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About this book
About this book
Fire is pivotal to the functioning of ecosystems in Australia, affecting the distribution and abundance of the continent's unique and highly diverse range of plants and animals. Conservation of this natural biodiversity therefore requires a good understanding of scientific processes involved in the action of fire on the landscape. This book provides a synthesis of current knowledge in this area and its application in contemporary land management.
Central to the discussion is an exploration of the concept of the fire regime - the cumulative pattern of fires and their individual characteristics (fire type, frequency, intensity and season) - and its interactions with biodiversity. Contributions by thirty-two leading experts cover a broad sweep of topics, including prehistory, future climate change, fire behaviour, modelling of temporal and spatial patterns, plant and animal life-cycles, case studies of major ecosystems, and management policies and systems.
First published in 2001.
Preface; Part I. Past and Future: 1. A history of fire in Australia A. Peter Kershaw, James S. Clark, A. Malcolm Gill and D. M. D'Costa; 2. Importance of a changing climate for fire regimes in Australia Geoffrey J. Cary; Part II. Fire Regimes and Life Histories: 3. Fire properties and burn patterns in heterogeneous landscapes Wendy Catchpole; 4. Fire regimes in landscapes: models and realities Michael A. McCarthy and Geoffrey J. Cary; 5. Critical life cycles of plants and animals - developing a process-based understanding of population changes in fire-prone landscapes Robert J. Whelan, Louise Rodgerson, Chris R. Dickman and Elizabeth F. Sutherland; 6. Spatial variability in fire regimes: its effects on recent and past vegetation James S. Clark, A. Malcolm Gill and A. Peter Kershaw; Part III. Ecosystems: Grasslands: 7. Fire regimes in the Spinifex landscapes of Australia Grant Allan and Richard Southgate; 8. The role of fire regimes in temperate lowland grasslands of south-eastern Australia Ian D. Lunt and John W. Morgan; Part IV. Ecosystems: Shrublands: 9. Fire regimes in Australian heathlands and their effects on plants and animals David A. Keith, W. Lachie McCaw and Robert J. Whelan; 10. Fires regimes and biodiversity in semi-arid mallee ecosystems Ross A. Bradstock and Janet S. Cohn; 11. Fire regimes in Acacia wooded landscapes: effects on functional processes and biodiversity Ken C. Hodgkinson; Part V. Ecosystems: Woodlands: 12. Fire regimes and biodiversity in the savannahs of northern Australia Richard J. Williams, Anthony D. Griffiths and Grant Allan; 13. Fire regimes and their effects in Australian temperate woodlands Richard Hobbs; Part VI. Ecosystems: Forests: 14. Fire regimes and fire management of rainforest communities across northern Australia Jeremy Russell-Smith and Peter Stanton; 15. Fire regimes and biodiversity of forested landscapes of southern Australia A. Malcolm Gill and Peter C. Catling; Part VII. Applications: 16. Fire regimes in semi-arid and tropical pastoral lands: managing biological diversity and ecosystem function James C. Noble and Anthony C. Grice; 17. Fire management and biodiversity conservation - key approaches and principles David A. Keith, Jann E. Williams and John C. Z. Woinarski; Part VII. Conclusions: 18. Fire regimes and biodiversity: legacy and vision A. Malcolm Gill, Ross A. Bradstock and Jann E. Williams; Index.
Ross Bradstock is Principal Research Scientist in the Biodiversity Research Group of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. He has studied the fire ecology of plant populations for nearly two decades and is currently engaged in studies of the nature and management of fire regimes in conservation reserves, including the application of policy and adaptive systems of fire management for biodiversity conservation. He has edited two books dealing with landscape and biodiversity conservation. Jann Williams is Senior Fellow in the Department of Geospatial Science at RMIT University. Her career to date has provided experience in both research and policy related to natural resource management. Her scientific interests include fire ecology and management, climate change impacts and environmental weeds, with a focus on tree-dominated systems. She is co-editor of Eucalypt Ecology (1997) and is currently President of the Ecological Society of Australia. Malcolm Gill has recently retired from the position of Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry. His research career has spanned many aspects of fire ecology, fire behaviour and fire management in a range of Australian ecosystems. He was the lead editor of the first anthology on Australian fire ecology, Fire and the Australian Biota (1981) and author of a variety of seminal papers on fire ecology which cemented the concept of the fire regime as a central tenet of the discipline.
462 pages, Bw photos, figs, tabs, maps
Review of the hardback: '... this book will become an invaluable reference for the current and next generation of scholars and practitioners with a stake in understanding and managing the world's most fire-prone continent.' Journal of Biogeography