Field boundary stone walls as exemplars of 'novel' ecosystems

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Title: Field boundary stone walls as exemplars of 'novel' ecosystems
Authors: Collier, Marcus
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Date: 2013
Abstract: In some parts of Europe, stone wall field boundaries pervade agricultural landscapes, yet despite their prominence there has been very little research into field boundary walls anywhere. However, these anthropogenic features within cultural landscapes may offer insight into current debates on 'novel' ecosystems because of their artifice, their longevity in the landscape particularly in remote or exposed regions, and their morphology. In a review of the available, published literature in Europe, it was found that no publications exist that examine or illustrate specific ecological characteristics of field boundary stone walls, despite this longevity. Using examples from Ireland, where these structures are locally abundant, this paper aims first to draw attention to the poorly representative literature on this topic, and thus stimulate research that will detail the potential ecological characteristics of these ancient forms of field boundary. It then briefly explores the potential for these walls to be considered as 'novel' ecosystems within current debates on the issue.
Type of material: Journal Article
Journal: Landscape Research
Volume: 38
Issue: 1
Start page: 141
End page: 150
Keywords: Dry stone wallsNovel ecosystemsField boundariesAgricultural landscapes
Subject LCSH: Stone walls--Environmental aspects
Hedgerow ecology
Agricultural ecology
DOI: 10.1080/01426397.2012.682567
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection

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