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Forests, Climate, and the Rise of Scientific Forestry in Russia: From Local Knowledge and Natural History to Modern Experiments (1840s–early 1890s)

  • Anastasia A. FedotovaEmail author
  • Marina V. Loskutova
Chapter
Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 40)

Abstract

The chapter examines an episode in the history of nineteenth-century agricultural improvement, the attempt to change the climate of Russia’s southern steppe provinces by planting forests. The afforestation efforts carried out in the Velikii Anadol’ forestry district in the eastern Ukraine were closely interwoven with debates about the potential climatic impact of deforestation—debates that were waged across Europe from the eighteenth century onwards and that are often considered by historians as crucial for the emergence of modern environmental consciousness. This chapter focuses on the changing character of experiments and observations carried out in Velikii Anadol’, and analyzes the ways in which they reflect a broader transformation of evidentiary standards in the nineteenth-century life sciences. It also explores the ways in which different scientific agendas were applied in the Russian frontier as part of attempts at agricultural colonization.

Keywords

Afforestation Climate change Vasilii Dokuchaev Forestry Nineteenth century Russian empire Russian forestry Steppe zone 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Mark Finlay, Kari Korhonen, Grigorii Isachenko, David Moon, and the editors of this volume, Sharon Kingsland and Denise Phillips, for their very helpful comments and suggestions.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for the History of Science and TechnologyRASSt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.History DepartmentNational Research University – Higher School of EconomicsSt. PetersburgRussia

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