Pastoral Systems in Marginal Environments

Edited by J. A. Milne

Pastoral systems are some of the most fragile human ecosystems that exist and are under threat from the expansion of cultivation, changes in social patterns and climate change. These ecosystems are of major importance since they contain a rich biological and cultural diversity. The aim of the book is to take a holistic view of pastoral systems by bringing together papers written by specialists in plant and animal ecology with an interest in the application of their research with papers taking an economic and social perspective. The focus is on marginal environments where the issues are in greatest relief with the papers tackling key issues in semi-arid and disadvantaged temperate areas. The key issues relate to identifying the biological constraints of these pastoral systems, understanding soil/plant/animal relationships, exploring biodiversity, landscape and social issues in multi-functional systems and providing solutions to constraints through a number of case studies. By comparing and contrasting these two environments, the book will be taking a completely new approach to understanding how pastoral systems function and how they will evolve in the future. The book is of value to all those with an interest in pastoral systems by providing an up-to-date account of current understanding of these multi-functional systems and new insights into how they function and how they will develop in the future.