An ambivalent landscape

the return of nature to post-agricultural land in South-eastern Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Urban, peri-urban, post-industrial and post-agricultural landscapes are transforming throughout the world due to changes in human use. Spontaneous growth of vegetation (regrowth) that may be part of this transformation is sometimes viewed negatively because of perceived threats to human agency and well-being. In many cases, however, societies experiencing regrowth appear to ignore it. This is problematic as scientists are increasingly finding ecological values in regrowth landscapes. Fostering positive biodiversity outcomes in these areas requires knowledge of how the regrowth is perceived by stakeholders. This paper draws upon 53 semi-structured interviews and document reviews exploring perceptions, views and management of abundant and extensive regrowth by stakeholders in a post-agricultural landscape in central Victoria, Australia. Through discourse analysis, the research highlights the social ambivalence to regrowth and illuminates the underlying causes of that ambivalence. We indicate how this understanding can be used to foster social recognition and acceptance of regrowth and its role in landscape restoration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-344
Number of pages16
JournalLandscape Research
Volume43
Issue number3
Early online dateJun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 03 Apr 2018

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agricultural landscape
regrowth
ambivalence
agricultural land
stakeholder
social recognition
discourse analysis
biodiversity
restoration
acceptance
well-being
threat
cause
interview
management
society
Values
vegetation

Cite this

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abstract = "Urban, peri-urban, post-industrial and post-agricultural landscapes are transforming throughout the world due to changes in human use. Spontaneous growth of vegetation (regrowth) that may be part of this transformation is sometimes viewed negatively because of perceived threats to human agency and well-being. In many cases, however, societies experiencing regrowth appear to ignore it. This is problematic as scientists are increasingly finding ecological values in regrowth landscapes. Fostering positive biodiversity outcomes in these areas requires knowledge of how the regrowth is perceived by stakeholders. This paper draws upon 53 semi-structured interviews and document reviews exploring perceptions, views and management of abundant and extensive regrowth by stakeholders in a post-agricultural landscape in central Victoria, Australia. Through discourse analysis, the research highlights the social ambivalence to regrowth and illuminates the underlying causes of that ambivalence. We indicate how this understanding can be used to foster social recognition and acceptance of regrowth and its role in landscape restoration.",
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