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Forefronting the Socio-Ecological in Savanna Landscapes through Their Spatial and Temporal Contingencies
Department of Geography & the Environment, The University of Texas at Austin, 305 E. 23rd Street, CLA 3.306, Austin, TX 78712, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 July 2013; in revised form: 23 August 2013 / Accepted: 26 August 2013 / Published: 5 September 2013
Abstract: Landscape changes and the processes driving them have been a critical component in both research and management efforts of savanna systems. These dynamics impact human populations, wildlife, carbon storage, and general spatio-temporal dynamism in response to both anthropomorphic and climatic shifts. Both biophysical and human agents of change can be identified by isolating their respective spatial, temporal, and organizational contingencies. However, we argue here that a significant portion of savanna research has either considered humans as exogenous (e.g., via enacting regional or broader policies) or somewhat spatio-temporally removed from the system (e.g., as in many protected areas with limited current human habitation). Examples from African savanna research and particularly those systems of southern Africa are thus reviewed and used to model a stylized or prototypical savanna system and contingencies. Such an approach allows for a richer socio-temporal integration of theories and data on past biophysical and human histories to facilitate an improved framework for understanding savanna systems and their complex contingencies as socio-ecological landscapes.
Keywords: contingencies; landscape change; landscape legacies; ecological succession; savannas; socio-ecological systems; scale
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Crews, K.A.; Young, K.R. Forefronting the Socio-Ecological in Savanna Landscapes through Their Spatial and Temporal Contingencies. Land 2013, 2, 452-471.
Crews KA, Young KR. Forefronting the Socio-Ecological in Savanna Landscapes through Their Spatial and Temporal Contingencies. Land. 2013; 2(3):452-471.
Crews, Kelley A.; Young, Kenneth R. 2013. "Forefronting the Socio-Ecological in Savanna Landscapes through Their Spatial and Temporal Contingencies." Land 2, no. 3: 452-471.