dirk hr spennemann

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Environmental Management

Publications by Dirk HR Spennemann
 

 

in press
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & M. John Head (in press) Diachronic changes in the water budget of Fanga 'Uta lagoon, Tongatapu (Tonga, South Pacific): evidence of d13C values in marine shells. Quarternary Geochronology (Quarternary Science Reviews) 17, pp. 1047-1056.

The chronology of the Lapita sites on Tongatapu rests on two bases: a seriation of form and ornament attributes of pottery, and the absolute chronology as determined by radiocarbon dates. Both systems were in disagreement casting doubt on the reliability of the pottery seriation. A re-analysis of the pottery seriation showed this system to be robust. The enclosed nature of the lagoon of Tongatapu, coupled with the dissolution of fossil limestone creates a water reservoir with an apparent age greater than the apparent age provided by the open ocean. A lagoon specific reservoir correction factor was measured using pre-modern reference shells with known dates of collection. When the radiometric dates are corrected using this factor, both chronologies, pottery seriation and radiometric dates are in perfect agreement.

 

 

   
2004
Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2004) The occurrence of owls in the Marshall Islands. Notornis vol. 51, n? 3, pp. 147-151

Short-eared Owls Asio flammeus are capable of crossing long stretches of open water and have been successful colonisers of islands. In the Central Pacific two established populations (on Hawai'i and on Pohnpei in Micronesia) seem to be the foci of repeated dispersal events. The paper reviews the historic and linguistic record for the occurrence of short-eared owls on the scattered atolls of the Marshall Islands, the easternmost group of Micronesia.

Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2004) The June 1846 Eruption of Fonualei Volcano, Tonga. An Historical Analysis. Johnstone Centre Report n? 196. Albury, N.S.W. : The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University.

An analysis of the various historic records of the June 1846 volcanic eruption of Fonualei, Tonga. The report draws on missionary accounts as well as whaler’s logbooks to reconstruct the felt area of the eruption and the dimensions of the ash plume.

 

 

   
2002
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. and Wiles, Gary J. (2002) A historical attempt to control flying foxes in Samoa with an introduced disease. Australian Mammalogy. vol. 23, pp. 177-179,

The paper discusses the introduction of avian cholera (haemorrhagic septicemia) to control a fruit bat population affecting fruit tree plantations during the German colonial period of Samoa. The history of the event and the mid-term and long term effects are discussed and compared with other known disease outbreaks among flying fox populations.

 

 

2000
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Allen, L. Richard (2000) Feral olives (Olea europaea) as a future woody weeds in Australia. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 40(6), pp. 889-901.

The recent thrust to develop an Australian olive industry has resulted in the wide-spread planting of olive (Olea europaea europaea) orchards. In some places such as the Adelaide hills, feral olives have become established as a major environmental weed. This paper reviews the international literature on the cultivation of olives with particular reference to reports on the activity of vertebrate (principally avian) olive predators and their potential as vectors for spreading this plant into Australian remnant bushland. The effects of feralisation on the olive plant which enhance its capacity for dispersal as a weed, control of olives as woody weeds and obligations of olive producers to the future are discussed.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Allen, L. Richard (2000) The avian dispersal of olives Olea europaea: Implications for Australia. Emu 100(4), pp. 264-273.

Around the Mediterranean olives are an important food source for birds, and are now emerging as a significant component of the diet of some Australian frugivores. Attempts over the past 200 years to establish an olive oil industry in Australia have led to many neglected olive groves which have become havens for frugivorous birds. Worldwide, olives have proved to be a successful invader of disturbed lands, with birds as the principal seed vectors. A proliferation of new olive orchards in the 1990s and the effect of naturalisation on the size of olive drupes has the potential, with help from the avian fauna, to accelerate the dispersal of this woody weed in Australia.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998 [2000]) Japanese economic exploitation of Central Pacific Atoll seabird populations 1898-1915. Pacific Studies Vol. 21(1/2), pp. 1-41.

At the turn of the century Japanese feather collectors visited most isolated atolls of the Central Pacific Ocean. The bird populations of these atolls were decimated to supply the demand of the market for exotic feathers created by the European fashion industry. This paper reviews the history and dimensions of the feather trade in the Central Pacific and describes the responses of the affected nations.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Allen, L. Richard (2000) From cultivar to weed: the spread of olives in Australia. Olivae 82, pp. 44-56.

