A Natural Origin of the Commons: Interactions of People, Animals and Invisible Biodiversity

Chapter
Part of the Environmental History book series (ENVHIS, volume 2)

Abstract

The first people to occupy these shores used the landscape as a common resource and had an influence in the developing countryside. That there were open areas is now widely accepted and that some areas may always have remained permanently open. In many cases, these open areas must have been the easiest and first to be occupied by man to become the original ‘waste’ or common land. Man, grazing animals, fire and hurricanes have always been considered some of the factors in the creation and development of open areas. However, drawing on evidence from various sources perhaps we should review whether fire and wind had such a significant role as large-scale landscape drivers in wooded areas. Apart from a few examples, pests and diseases have until now been largely left out of the debate but how can we continue to ignore the history and effects of say the Black Death, rinderpest, myxomatosis, phytophthoras and other invisible organisms in natural processes that influence and change the landscape over large areas.

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  1. Green T (1996) Pollarding—origins and some practical hints. Br Wildl 18(2):100–105Google Scholar
  2. Green T (2000) Growing downwards. Tree Line, UK and Ireland Chapter of ISAGoogle Scholar
  3. Green T (2001) Should ancient trees be designated as sites of special scientific interest. Br Wildl 12:164–166Google Scholar
  4. Green T (2002) The role of invisible biodiversity in pasture landscapes. In: Redecker B, Finck P, Hardtle W, Riecken U, Schroder E (eds) Pasture landscapes and nature conservation. Springer, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  5. Green T (2010) Natural origin of the commons: people, animals and invisible biodiversity. Landsc Archaeol Ecol 8(1):57–62Google Scholar
  6. Green T (2013) Ancient trees and wood pastures. Trees, forested landscapes and grazing animals. Routledge, UK, pp 127–142Google Scholar
  7. Merryweather JW (2001) Meet the glomales—the ecology of mycorrhizal. Br Wildl 13(2):86–93Google Scholar
  8. Merryweather JW (2006) Secrets of the soil. Resurgence 235:26–28Google Scholar
  9. Merryweather JW (2007) Planting trees or woodland? An Ecologist’s perspective. Br Wildl 18(4):250–258Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ancient Tree ForumHolyport, MaidenheadUK

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