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

In One Earth
Volume (Issue): 4
Peer-reviewed Article

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 socioecological 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.

Author:
Heather Anne
Swanson
Jens-Christian
Svenning
Alark
Saxena
Robert
Muscarella
Janet
Franklin
Matteo
Garbelotto
Andrew
S. Mathews
Annik
E. Schnitzler
Josep
M. Serra-Diaz
Anna
L. Tsing
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