Landscape, community, countryside: linking biophysical and social scales in US Corn Belt agricultural landscapes
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Landscape Ecology. 24: 791-806.
Understanding the interplay between ecological and social factors across multiple scales is integral to landscape change initiatives in productive agricultural regions such as the rural US Corn Belt. We investigated the cultural context surrounding the use of perennial cover types--such as stream buffers, wetlands, cellulosic bioenergy stocks, and diverse cropping rotations--to restore water quality, biodiversity, and ecosystem function within a Corn Belt agricultural mosaic in Iowa, USA. Through ethnographic techniques and 33 in-depth interviews, we examined what was most important to rural stakeholders about their countryside. We then used photo elicitation to probe how interviewees' assessments of farm practices involving perennial cover types were related to their sense of place.
Keywordscomplexity; Iowa; non-point source pollution; perennial vegetation; restoration; social-ecological systems; water quality
Atwell, Ryan C.; Schulte, Lisa A.; Westphal, Lynne M. 2009. Landscape, community, countryside: linking biophysical and social scales in US Corn Belt agricultural landscapes. Landscape Ecology. 24: 791-806.