Paper discussing the weed potential of cultivated olives in Australia.
Also published in French, Italian and Spanish editions.
De l'olivier cultive a l'olivier sauvage: la diffusion des oliviers en Australie. Olivae (Edition Française) 82, pp. 44-56.
Il passagio dall'olivo selvatico all'olivo domestico: la progazione dell'oliva in Australia. Olivae (Edizzione Italiana) 82, pp. 44-56.
De olivo cultivado al asilvestrado: la diffusion del olivo en Australia. Olivae (Edici´n Espa&nntilde;ola) 82, pp. 44-56.

 

 

1999
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998[1999]) Excessive harvesting of Pacific seabird populations at the turn of the 20th century. Marine Ornithology 26: 49-57.

At the turn of the century, the uninhabited atolls of the Central Pacific were visited by Japanese feather and plumage collectors, whose actions devastated the bird populations. An assessment of the historic record shows that between 1897 and 1914 over 3.5 million seabirds were killed in the Central Pacific in the name of fashion. While the populations have recovered on some atolls, other islands do not show the original species diversity. Today the survival of the breeding colonies is again threatened as changing global climatic conditions bring about an increased chance that the remaining populations on the generally very low-lying atolls could come under threat from typhoons and storm surges, rather than the anthropogenic disasters of the past. Yet, without knowledge of the historic developments the current distribution of some species could not be understood.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1999) Exploitation of bird plumages in the German Mariana Islands. Micronesica Vol. 31(2), pp. 309-318.

At the turn of the century, the uninhabited atolls of the Central Pacific were visited by Japanese feather and plumage collectors, whose actions devastated the bird populations. An assessment of the historic record shows that between 1897 and 1914 over 3.5 million seabirds were killed in the Central Pacific in the name of fashion. While the populations have recovered on some atolls, other islands do not show the original species diversity. Today the survival of the breeding colonies is again threatened as changing global climatic conditions bring about an increased chance that the remaining populations on the generally very low-lying atolls could come under threat from typhoons and storm surges, rather than the anthropogenic disasters of the past. Yet, without knowledge of the historic developments the current distribution of some species could not be understood.

 

 

1998
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) Japanese poaching and the enforcement of German souvereignty in the Marshall Islands. Journal of Pacific History 38(1), pp. 51-67.

In the first decade of the 20th century Japanese plumage hunters visited many of the uninhabited Central Pacific atolls depleting the local bird populations. When a group of Marshallese engaged in traditional birding surprised a group of Japanese on remote Bokak Atoll in 1909, the German colonial administrator was forced to deal with the issue without guidance from Berlin. This paper describes the events and reviews the German actions in the light of similar incidents in Hawaii.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) History and Ecology: Early 20th century Exploitation of Seabirds on Pacific Atolls in: Allan Curtis and Lynda Wilson (eds), The Johnstone Centre 1998 Workshop Abstracts. Johnstone Centre Report no. 123. Albury, NSW: The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. p. 47.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) A note on a 19th century sighting of a ground-dwelling bird on Bokak, the northernmost atoll of the Marshall Islands. Corella 17(1), pp. 44-45.

The paper reviews archival evidence on the 19th century sighting of a flightless bird, presumably a rail or megapode species, on Bokak Atoll, Marshall Islands.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) The effects of the 1871-72 earthquakes on the Southern Riverina. An overview of historical and anecdotal data. Johnstone Centre Report 102. Albury, N.S.W. : The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) Nathan Cobb's Laboratory Conservation and Interpretation Project. The spread of olives (Olea sp.) on Wagga Wagga Campus. I. Biology and History. Johnstone Centre Report no. 100. Albury, NSW: The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) Nathan Cobb's Laboratory Conservation and Interpretation Project. The spread of olives (Olea sp.) on Wagga Wagga Campus. II. Distances, rate and vectors of seed dispersal. Johnstone Centre Report no. 101. Albury, NSW: The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University.

 

 

1997
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1997) A Holocene sea-level history for Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga. in: Alan M. Sherwood, Russell Howorth and Peter Rodda (eds), Coastal and Environmental Geoscience Studies of the Southwest Pacific Islands, Suva, Fiji: South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission Technical Bulletin 9, pp. 115-153.

