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Australia Burning; Flammable Australia; *Many Peoples* who got called Australian Aborigines

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  • Jason Stewart
    G day and Dear all, Critically important scholarly quoted message(s) here, in any regards to this continent Oz, called Australia. /On Linda s previous message:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 4, 2010
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      G'day and Dear all,

      Critically important scholarly quoted message(s) here, in any regards to this
      continent Oz, called Australia.

      /On Linda's previous message: Yes! Grossly unbalanced.
      Racialism–motivated falsehoods, whether you know it or not.
      I have no tolerance for lies, especially racialist lies.
      /End Linda 'correction'!

      References :
      (These three primary sources books amongst many more i have read for examples,
      from cover to cover.)


      Flammable Australia: the fire regimes and biodiversity of a continent
      Ross Andrew Bradstock, Jann Elizabeth Williams, A. M. Gill

      The most up to date comprehensive review of fire ecology of Australia!!


      Together with the equally up-to-date most plain-English summary of the whole
      Australian fire ecology story:
      Bowman, David "Bushfires: A Darwinian Perspective"
      in Geoffrey Cary, David Lindenmayer, Stephen Dovers (2003) Australia burning:
      fire ecology, policy and management issues
      CSIRO Publishing. 280 pp.

      Australia burning: fire ecology, policy and management issues
      Geoffrey Cary, David Lindenmayer, Stephen Dovers

      Quoted below!


      Fire and the Australian Biota
      A. M. Gill, R. H. Groves, I. R. Noble

      end select few example references.


      /On Linda's previous message:
      Racialism IS offensive, and ignorance of it, ignorantly repeating it, is no
      excuse for it.

      At the least you wrote in your prior message here in denial about racialism in
      our Oz, and Peter Andrews written examples i have in writing but do not quote
      not repeat here.
      Peter Andrews and yours here are not scholarly writings on the subject.

      /End Linda confusion, nonsense, bulldust and harm–correction!

      Australians who arrogantly stick our heads out (egotistically), in accord with
      the colonialist-spirit and deny deferring on any subject to
      our-betters-on-that-subject, are the kind of typical European-Australian
      individualist attitudes i'm pinpointing.

      In contrast, scholarly writing... , quoted below:

      Best wishes to all people—all life people.


      Bowman, David "Bushfires: A Darwinian Perspective"
      freely available online, from:
      -> http://www.publish.csiro.au/samples/australiaburningsample.pdf
      A balanced plain English brief summary (a scholarly, AND an uncorrupted one),

      Keywords from Wikipedia for using in reading this:
      * The Tertiary is a term for a geologic period 65 million to 1.8 million years

      * The Pleistocene (pronounced /ˈplaɪstəsiːn/) is the epoch from 2.588 million to
      12,000 years BC covering the world's recent period of repeated cycles
      of glaciations and periods warmer than today.

      * In paleogeography, Gondwana (pronounced /ɡɒndˈwɑːnə/[1][2]),
      originally Gondwanaland, is the name given to the southernmost of two
      precursor supercontinents that came about around 200 Mya in the
      late Mesozoic era as a part of the split of the huge Pangaea supercontinent that
      is believed to have existed from its formation about 500 Mya[3]. Gondwana is
      believed to have undergone its final geological suturing to the Pangaea
      formation between ca. 570 and 510 million years ago (Mya), joining East Gondwana
      to West Gondwana.[4] It later separated from Laurasia180-200 million years
      ago during the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent that existed about 500 to
      200 Ma into two large segments, nearly equal in area.[5] While the corresponding
      northern-hemisphere continent Laurasia moved farther north, Gondwana drifted
      south. It included most of the landmasses in today's southern hemisphere,
      including Antarctica,South America, Africa, Madagascar, Australia-New Guinea,
      and New Zealand, as well as Arabia and the Indian subcontinent, which have now
      moved entirely into the Northern Hemisphere.


      " ©CSIRO 2003
      Bushfires: a Darwinian perspective
      David Bowman

      In the whole country I scarcely saw a place, without the marks of
      fire; whether these may be more or less recent, whether the
      stumps are more or less black, is the greatest change, which
      breaks the universal monotony that wearies the eyes of a
      Charles Darwin, 19 January 1836

      Despite experiencing a bushfire and seeing evidence of them in the
      landscape between Sydney and Bathurst, Charles Darwin’s diary
      shows no evidence that he pondered the ecological significance of
      this quintessentially Australian phenomenon.(1) Indeed, it was not
      until the second half of the 20th century that the fundamental role
      of fire in the dynamics of many Australian terrestrial ecosystems
      was recognised.(2) To this day, the evolutionary path taken by the
      Australian biota to tolerate bushfires, and eventually exploiting fire
      for reproductive advantage, remains poorly understood.(3) Most
      attention has been paid to the possible impacts that followed
      Aboriginal colonisation in the late Pleistocene.(4)
      It is my belief that Australians will continue to be bedevilled by
      bushfire disasters until they have a coherent evolutionary
      perspective on the subject. The quest for this knowledge forms the
      core of my research.(5) I am also deeply aware of the power of stories
      in translating academic knowledge into everyday understanding –
      without a coherent narrative there is just a jumble of facts.(6) The
      purpose of this chapter is to tell a story concerning the relationship
      of fire, people and landscape by interpreting the existing knowledge.
      This is my story of why Australia became the most flammable
      continent on Earth, and how Australians should adapt to life in the
      land of fire.

