Challenging the conventional wisdom of Western environmental historians, this book examines the correlations between economic and environmental changes in the southern imperial Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi (a region historically known as Lingnan, "South of the Mountains") from 1400 to 1850. Marks discusses the impact of population growth on land use patterns, the agro-ecology, and deforestation; the commercialization of agriculture and its implications; the impact of climatic change on agriculture; and the ways in which the human population responded to environmental challenges.
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