Coastal environments in particular were not only seats of technol

Coastal environments in particular were not only seats of technological innovation in prehistory with historical trajectories unique from interior agricultural societies (e.g., Sassaman, 2004), but also entry points for European colonization of the North American continent and “ground zero” for hunter-gatherer

entanglements with Spanish missions (Thompson and Worth, 2010:79). Hydroxychloroquine in vitro Mission farming, similar to settler communities and plantation economies, introduced a host of new species into the environs, including foreign cultigens such as wheat, barley, corn, grapes, various fruit trees, and an assortment of vegetables, as well as the inadvertent release of weeds that thrived in open, disturbed soils. As Crosby (2004:167–169) noted, many of the exotic weeds rapidly spread across the landscape, often outcompeting native species particularly where ground disturbances had occurred, such find more as in plowed or fallow fields, along roads, and after fires. The creation of the colonial agrarian landscape also often involved

the construction of dams and irrigation canals, which modified the local hydrology of valleys. The ranching economy associated with missions and other colonies also unleashed an assortment of livestock into the hinterland of mission settlements where they roamed relatively freely, with fences built to keep them out of specific places (such as fields, gardens, orchards). Hardy, feral populations of pigs, cattle, and horses typically took root in the peripheries of mission settlements. Free range livestock, both controlled and feral, grazed largely Progesterone unhindered across the landscape,

where they consumed, disturbed, and trampled native vegetation (Crosby, 2004:172–182). Crosby (2004:288–290) described the co-evolution that took place between free range grazers and weeds, with the former providing the soil disturbance in which weeds thrived and multiplied, which in turn were consumed and carried to new places by the free roaming animals. Deforestation was a common practice not only in plantations, but also in agrarian mission complexes and settler colonies, whose occupants burned and felled trees to clear areas for fields and buildings, and who relied on wood as the main source of fuel in colonial settings (Cronon, 1983:116–121; Grove, 1997). The commercial exploitation of timber was also initiated in early modern times for shipbuilding, building supplies, and cordwood. The combination of these activities resulted in extensive deforestation beginning in the 1600s and continuing through the early 1800s, not only in the core-states where intensified agrarian production was taking place (see Richards, 2003:221–222 for an example from Britain), but across many of the colonial territories, particularly in the Caribbean, India, and South Africa.

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