Anthropogenic environmental change on the frontiers of European colonisation in Australia, A.D. 1788–1840. A reply to comments in Woodward (2020)

Journal article


Cook, Duncan E.. (2021). Anthropogenic environmental change on the frontiers of European colonisation in Australia, A.D. 1788–1840. A reply to comments in Woodward (2020). Geomorphology. 373, p. Article 107234. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2020.107234
AuthorsCook, Duncan E.
Abstract

Based on a range of evidence, Cook (2019) concluded that increased erosion and sedimentation followed the movement of Europeans into new regions of Australia soon after A.D. 1788. Woodward (this issue) takes issue with this position, based largely on the interpretation of lake sediment records from a single study site on the New England Tablelands of eastern Australia. Many of Woodward's comments (and their singular focus) are beyond the aims and scope of Cook (2019), which examined the evidence for human impacts on soils and erosion in early colonial Australia. This paper addresses the following issues raised by Woodward: (1) that there is no evidence of environmental impacts from the first half century of ‘illegal’ settlers and land use in Australia, and (2)that other historical and scientific records of increased erosion and sedimentation before 1840 cannot be relied on. Further, this paper corrects other errors and inaccuracies found in Woodward's reply. This paper draws on many datasets to expand the argument that European land use, resource extraction, and agriculture resulted in landscape disturbance before 1840 in Australia. Finally, this reply demonstrates why Woodward's claim of no major impacts from illegal Europeans before 1840 in Australia is, for many locations, improbable based on the evidence available, and for large swathes of eastern Australia, difficult to support.

Year2021
JournalGeomorphology
Journal citation373, p. Article 107234
PublisherElsevier BV
ISSN1872-695X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2020.107234
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85085770502
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-8
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online13 May 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted29 Apr 2020
Deposited20 Oct 2021
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