Based on papers presented at the seventeenth Pacific Science Congress held in Honolulu in 1991.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 287-320) and index.
The Pacific Ocean islands have long been considered a "natural laboratory" where the evolution of human cultures can be studied in the context of thousands of island ecosystems. This text presents research in the ecological history of the Pacific Islands. Focusing on the environmental impact wrought by the Oceanic populations before the advent of Western contact, it challenges earlier views that the islands underwent dramatic environmental change only after European colonization. They demonstrate instead that in some cases the indigenous peoples had an often irreversible effect on the landscapes and biotas of the Pacific Islands and assert that these effects often had important consequences for island societies, economies, and political systems. (source: Nielsen Book Data)