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ln this book Zonneveld notes what he heard himself telling his students during the last quarter of a century, and what he, his collaborators and students learned working together in the field on all continents and in all climates, from the marshes to the mountains, from the Arctic to the tropics, from the deserts to the rain forests, in empty areas and overcrowded ones.
His incentive, besides curiosity about what is below and beyond the horizon, was especially a concern for Mother Earth – and also his objection to being put into one or other special scientific pigeonhole. The book, therefore, although meant as a text-book for students starting out in this field, cannot avoid disseminating a personal vision.
For him, “land(scape) ecology” is in the first place the integrated approach to the “household” of the environment (Oikos), the relation between horizontal as well as vertical components, hence “LAND”, which is in fact a better translation of the original German term “Landschaft” used by von Humboldt and Troll, and may perhaps be preferred to the Dutch-derived English term, “Landscape”, which is often considered as simply a synonym for “scenery”.
Zonneveld emphasises an approach embracing the horizontal pattern as well as the systemic character of the land, from the limited site up to the scale of “Gaia”. The binding element is the application of management and conservation of land as a “home range”; thus, land evaluation methodology and large area survey techniques based on sound landscape ecological principles, especially applicable in developing countries, are well represented in this book.