Overlapping patchworks of mountain agriculture in Peru and Bolivia: Toward a regional-global landscape model

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Abstract

Overlapping patchworks of farm spatial units are characteristic of the mountain landscapes of Andean regions of Peru and Bolivia. Patchiness and overlap (200-600 m) are shaped by the broad tolerances of major crops, high variability/low predictability of habitat factors, multifaceted cropping rationales of cultivators including their linkages to extraregional influences, and, to varying extents, the sociospatial coordination of crop choice among farmers. Indian peasant farmers manage overlapping patchworks using a concept of farm spaces as loosely bounded. They apply a naming system to farm spatial units based primarily on topographic features in order to serve their cultural, social, and political purposes. Key processes suggest a regional-global model of overlapping patchworks. The model elucidates the roles of landscape flexibility and uncertainty in conservation-with-development. Implications are shown by farm units of diverse food plants and prospects for in situ conservation. Findings caution against universality of the zone model of mountain agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-165
Number of pages31
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume27
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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