From Coastal Wilderness to Fruited Plain is an account of the making of a large part of the American landscape following European settlement. Drawing upon land survey records and early travellers' accounts, Dr Whitney reconstructs the 'virgin' forests and grasslands of the north-eastern and central United States during the pre-settlement period. He then documents successively the clearance and fragmentation of the region's woodlands, the harvest of the forest and its game, the ploughing of the prairies, and the draining of wetlands. The degree to which these activities altered the soil, climate, plant and animal communities, and water cycle are evaluated, and the sustainability of present-day ecosystems is brought into question in this account.
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(228mm x 152mm x 32mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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