The official Story of Sugar deploys an armada of Austronesians to transport sugar cane across the Wallace Line.
Make-Believe: New Guinea
The mainstream has decided that ground zero for the domestication of sugar cane “probably” occurred in New Guinea about 6,000 years ago.
Saccharum officinarum was first domesticated in New Guinea and the islands east of the Wallace Line by Papuans, where it is the modern center of diversity.
Beginning at around 6,000 BP they were selectively bred from the native Saccharum robustum.
Sugarcane prehistory apparently occurred across a vast area of Southeast Asia including the Malayan Archipelago, New Guinea, India, and some of the island groups of Melanesia.
The preponderance of evidence indicates that domestication of sugarcane probably occurred in New Guinea with the selection of S. officinarum from the wild species S. robustum…
The Gene Pool of Saccharum Species and Their Improvement
A H Paterson, P H Moore, T L Tew – 2012
Genomics of the Saccharinae – Editor: A H Paterson
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AT9ORFG
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AT9ORFG
This species are indigenous to New Guinea
-It is a wild species & grows along river banks
-It is believed to be ancestral species of Saccharum officinarum
-The stalks are long, thick and is vigorous growing perennial (upto 10 m)
-It is rich in fibre and poor in sugar content
-It not suitable for agricultural production
-It is famous for it’s hardiness
-It is used for fencing
Agri-Times: In The Zone – Saccharum robustum
The narrative relies upon the aquatically adventurous agrarian Austronesians to hybridised and transport sugar cane to [amongst many other places] China, India, and Madagascar.
From New Guinea it spread westwards to Island Southeast Asia after contact with Austronesians, where it hybridized with Saccharum spontaneum.
Saccharum spontaneum (wild sugarcane) is a grass native to the Indian Subcontinent.
The narrative is obliged to employs an armada of Sugar Cane Shippers because it’s said only Asiatic species are found West of the Wallace Line.
Saccharum officinarumwas first domesticated in New Guinea and the islands east of the Wallace Line by Papuans, where it is the modern center of diversity.
The Wallace Line or Wallace’s Line is a faunal boundary line drawn in 1859 by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and named by English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley that separates the ecozones of Asia and Wallacea, a transitional zone between Asia and Australia.
West of the line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origin is present.
In fact the situation is far more complex.
A plethora of lines drawn by naturalists have defined Wallacea as a group of islands [with a surprising and unexplained population of 1,500 endemic species] that are wedged between the Asian and Australian continental shelves.
Wallacea is a biogeographical designation for a group of mainly Indonesian islands separated by deep-water straits from the Asian and Australian continental shelves.
Although the distant ancestors of Wallacea’s plants and animals may have been from Asia or Australia-New Guinea, Wallacea is home to many endemic species.
According to Conservation International, Wallacea is home to over 10,000 plant species, of which approximately 1,500 are endemic.
The geology of Wallacea also surprises specialists.
Located in the western Pacific Ocean near Indonesia, the Molucca Sea Plate has been classified by scientists as a fully subducted microplate that is part of the Molucca Sea Collision Complex.
The Molucca Sea Plate represents the only known example of divergent double subduction (DDS), which describes the subduction on both sides of a single oceanic plate.
In the Story of Sugar the mainstream studiously avoids referencing the Disjunct Distribution of other species for information and ideas.
In biology, a taxon with a disjunct distribution is one that has two or more groups that are related but considerably separated from each other geographically.
The causes are varied and might demonstrate either the expansion or contraction of a species range.
The Disjunct Distribution of Dipodium paludosum supports the suggestion that the expansion of the Sunda Plate caused the fragmentation of Greater India that [ultimately] wedged Wallacea between the Asian and Australian continental shelves.
Dipodium, commonly known as hyacinth orchids, is a genus of about forty species of orchids native to tropical, subtropical and temperate regions of south-east Asia, New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and Australia. It includes both terrestrial and climbing species, some with leaves and some leafless, but all with large, often colourful flowers on tall flowering stems.
Dipodium paludosum is an terrestrial orchid species that is native to south-east Asia. It occurs in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo.
The Sunda Plate is a minor tectonic plate straddling the equator in the eastern hemisphere on which the majority of Southeast Asia is located.
The Disjunct Distribution of Rhynchosia minima supports the suggestion that the expansion of the Sunda Plate caused the fragmentation of Greater India.
Rhynchosia minima also suggests the landmass wedged between the Asian and Australian continental shelves involves more than the designated Wallacea islands.
Rhynchosia minima is a species of flowering plant in the legume family known by the common names least snout-bean, burn-mouth-vine, and jumby-bean.
It can be found on every continent.
The Disjunct Distribution of Caryodaphnopsis Airy Shaw suggests the expansion of the Sunda Plate is associated with the opening of the Pacific Ocean.
Caryodaphnopsis is a genus of 16 species belonging to the flowering plant family Lauraceae, distributed in tropical areas in southern North America, northern South America, and East and Southeast Asia.
They vary from 50-m-high trees to small trees or shrubs in lowland evergreen forest and rainforest.
The genus is distributed across the Pacific, with a marked geographical disjunction between Southeast Asia (South China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines) and tropical America (Costa Rica to Brazil, crossing Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela).
And the Disjunct Distribution of Saccharum officinarum suggests the Marquesas Islands were a divergent point of departure sometime between 400 and 500 CE.
The Kingdom of Funan was “destroyed” at the Arabian Horizon.
I guess the mainstream forgot to mention the Sugar Cane Shippers used a fleet of Noah’s Arks full of flora and fauna destined for Disjunct Distribution around the globe.
One of the more ambitious Austronesian adventure stories involves “successive waves” of migrants surviving the [at a minimum] 6,000 kilometre journey across the Indian Ocean in “outrigger canoes” with sufficient supplies and shelter for themselves and a cargo of sugar cane.
Personally, I favour the Disjunct Distribution by Migrating Landmasses because it’s not a question of “if” but “when?” and “where?”.