Department of Biology
King's College London, U.K.
Because of the scarcity of accurate written records, it has rarely proved possible to trace the impact of the European colonists on North American woodlands in anything but general terms. The Allegheny Plateau, however, was colonized very late, and large stands of white pine and hemlock survived to the end of the last century. Written records and surveys in this area make it possible to follow woodland destruction and the spread of disturbance-tolerant trees and shrubs, like red maple and black cherry.
G.G. Whitney, "The history and status of the hemlock-hardwood forests of the Allegheny Plateau," Journal of Ecology, 78, 443-58, June 1990. (Harvard University, Petersham, Mass.)
The impact of grazing animals on the composition of vegetation has been extensively studied in domestic animals and in some past species, such as deer and rabbit. In the rain forests of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean),...