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Biodiversity Conservation and Environmental ChangeUsing palaeoecology to manage dynamic landscapes in the Anthropocene$
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Lindsey Gillson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198713036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198713036.001.0001

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Past, Present, and Future Climate Change

Past, Present, and Future Climate Change

Can Palaeoecology Help Manage a Warming World?

(p.87) 5 Past, Present, and Future Climate Change
Biodiversity Conservation and Environmental Change

Lindsey Gillson

Oxford University Press

In order to understand and manage ecosystem services, we need to know how they have responded to environmental change and human impacts in the past, and how this might relate to future environmental, and ecological socioeconomic scenarios. This means viewing present landscapes as part of a past–present–future continuum, in which a long-term perspective is needed to understand what is changing, on what scales and how this relates to ecological and planetary boundaries. Understanding how societies have impacted and managed ecosystem services allows realistic management targets to be set and contributes to sustainability science. Palaeoecology and other long-term studies are being used effectively in the management of water resources, in soils, forests, and in the development sustainable agriculture. Re-invigorating traditional management can strengthen biodiversity conservation and the resilience ecosystem services, while contributing to human well-being by fostering, fair governance, social cohesion, local identity and a sense of place.

Keywords:   ecosystem services, sustainability, traditional management, water resources, biodiversity, terra preta, anthropogenic dark earths, cultural ecosystem services, sacred sites

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