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An Archaeology of AbundanceReevaluating the Marginality of California's Islands$
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Kristina M. Gill, Mikael Fauvelle, and Jon M. Erlandson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056166

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056166.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022

Historical Degradation and Ecological Recovery

Historical Degradation and Ecological Recovery

Evaluating the Marginality of California Island Ecosystems

(p.31) 2 Historical Degradation and Ecological Recovery
An Archaeology of Abundance

Todd J. Braje

Jon M. Erlandson

Kristina M. Gill

Torben C. Rick

Linda Bentz

Paul Collins

University Press of Florida

Spanish arrival to Alta and Baja California in AD 1542 marked the beginning of widespread ecological changes for California Island ecosystems. Over several centuries, Native peoples were removed to mainland towns and missions, intensive commercial fisheries and ranching operations developed, and numerous exotic plants and animals were introduced. The ecological fallout was swift and extensive, with extinctions and extirpations, devegetation, severe soil erosion, damaged hydrology, collapsed fisheries, and other ecological impacts. Archaeologists have long recognized some of the effects of these historical impacts, but only after decades of restoration biology on the islands have we come to appreciate how dramatically ecological baselines have shifted since Spanish arrival. As a result, many of California's islands now appear to have been optimal rather than marginal for human occupation.

Keywords:   Alta and Baja California, restoration biology, ecological baselines

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