Early tropical crop production in marginal subtropical and temperate Polynesia

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dc.contributor.author Prebble, M en
dc.contributor.author Anderson, AJ en
dc.contributor.author Augustinus, Paul en
dc.contributor.author Emmitt, Joshua en
dc.contributor.author Fallon, SJ en
dc.contributor.author Furey, LL en
dc.contributor.author Holdaway, Simon en
dc.contributor.author Jorgensen, Alexander en
dc.contributor.author Ladefoged, Thegn en
dc.contributor.author Matthews, PJ en
dc.contributor.author Meyer, J-Y en
dc.contributor.author Phillips, R en
dc.contributor.author Wallace, R en
dc.contributor.author Porch, N en
dc.date.accessioned 2019-05-28T00:41:30Z en
dc.date.issued 2019-04-08 en
dc.identifier.issn 0027-8424 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/46588 en
dc.description.abstract Polynesians introduced the tropical crop taro (Colocasia esculenta) to temperate New Zealand after 1280 CE, but evidence for its cultivation is limited. This contrasts with the abundant evidence for big game hunting, raising longstanding questions of the initial economic and ecological importance of crop production. Here we compare fossil data from wetland sedimentary deposits indicative of taro and leaf vegetable (including Sonchus and Rorippa spp.) cultivation from Ahuahu, a northern New Zealand offshore island, with Raivavae and Rapa, both subtropical islands in French Polynesia. Preservation of taro pollen on all islands between 1300 CE and 1550 CE indicates perennial cultivation over multiple growing seasons, as plants rarely flower when frequently harvested. The pollen cooccurs with previously undetected fossil remains of extinct trees, as well as many weeds and commensal invertebrates common to tropical Polynesian gardens. Sedimentary charcoal and charred plant remains show that fire use rapidly reduced forest cover, particularly on Ahuahu. Fires were less frequent by 1500 CE on all islands as forest cover diminished, and short-lived plants increased, indicating higher-intensity production. The northern offshore islands of New Zealand were likely preferred sites for early gardens where taro production was briefly attempted, before being supplanted by sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), a more temperate climate-adapted crop, which was later established in large-scale cultivation systems on the mainland after 1500 CE. en
dc.publisher National Academy of Sciences en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Early tropical crop production in marginal subtropical and temperate Polynesia en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1073/pnas.1821732116 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.author-url https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1821732116 en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/RestrictedAccess en
pubs.subtype Article en
pubs.elements-id 768518 en
pubs.org-id Arts en
pubs.org-id Humanities en
pubs.org-id History en
pubs.org-id Social Sciences en
pubs.org-id Anthropology en
pubs.org-id Science en
pubs.org-id School of Environment en
dc.identifier.eissn 1091-6490 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-04-10 en
pubs.online-publication-date 2019-04-03 en
pubs.dimensions-id 30962379 en

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