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The columbian exchange is the transfer—both intentional and unintentional—of biological material across the Atlantic. It began with the first voyage of Christopher Columbus from Europe to the Americas in 1492. This voyage initiated a process that continues to this day, linking the ecosystems of the Americas with those of the rest of the world.

The term Columbian exchange was coined by the historian Alfred W. Crosby in his 1972 book, The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, which advanced Crosby's claim that “the most important changes brought on by the Columbian voyages were biological in nature.”

Some species, such as domesticated plants and animals, were intentionally introduced with dramatic consequences. For example, sugar, which was domesticated in Asia, transformed the ecosystems of the West Indies ...

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