A Holocene sea-level history for Tongatapu is presented which is based on the compilation of previously published data on the emergence of coral reefs and on the results of recently conducted fieldwork on the species composition and shell size distribution of molluscs over time. Because the dates on the corals represent death ages, they can only provide a terminus post quem for the drop in sealevel and cannot be used for a detailed reconstruction of the sealevel history in the times thereafter. The molluscs contained in archaeological shell-middens, however, provide a record of the nature and extent of environmental change on Tongatapu since human settlement, i.e. over the past 3500 years. This study is complemented by the analysis of transects of soil profiles and an assessment of the topography of a former lagoonal entrance.
Based on radiocarbon dates on emerged corals and on buried sand beaches, this study has been able to confirm Taylor's (1978) assessment of a Holocene sealevel maximum of at least 2.2 m above present MSL. Wave solution notches suggest that a sealevel maximum of as much as 3.7 m above MSL is possible. The rising Holocene sealevel attained a level equal to the present level before 7000 cal BP and reached its maximum (2.2 m above present) by about 7000 cal BP (see Appendix 2 for conventions of dates). During the Holocene sealevel maximum, Tongatapu possessed a large open bay with some islets in its entrance. With a drop in relative sealevel these islets merged and formed the present Nuku'alofa peninsula, effectively cutting off the western part of the bay from the sea and creating the present inner lagoon. Based on the evidence of the coral dates it can be shown that this closure occurred at 7000 cal BP at the low-tide level, and, based on the evidence of the shell dates, that the former bay was cut off at the high-tide level by about 2500 cal BP.
While sealevel had been rising rapidly until 6600 BP due to eustatic change, the isostatic rebound over the past 6000 years seems to have been gradual. Detailed investigations of the size and composition of shells within and below several archaeological shell middens show that while the overall trend was linear, sealevel adjustment apparently happened in an oscillating manner, causing fluctuating flushing conditions within the bay.
Some evidence for a sealevel highstand during the Holocene and a subsequent negative adjustment can be noted on other islands of the Tongan chain, which show different tectonic histories during the Quaternary. In conjunction with the lack of any conclusive evidence for coseismic emergence on Tongatapu, it seems that the Holocene sealevel change on Tongatapu is due to isostatic rebound.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1997) Distribution of rat species on the atolls of the Marshall Islands: Past and present dispersal. Atoll Research Bulletin 445, pp. 1-8.

The paper reviews the evidence for past and present dispersal of rats (Rattus exulans, R. rattus and R. norvegicus) in the Marshall Islands. The introduction of R. rattus to various atolls can be traced to the military developments of World War II, mainly the construction of jetties.
  

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1997) On the origin of drift materials in the Marshall Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 444, pp. 1-8.

The oceanic dispersal of plants and animals has been the focus of some studies ever since organised natural history started in the Pacific, and the dispersal by sea rafting has been given due consideration. The finding of drift materials such as glass floats, tree trunks and seeds, is a common occurrence on the shores of Pacific Islands, but in most cases the origin of that material is unknown or at least equivocal. Thus while the principle of sea rafted dispersal is known and reported at length, there is a need to document those occasions where positive proof of origin can be furnished.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1997) Geomorphological survey of Taroa Island, Maloelap Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. in: Adams, William, H., Ross, Richard, E., Krause, Elisabeth, L. and Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (eds), Micronesian Resources Study, Marshall Islands Archaeology. The Japanese Airbase on Taroa Island, Republic of the Marshall Islands, 1937-1945: an evaluation of World War II Remains., San Francisco, Calif. : Micronesian Endowment for Historic Preservation, US National Park Service. Pp. 107-127.

As part of the Micronesian Cultural Resources study a brief geomorphological survey was carried out on Taroa Island, Maloelap Atoll, to assess the rate of shoreline modification and the implications on the management of cultural heritage sites. Drawing on data derived from physical survey work in 1989 and historic data provided by the bomb target maps and aerial photographs taken by US forces during World War II it was found that substantial shoreline change had occurred at the lagoonal side of Taroa and the ocean side of Eoon-epje, and islet south of Taroa, now joined by a causeway. The construction of the causeway as part of the Japanese base development was seen as causal to the erosion because the curtrent patterns had changed with the closure of the former reef channel between Taroa and Eoon-epje.v

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Allen, L. Richard (1997) Investigation into vertebrate vectors dispersing olives (Olea europaea). Frugivory Updates Vol. 8.

Allen, L.Richard & Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1997) Woodland birds - woodland weed vectors? in: Birds Australia 1997 Congress ' Birds and woodlands' Charles Sturt University Albury NSW 4 & 5 October 1997.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1997) Unsustainable harvesting of Pacific seabird populations at the turn of the 20th century in: Conference Abstracts, ESA 97 1997 Conference, 1-3 October, 1997. Charles Sturt University, Albury,. Pp. 87.

At present much discussion occurs on the reduction of sea bird populations caused by the destruction of breeding habitats due to resource exploitation and development. On the small islands of the Central Pacific sea bird habitats are threatened by climate-change induced variations of cyclone patterns and sea-levels. At the turn of the century the single most serious threat to the survival of these birds occurred in the form of plumage hunters who stripped several islands bare of their bird populations, killing millions of sea birds in the spate of less than a decade. Some of these populations recovered, while others succumbed to continued pressure due to (military) development.

