The Forest on the Peninsula: Impacts, Uses and Perceptions of a Colonial Legacy in Cyprus

  • O. L. PescottEmail author
  • S. E. Harris
  • J. M. Peyton
  • M. Onete
  • A. F. Martinou
  • J. O. Mountford
Part of the Environmental History book series (ENVHIS, volume 8)


Throughout history the values and meanings attached to habitats and species in particular places have seen considerable change. Such shifts in perspective are of particular relevance to the biology of invasions, with human attention and values often determining both the initial movement of species around the world, and the decision that subsequent independent spread should be considered damaging to the environment. This chapter examines such a case for the Akrotiri peninsula, Cyprus, where a particular colonial story about the degraded state of the environment, and the need to combat malaria, led to the introduction of various Australian trees for sanitation and other purposes. Today, some of these non-native species are considered invasive, and are having impacts on valued wetland habitats on the peninsula. We use archival research to investigate the changes in policy towards these habitats and the non-native species that affect them, and field research to describe the ecological context. Our study illustrates the complex interactions between ideas, practical aims, and values that lie behind the planned and invaded habitats at Akrotiri.


Invasive non-native species Alien species Colonialism Acacia saligna Eucalyptus 



We thank C. S. Christodoulou, Simon Pooley, Chris Preston, Ana Isabel Queiroz and Ioannis Vogiatzakis for useful comments on the text. JOM and JMP thank COST Action TD1209 Alien Challenge for funding their Short Term Scientific Mission to Cyprus; we also thank this COST Action for funding image reproduction and licensing. OLP thanks NERC CEH Wallingford for a Learning & Development award to fund his participation, and A.-M. Catterall (Druce-Fielding Herbarium, University of Oxford) and H. Alexander (UK National Archives) for their assistance. We would also like to thank all of those who helped us at Akrotiri, including Capt. G. Bullivant (JSHU), P. Charilaou (AEEC), G. Hadjikyriakou, and N. Andreou (JSHU).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. L. Pescott
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. E. Harris
    • 2
  • J. M. Peyton
    • 1
  • M. Onete
    • 3
  • A. F. Martinou
    • 4
  • J. O. Mountford
    • 1
  1. 1.NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) WallingfordWallingfordUK
  2. 2.Eastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Biology Bucharest, Romanian AcademyBucharestRomania
  4. 4.Joint Services Health Unit (JSHU)AkrotiriCyprus

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