Woodland Conservation and Management

  • Authors
  • G.¬†F.¬†Peterken

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Origins, management and ecological characteristics of British woodlands

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 3-10
    3. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 11-41
    4. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 42-65
    5. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 66-78
    6. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 79-96
    7. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 97-104
  3. Types of semi-natural woodland in Britain

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 105-105
    2. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 107-116
    3. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 117-174
    4. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 175-178
    5. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 179-184
    6. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 185-190
  4. Woodland nature conservation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 191-191
    2. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 205-230
  5. Management for nature conservation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 251-251
    2. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 261-269
    3. G. F. Peterken
      Pages 281-294
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 310-328

About this book


Professor John Harper, in his recent Population Biology of Plants (1977), made a comment and asked a question which effectively states the theme of this book. Noting that 'one of the consequences of the development of the theory of vegetational climax has been to guide the observer's mind forwards', i. e. that 'vegetation is interpreted asa stage on the way to something', he commented that 'it might be more healthy and scientifically more sound to look more often backwards and search for the explanation of the present in the past, to explain systems in relation to their history rather than their goal'. He went on to contrast the 'disaster theory' of plant succession, which holds that communities are a response to the effects of past disasters, with the 'climax theory', that they are stages in the approach to a climax state, and then asked 'do we account most completely for the characteristics of a population by a knowledge of its history or of its destiny?' Had this question been put to R. S. Adamson, E. J. Salisbury, A. G. Tansley or A. S. Watt, who are amongst the giants of the first forty years of woodland ecology in Britain, their answer would surely have been that understanding lies in a knowledge of destiny. Whilst not unaware of the historical facts of British woodlands, they were preoccupied with ideas of natural succession and climax, and tended to interpret their observations in these terms.


biology ecology plant population population biology

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-412-12820-2
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4899-2857-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site