A political ecology of weeds

How do plants that move and spread across landscapes become branded as weeds and thereby objects of contention and control? In a chapter recently published in the International Handbook of Political Ecology, Priya Rangan and I outline a political ecology approach that builds on a Lefebvrian understanding of the production of space, identifying three scalar moments that make plants into ‘weeds’ in different spatial contexts and landscapes. Continue reading

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Acacia farnesiana in southern Europe

by Priya Rangan

Acacia farnesiana, a plant native to Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, had already arrived in Australia prior to British settlement of the continent. How did it get there? We thought it might have been via the Portuguese, who may have brought the plant to southern Europe and then spread it to their trading forts and settlements in Asia. Manuel decided to pursue his doctoral studies in Geography and Spatial Planning (CEGOT), at the University of Porto, and focus his thesis on the history of how A. farnesiana arrived in southern Europe. See the outline of his research presentation at the 4th International Symposium on Weeds and Invasive Plants held in May 2014 at Montpellier, France.