 

 

 

1996
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1996) Gifts from the waves. A case of marine transport of obsidian to Nadikdik Atoll and the occurrence of other drift material in the Marshall Islands. Johnstone Centre of Parks, Recreation and Heritage Report Vol. 23. Johnstone Centre of Parks, Recreation and Heritage, Charles Sturt University: Albury, NSW
  
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1996) The presence of Varanus indicus on the atolls of the Marshall Islands. Johnstone Centre of Parks, Recreation and Heritage, Charles Sturt University. WWW document URL: http://life.csu.edu.au/~dspennem/RMI/Varanus_indicus.html
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Head, M. John (1996) Reservoir modification of radiocarbon signatures in coastal and near-shore waters of Eastern Australia: the state of play. Quarternary Australasia 14(1), 32-39.

Oceanic processes (incl. chemical, physical and biological) The radiocarbon (14C) activity of an ocean water sample varies at any given point in time and space depending on the concentration of surface air (CO2) absorbed into the seawater in relation to 14C -depleted deep ocean waters brought to the surface by currents and upwelling. The carbon precipitated by marine organisms (corals/shell) reflects this 14C activity, and returns an apparent older age. Local inshore effects, such as terrestrial run off or input of 14C-depleted ground water, as well as offshore influences such as localised currents, have been shown to influence the determinations. Unless sub-regional correction factors are developed as based on a series of systematic studies, the present practice of age determinations maybe result in misleading interpretation of data

 

 

1995
Franke, Bernd, R.Schupfner, H.Schüttelkopf and Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1995) Transuranics in bone of deceased former residents of Rongelap Atoll, Marshall Islands. In: 'Plutonium in the Environment' Journal of Applied Radiation and Isotopes 46 (11), 1253-1258.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & M. John Head (1995) Diachronic changes in the water budget of Fanga Uta Lagoon, Tongatapu, Tonga (South Pacific): evidence of d13C values in marine shells Paper presented at the 2nd ANZ Meeting on Quarternary Dating, 1-3 February 1995, Australian National University, Canberra.

Stable carbon isotope ratios in marine shells depend on the amount of non-marine carbon precipitated by the shells. Shells from Tongatapu were found to fluctuate in the delat-13C values. The data are shown to be useful tools to assess the water budget of Fanga 'Uta Lagoon

 

 

1994
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1994) On the diet of pigs foraging on mudflats on Tongatapu: an investigation in taphonomy. Archaeology in New Zealand 37(2), 104-110.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Ian Marschner (1994) Stormy Years. On the association between the El Niño/Southern oscillation phenomenon and the ocurence of typhoons in the Marshall Islands. Report to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region IX, San Francisco. Johnstone Centre for Parks, Recreation and Heritage Report No 9. The Johnstone Centre for Parks, Recreation and Heritage, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW., 1994.
       
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & David W. Look (1994) Impact of tropical vegetation on historical cultural resources. A photographic case study from the Marshall Islands. The Johnstone Centre for Parks, Recreation and Heritage Report No 18. The Johnstone Centre for Parks, Recreation and Heritage, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW., 1994.
 

 

1993
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1993) Toorlok Bok-Predictions of environmental, economical, social and cultural impacts of a potential rise in relative sea-level on the atolls of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia. In S.Burgin (es.), Climate Change: Implications for Natural Resource Conservation. University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Occasional Papers in Biological Sciences 1. Richmond, NSW: University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury. Pp.185-251.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1993) On the 239/240Pu and 242Pu content of the Majuro Control Sample. The origin of the control sample used in the determination of transuranic elements in exhumed bones from deceased residents of Rongelap Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Johnstone Centre for Parks Recreation and Heritage Report nª 2. The Johnstone Centre of Parks, Recreation and Heritage, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW.
 

 

1992
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1992)Wotje Atoll. Its geography, natural and cultural history . Independent Nationwide Radiological Survey Background Study Nº 34. Majuro: Historic Preservation Office.
 

 

1990
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. Gerry Byrne and Lloyd H. Belz (1990) An outline of the potential impacts of greenhouse gas generated climatic change and projected sea-level rise on Tongatapu, Kingdom of Tonga. With special emphasis on the Nuku'alofa township area. In: G.Pernetta & P.J.Hughes (eds.), Implications of expected climate changes in the South Pacific region: an overview. United Nations Environmental Programme Regional Seas Reports & Studies Series Vol. 128, 1990, 161-192.


This document forms part of the hypertext curriculum vitaeof Dr. Dirk H.R. Spennemann (Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia). If you arrived at this page through a search engine you may wish to call up http://csusap.csu.edu.au/~dspennem which will link you to the top of the frame-based CV.