Pioneer settlers see landscapes in terms of commodities.  This meant something else as well: it treated members of an ecosystem as isolated and extractable units. Explorers describing a new countryside with an eye to its mercantile possibilities all too easily fell into this way of looking at things, so that their descriptions often degenerated into little more than lists.
Martin Pring's account of the trees of Martha's Vineyard illustrates this tendency:
As for Trees the Country yeeldeth Sassafras a plant of sove-reigne vertue for the French Poxe, and as some of late have learnedly written good against the Plague and many other Maladies; Vines, Cedars, Okes, Ashes, Beeches, Birch trees, Cherie trees bearing fruit whereof wee did eate, Hasels, Wichhasels, the best wood of all other to make Sope-ashes withall, walnut-trees, Maples, holy to make Bird lime with, and a kinde of tree bearing a fruit like a small red Peare-plum.
A Voyage Set Out from the Citie of Bristoll, 1603