An Early Bioinvasion in the Azores: Global Circulation and Local Dynamics (1840s–1860s) in Response to the Brown Soft-Scale Coccus hesperidum

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Abstract

Bioinvasions occurred in the past as they do in the present, raising a set of ecological, economic, cultural and scientific changes. This paper focuses on how people dealt with and overcame the introduction and spread of the brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum) in the Azorean orange groves in the 1840s–1860s. It describes the diculties in the detection and the identification of the causal
agent, the underestimation of the impacts in the early moments, the slow response and the limitations on methods of control. This is the earliest historical case of a plant pest documented in the Azores archipelago and the first that led to regulations concerning preventive measures and control. Research results are discussed in the framework of the global transfer of living organisms, rethinking Crosby’s
original model of “Europeanizing” the colonial and overseas territories in the context of the nineteenth
century empires. They highlight the relevance of understanding local dynamics, which reconsider
the relationship between the center and the periphery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalHumanities
Volume9
Issue number78
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • invasion species
  • Azores islands
  • 19th century
  • Coccus hesperidum

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