approaches. We propose that cross-disciplinary historical perspectives can open new avenues for collaboration among social and natural scientists while expanding visions of possible future environments and management scenarios. We make these arguments through attention to woodlands, which are under pressure from complex socio-ecological stressors that can best be understood from interdisciplinary perspectives. By combining deep ecological and shallower social historical approaches, we show how history can both enrich our understandings of woodland pasts and provide a ground for better combining the case-based insights of humanistic history with those of deep-time ecological history. We conclude that such interdisciplinary historical approaches are important not only for research, but also for management (especially rewilding and scenario-building), as the surprisingly large range of past changes reminds us that future conditions can be more varied than typically acknowledged. This Perspective proposes that cross-disciplinary historical approaches can assist in improving collaborations among social and natural scientists and in expanding environmental management imaginaries. Through the example of woodlands, we illustrate how combining natural science insights on deep-time changes with social science research on histories of commercialization and industrialization can generate better understandings of socio-ecological dynamics. We emphasize that qualitative historical case studies have a place alongside other approaches in broadening visions of woodland futures via attention to pasts.

TidsskriftOne Earth
Sider (fra-til)226-237
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The foundational work for this article was undertaken collectively at a workshop convened in June 2018 by Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA), a research project led by A.L.T. that was designed to foster interdisciplinary collaborations around pressing environmental issues. The authors would like to thank the Danish National Research Foundation’s Niels Bohr Professorship program, which funded both the project and this event, as well as Mia Korsbæk who provided administrative support. J.-C.S. considers this work a contribution to his VILLUM Investigator project “Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World” funded by Villum Fonden (grant 16549 ). H.A.S. considers this work a contribution to her Carlsberg Foundation Distinguished Associate Professor Fellowship (grant CF17-0872 ). O.S. considers this work a contribution to the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (S-15 Predicting and Assessing Natural Capital and Ecosystem Services through an Integrated Social-Ecological Systems Approac h (PANCES): JPMEERF16S11500) of the Ministry of the Environment , Japan.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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