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The Impact of the Prehistoric Polynesians on the Hawaiian Ecosystem

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Title:The Impact of the Prehistoric Polynesians on the Hawaiian Ecosystem
Authors:Kirch, Patrick V.
Date Issued:Jan 1982
Publisher:University of Hawai’i Press
Citation:Kirch PV. 1982. The impact of the prehistoric Polynesians of the Hawaiian ecosystem. Pac Sci 36(1): 1-14.
Abstract:Evidence obtained from archaeological and ancillary studies of
paleoenvironment suggests that the prehistoric Polynesians had a far greater
impact on the Hawaiian ecosystem than has heretofore been realized. Such
impact began with the introduction, by Polynesians, of exotic plants and
animals. The cumulative effects of forest clearance and habitat modification
through the use of fire led to major changes in lowland ecology. Among the
consequences of this transformation of the Hawaiian landscape were the extinction
of endemic species, alteration of vegetation communities, and erosion.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 36, Number 1, 1982

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