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Nature's Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty
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Nature's Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Landscapes are frequently seen as fragments of natural habitat surrounded by a 'sea' of agriculture. But recent ecological theory shows that the nature of these fragments is not nearly as important for conservation as is the nature of the matrix of agriculture that surrounds them. Local extinctions from conservation fragments are inevitable and must be balanced by migratio ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published September 20th 2009 by Routledge (first published September 1st 2009)
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Nature's Matrix is a manifesto for a new paradigm in conservation biology. It gives sustainable agriculture a productive role in region-scale ecological restoration and puts small indigenous communities in the driver's seat. The book is really amazing and says so many awesome things that I am struggling to keep it all coherent here.

Vandermeer and Perfecto start with a new model for species conservation, the metapopulation. Many species historically existed in metapopulations. Island and pond cre
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The argument of this book is essentially:

a) Most native habitat in the tropics is highly fragmented and exists within a matrix of alternate land uses
b) Local extinctions within this matrix are inevitable, however, can be counterbalanced by migration, i.e. global extinctions are not inevitable
c) The extent to which migration occurs is strongly dependent on the quality of the matrix
d) High-quality matrixes support migration of various taxa through landscapes and prevent local extinctions from sum
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
The park system is the prevailing model for biodiversity protection in the world – think Teddy R. and the US National Park Service; think Tanzania’s Selous National Park, the biggest in the world. Armed guards, strict rules, “nature here, humans there”. Biologists have long recognized that local extinctions are common, even in these big, dynamic parks, so “corridors” were the rage a few years ago, little pathways that would connect two “natural” areas to each other to allow migration (the soluti ...more
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The authors extend the simple idea behind shade grown coffee—that the success of the neotropical migrants that visit the temperate U.S. every spring depends in part on the quality of their wintering grounds in Central America—into a more elaborate model that encompasses a much wider group of factors, including resident species, other agroforestry systems, and farmers' rights to the land they depend on. In their view, agriculture is seen as ecosystem management, and political solutions to poverty ...more
Kim Elena
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the title and the physical aspect of this book, I figured it would read like a textbook and that I would struggle to finish it. However, I received this book from someone I greatly admire and whom I wouldn't want to disappoint by NOT finishing it, so I committed myself to reading it and the further I got into it, the more I enjoyed it! I found Nature's Matrix to be both accessible and eye-opening, and relevant to both my work and my food-consumption choices. GO ORGANIC!
This book mixes the science of conservation biology and the politics behind it in very accessible language. It It gives a good analysis of the situation as it plays out in Latin America. I learned a lot.
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