South African eucalypts: Health, trees, and atmospheres in the colonial contact zone
Article by Rune Flikke.
In the article Rune Flikke is outlining a hitherto neglected field of study regarding alien species in South Africa.
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By combining historians’ and geographers’ work on introduced species and landscape alterations in the Cape Colony during the latter half of the nineteenth century with work by medical historians, Rune Flikke intends to show that there is a considerable overlap in these studies. Two topics surface regularly in work on the trans-oceanic movement of alien species to South Africa: the economic rationale and the transfer of trees and plants as landscape modifiers. The writer wants to expand these accounts along with historical medical discourses in order to argue that tree planting in general, and the introduction of eucalyptus in particular, was also pitched as a public health initiative that viewed health as directly determined by air quality.