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Environments of EmpireNetworks and Agents of Ecological Change$
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Ulrike Kirchberger and Brett M. Bennett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655932

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655932.001.0001

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A Global History of Species Introduction and Invasion: Reconciling Historical and Ecological Paradigms

(p.224) Epilogue
Environments of Empire

Brett M. Bennett

University of North Carolina Press

The epilogue re-assesses Alfred Crosby’s thesis of “ecological imperialism” in the light of new scientific and historical findings in order to establish a coherent understanding of global ecological and biological change during the past 500 years. It draws on concepts from evolutionary theory and ecology—including “niche construction,” “propogule pressure,” “vector,” and “invasion”—to argue that perhaps Crosby’s most important point, that Europeans established themselves best in environments where they could grow and use familiar crops and animals, is still correct. The epilogue argues for closer interdisciplinary cooperation of the historical and ecological sciences to explain the biological and ecological reordering of the world in the context of globalization.

Keywords:   Alfred Crosby, ecological imperialism, invasive species, species introduction, portmanteau biota, globalization, Brett M Bennett

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