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Dynamics of village change in China’s Yangtze Delta (new publication)

Submitted by on December 27, 2008 – 12:42 pm
 wu_mapsChina’s Yangtze Delta (also known as the Tai Lake Region) is home to some of the world’s most ancient anthropogenic landscapes. Rice was likely domesticated here 8,500 years ago, and the region’s nickname “land of fish and rice” sums up it’s long history of highly productive agriculture. Indeed, the region has long been a poster child for sustainable traditional agriculture in China and globally, inspiring the early organic agriculture movement in the USA via Robert Rodale’s reading of F.H. King’s writings on the region’s farming system. I was so inspired by this legendary productivity that I spent years in China studying the ecological sustainability of the highly productive village-scale agroecosystems there.
Now, Dr. Junxi Wu, working in our five region field study of long-term ecological changes in the village ecosystems of China, has published his work investigating how and why the traditional farmers of the region transformed their ancient agricultural landscapes into the intensively managed and densely populated landscapes that now characterize the region. Junxi spent years conducting intensive field research at a site very near my original research villages (about 100 km West, in Yixing County), using interviews with elder farmers and historical aerial photographs to investigate, in unprecedented detail, the remarkable landscape changes produced as farmers in this region adopted new technologies and management practices under increasing population and market pressures.
So now- please read the paper < here>!
Congratulations Junxi on work well done!
-Erle
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