Avoiding collapse: Pre-European sustainability on Pacific Islands

Avoiding collapse: Pre-European sustainability on Pacific Islands,10.1016/j.quaint.2007.10.016,Quaternary International,Barry V. Rolett

Avoiding collapse: Pre-European sustainability on Pacific Islands   (Citations: 1)
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Both geography and cultural practices were important in guiding the ecological histories of Pacific Islands. This paper focuses on cases where cultural adaptation was the key to sustainability on small islands prone to deforestation. Environmental conditions including small island size and low rainfall required Polynesians to adapt their cultures and in some cases abandon the traditional reliance on shifting cultivation seen in the western Pacific. Successful adaptations involved avoiding agricultural strategies associated with fire while shifting to a reliance on irrigated pondfields or arboriculture. Easter Island, which suffered severe deforestation, is different from most other Pacific Islands because its environment is particularly fragile and there was no option for either irrigated agriculture or arboriculture.
Journal: Quaternary International - QUATERN INT , vol. 184, no. 1, pp. 4-10, 2008
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