Wilson, A and Kendal, D and Moore, JL, Humans and ornamental plants: a mutualism?, Ecopsychology, 8, (4) pp. 257-263. ISSN 1942-9347 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2016 MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC.
Since the Neolithic period, humans have surrounded themselves and their settlements with ornamental plants. Why? This paper explores this question using the theory of mutualism, which refers to a biological process where different species interact to the benefit of both. The paper first describes how ornamental plants are understood in contemporary academic thinking. Then it introduces the theory of mutualism, with particular attention to its historical roots. Discussion explores how humans and ornamental plants can indeed be conceived of as a mutualism. Two benefits are identified in adopting this approach. First, understanding the relationship as a mutualism could help to focus attention on the specific benefits provided by ornamental plants for people, and help legitimise the study of ornamental plants within the natural sciences. Mutualism potentially offers a complementary framework to existing social theory such as biophilia, that allows integration with approaches from the natural sciences to more fully understand both sides of the human-nature relationship.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||horticulture, plants, aesthetics, urban ecology|
|Research Division:||Built Environment and Design|
|Research Group:||Urban and Regional Planning|
|Research Field:||Land Use and Environmental Planning|
|Objective Group:||Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity|
|Objective Field:||Urban and Industrial Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity|
|Author:||Kendal, D (Dr Dave Kendal)|
|Deposited By:||Geography and Spatial Science|
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