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Flammable Australia: Fire Regimes, Biodiversity and Ecosystems in a Changing World

By: Ross A Bradstock(Editor), A Malcom Gill(Editor), Richard J Williams(Editor)

333 pages, colour & b/w illustrations, tables


Paperback | Feb 2012 | #200344 | ISBN-13: 9780643104822
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £74.50 $96/€82 approx

About this book

In Flammable Australia: Fire Regimes, Biodiversity and Ecosystems in a Changing World, leading researchers in fire ecology and management discuss how fire regimes have shaped and will continue to shape the distribution and abundance of Australia’s highly diverse plants and animals. Central to this is the exploration of the concept of the fire regime – the cumulative pattern of fires and their individual characteristics (fire type, frequency, intensity, season) and how variation in regime components affects landscapes and their constituent biota.

Contributions by 44 authors explore a wide range of topics including classical themes such as pre-history and evolution, fire behaviour, fire regimes in key biomes, plant and animal life cycles, remote sensing and modelling of fire regimes, and emerging issues such as climate change and fire regimes, carbon dynamics and opportunities for managing fire regimes for multiple benefits.

In the face of significant global change, the conservation of our native species and ecosystems requires an understanding of the processes at play when fires and landscapes interact. This book provides a comprehensive treatment of this complex science, in the context of one of the world’s most flammable continents.

Please note: despite the similarities of the title to the 2009 book Flammable Australia from Cambridge University Press with the same editors, this is a new book with new content.

"Flammable Australia covers it all: fuel and habitat, fire frequency before and after European settlement and before and after global climate change; the effect on plants, animals, human communities, even fungi."
- Nick Goldie, Summit Sun, March 29 2012


Evolution and prehistory
1 The prehistory of fire in Australasia
2 Fire regimes and the evolution of the Australian biota

3 Fuel, fire weather and fire behaviour in Australian ecosystems
4 Measuring and monitoring of contemporary fire regimes in Australia using satellite remote sensing
5 Functional traits: their roles in understanding and predicting biotic responses to fire regimes from individuals to landscapes
6 Fire regimes and soil-based ecological processes: implications for biodiversity
7 Global change and fire regimes in Australia

8 Fire regimes in Australian tropical savanna: perspectives, paradigms and paradoxes
9 Fire regimes in arid hummock grasslands and Acacia shrublands
10 Fire regimes in Australian sclerophyllous shrubby ecosystems: heathlands, heathy woodlands and mallee woodlands
11 Bushfires and biodiversity in southern Australian forests
12 How do fire regimes affect ecosystem structure, function and diversity in grasslands and grassy woodlands of southern Australia?

New challenges
13 Fire regimes and carbon in Australian vegetation
14 A revolution in northern Australian fire management: recognition of Indigenous knowledge, practice and management
15 Future fire regimes of Australian ecosystems: new perspectives on enduring questions of management


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Ross A Bradstock leads a research team that is devoted to understanding how people can co-exist with fire in a sustainable manner. He has special research interests in the field of climate change and landscape modelling, in order to improve the way fire regimes are managed in the future. He has published widely on fire ecology and fire management and has been influential in the development of fire policy in Australia.

A Malcolm Gill began his research career in fire ecology in the early 1960s. He has published widely on fire ecology, fire behaviour and fire management with many Australian and international colleagues. He retired from CSIRO after a career spanning more than 30 years and is currently a Research Fellow at the Australian National University where he is engaged on projects dealing with climate change, biodiversity and human risk. He received an Order of Australia in 1999 for his service to the scientific research on fire.

Richard J Williams has researched and lectured in plant ecology for 30 years. He is currently leading research projects on fire regimes and biodiversity and fire regimes and carbon in both tropical and temperate Australia. He has co-edited two books and several journal special issues on fire ecology and management, is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Wildland Fire and Plant Ecology, and is a past Member of the Bushfires Council of the Northern Territory.

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