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Ecological crises or marginal disruptions: the effects of the first humans on Pacific Islands

Nunn, Patrick D. (2001) Ecological crises or marginal disruptions: the effects of the first humans on Pacific Islands. New Zealand Geographer, 57 (2). pp. 11-20. ISSN 0028-8144

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There is considerable debate concerning the effects of the first humans on the environments of the Pacific Islands. Much disagreement has arisen because of the differing techniques used to fix the time when the first humans arrived on particular islands. There is also considerable discussion about how stable, at a variety of timescales, Pacific Island environments were in the absence (or presence) of humans. John Flenley has proposed that archaeological dates significantly underestimate the times of initial human arrival on many Pacific Islands, the most accurate estimates of which come from palynological analyses. This paper offers some support to this view, from consideration of reef-growth hiatuses in Fiji, yet doubts that initial human arrivals were coincident with ecological crises. There is considerable evidence that natural climate changes, particularly short-term ones, caused major ecological and environmental disruptions on Pacific Islands, during both their pre- and post-settlement histories, and that human arrival was marked in most cases by only marginal disruptions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Office of the PVC (R&I)
Depositing User: Ms Mereoni Camailakeba
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2001 12:09
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2012 17:38

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