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Adaptive mechanisms in a continuing landscape: assessing biocultural diversity as a form of resilience

Elisa Palazzo (School of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Douglas K. Bardsley (School of Social Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Article publication date: 29 April 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022




This paper investigates the adaptive capacity expressed by an agricultural region in response to changing conditions as a mean to address the future of cultural landscapes in a time of extreme uncertainty. Through the conceptual framework of biocultural diversity, the work assesses regimes shifts and persistence as a dialectic between natural and anthropogenic components of the landscape.


Specifically, the mechanisms of progressive landscape adaptation are explored by using an integrated method to align manifestations of biological and cultural diversity. Through a multidimensional approach applied to spatial analysis, the study determines a relationship between the footprint of past and modern landscape regimes and contemporary rural management practices in McLaren Vale, South Australia.


The biological and cultural diversity patterns along riparian corridors, or “biocultural corridors” are indicators of past and current adaptive capacity, which are able to convey novel trajectories of sustainable management in the landscape system.


Understanding the positive feedback loops between nature and human interactions as represented by their interrelationships in the landscape can inform planning decisions for sustainable agricultural development and enable effective regional long-term trajectories of resilience.



Palazzo, E. and Bardsley, D.K. (2022), "Adaptive mechanisms in a continuing landscape: assessing biocultural diversity as a form of resilience", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 367-391.



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