The Historical Ecology of forests and mountains in times of expansion and regression

Senast ändrad: 16 februari 2018

In the second seminar in the series, 21 March, Per Lagerås, Jesper Larsson and Eva-Lotta Päiviö Sjaunja will talk about The Historical Ecology of forests and mountains in times of expansion and regression.

Humans have always shaped nature through using local ecosystems for producing food and fibre. In forest and mountain ecosystems, natural conditions strongly influence the possibilities and restrictions for what land use is possible. Nevertheless, they have through times offered a multitude of resources ranging from fodder and cultivated land to fish, game, tar and other wood products and charcoal burning. They have also provided areas where human land use could expand during times of population increase. The seminar will examine land use changes during times of expansion and regression in Swedish forested and mountainous regions based on two research presentations.

Per Lagerås will present "Environment, society and the Black Death – an interdisciplinary approach to the late-medieval crisis in Sweden". The project used evidence and techniques from archaeology and the natural sciences. Special focus is on environmental and social changes in the wake of the Black Death. Pollen and tree-ring data are used to gain new insights into farm abandonment and agricultural change, and to point to the important environmental and ecological consequences of the crisis.

Jesper Larsson and Eva-Lotta Päiviö Sjaunja presents "Self-Governing and Globalization" a project that addresses landscape use and settlement development in Northern Scandinavia during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The starting point is the leap in the use of common-pool resources and collective action that appeared during the seventeenth century in Northern Scandinavia. Important questions for a better understanding of landscape use and settlement development are; how institutions changed; what type of organizations users developed; implications for property rights; labor division; relations between users and the state; and changes' in agriculture practice and reindeer breeding.

Per LageråsPer Lagerås works as palaeoecologist at the National Historical Museums in Sweden, at the branch office in Lund. He has a PhD in Quaternary Geology from Lund University and is appointed Associate Professor (docent) in agrarian history at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala.


Jesper LarssonJesper Larsson is Associate Professor at the Division of Agrarian History at SLU, and Research Fellow at KVHAA/Associate Senior Lecturer. Jesper's research is focused on governance of common-pool resources and collective action during early modern period (16th century to 19th century). Specifically, Jesper conducts research in animal husbandry, especially transhumance systems and the evolution of agriculture systems.


Eva-Lotta Päiviö SjaunjaEva-Lotta Päiviö Sjaunja is PhD in Agrarian History. She works with teaching in agrarian history and with research to do with Sami resource use during early modern time (c. 1550-1800). Eva-Lotta is interested in questions related to Sami land use, and the development of property rights; and early modern Sami household economy.

Time: 13-14.30: seminar, 14.30-15.00: coffee, 15-16: Further discussion
Location: Room Skara, SLU Campus Ultuna (map and how to get here)
The seminar will be held in English. No registration.