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A native at home and abroad: the history, politics, ethics and aesthetics of Acacia
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science and Technology.
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2011 (English)In: Diversity & distributions: A journal of biological invasions and biodiversity, ISSN 1366-9516, E-ISSN 1472-4642, Vol. 17, no 5, 810-821 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim Anthropogenic introductions of Australian Acacia spp. that become classed as alien invasive species have consequences besides the physical, spatial and ecological: there are also cultural, ethical and political considerations that demand attention from scholars in the humanities and social sciences. As practitioners in these disciplines, our aim is to reflect upon some of the social and conceptual ideas and attitudes relating to the spread of Australian Acacia spp. around the world. We therefore provide a longer-term historical and philosophical perspective using South Africa as a key example. We explain some of the cultural aspects of Australian acacias, relating them to history, philosophy and societal ideas that were once, or indeed remain, important, either regarding their exportation from Australia or their importation into other countries. Focussing principally on South Africa and Australia but including brief references to other locations, we augment the literature by making connections between acacia introductions and environmental ethics and aesthetics, national and environmental history and symbolic and other discourses. We evaluate a number of the cultural and philosophical dimensions of invasion biology as a societal response and explicate the interesting contradiction of Australian acacia introductions as simultaneously economically valuable and environmentally transformative in South Africa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 17, no 5, 810-821 p.
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-93097DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00779.xISI: 000294655400003OAI: diva2:514954

QC 20120627

Available from: 2012-04-11 Created: 2012-04-11 Last updated: 2012-11-06Bibliographically approved

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Robin, Libby
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