      In the beginning Gondwana was green
      The Tertiary fossil record of plants and animals, notwithstanding
      its geographic biases and other deficiencies, leaves little doubt that
      Australia was once clothed in a diversity of rainforest types.(7)
      Fossils from the late Pleistocene record a diverse extinct fauna
      characterised by large animals, a contraction of rainforest associated
      with an increase in microscopic charcoal in swamp sediments
      which point to an increase in landscape fire at this time.(8,9) Clearly,
      powerful forces caused the ‘browning’ of a once green fragment of
      The most popular explanation for these massive changes relates
      to the alleged impacts of the first Australians who colonised a
      vulnerable and naïve continent some 40,000 to 60,000 years ago.
      Wielding spears and fire-sticks, the Aborigines are argued to have
      despatched the megafauna in a hunting blitzkrieg, and destroyed
      the rainforests with frequent fires.(11) The subsequent development
      of ‘fire-stick farming’ is thought to have maintained the habitat of
      the smaller marsupials that originally depended upon the openings
      made by the extinct giant marsupials consuming vegetation. Frequent
      burning triggered an evolutionary and ecological expansion of
      flammable plants. In sum, Aboriginal burning created the bushfire
      This is a powerful, compelling narrative that speaks to a
      diversity of concerns including the origins and destiny of modern
      Australians. Furthermore, this story can be interpreted as holding
      out hope of breaking the current bushfire-cycle, ‘undoing’ the
      ecological damage wrought by the first human colonists. Despite
      its brilliance and popularity, I believe it is a flawed story because it
      seeks to compress enormous ecological and evolutionary changes
      into a tiny period of geological time. The great antiquity of the
      archetypal Australian vegetation, dominated by Eucalypts and
      Acacia, has been misjudged and consequently the long history of
      bushfires upon which this vegetation depends has been underes-

      Rainforests – scattered and burnt
      In Australia the term ‘rainforest’ has diverged from the original
      conception of luxuriant forests that develop in drought-free envir-
      onments; indeed some Australian ecologists use the perplexing
      term ‘dry rainforest’. This idiosyncratic terminology has arisen
      because the definition of Australian rainforests hinges not on
      moisture stress, but sensitivity to fire relative to the surrounding
      The archipelago of fire-sensitive fragments of rainforest in a sea
      of flammable vegetation has been interpreted as evidence of the
      tremendous impact of landscape burning by the Pleistocene
      colonists, based on the assumption that the pre-human landscape
      was dominated by rainforest. This interpretation overlooks the
      remarkable diversity of the fire-adapted biota and does not address
      the question of how this ensemble of species evolved.
      The arboretum at Currency Creek in South Australia provides a
      unique opportunity to see archetypal eucalypts such as E. obliqua
      and bizarre eucalypt species growing side-by-side.(14) The many
      forms of Eucalyptus include species with upright needle-like leaves
      (E. angustissima subsp. angustissima from saline sand plains from
      southern WA), spreading habits with remarkably thick leaves (E.
      tetraptera from the Stirling Range of southern WA), massively robust
      woody capsules (E. youngiana from the Great Victoria Desert) and
      tiny capsules (E. dawsonii from the central western slopes of NSW).
      This morphological variation is the tip of the evolutionary iceberg.
      Eucalypt species have dramatically contrasting environmental
      tolerances and geographic ranges including highly restricted distrib-
      utions, and display extraordinarily rich variation in associations
      with plant and animal, particularly invertebrate, species assemblages.(15)
      The convergent evolution of distantly related giant eucalypts
      that require fire to regenerate and that inhabit environments that
      could support true rainforest, were it not for bushfire, is also
      consistent with a long evolutionary history. These include
      mountain ash (E. regnans in south-eastern Australia),
      karri (E. diversicolor in southern WA)
      and flooded gums (E. grandis in eastern Australia).
      While short-lived obligate-seeder plants may have had
      enough generations to evolve under a regime of Aboriginal fire
      management, it is inconceivable that the convergence of longer-
      lived species could have arisen following human colonisation. Even
      if Aboriginal colonisation occurred 60,000 years ago, there have
      only been 200 generations of trees with life spans of 300 years. If
      landscape burning by humans did not trigger the evolution of the
      flammable Australian biota, what did?

      Fire, air, earth and water
      The final stage of the break-up of the super-continent Gondwana
      involved the northwards drift of Australia. Unlike the other southern
      continents, Australia remained isolated from the rest of the world
      for most of its northward journey. The northward migration largely
      offset the cooling involved in the formation of the Antarctic ice-
      sheet. However, a consequence of the formation of the Antarctic
      ice-sheet was the intensification and northward displacement of
      the subtropical high-pressure system, triggering the aridification of
      the continent from the south to the north since the mid-Tertiary.(16)
      Sometime after the mid-Tertiary, a monsoonal climate developed
      innorthern Australia, the depauperate fossil and sedimentary
      deposits precluding more precise determination of its timing.(17)
      Circumstantial evidence, however, points to the great antiquity of
      the monsoonal climate, particularly the refined biological adap-
      tations of the biota of the monsoon tropics. Classic examples of the
      latter from northern Australia are the endemic ‘magnetic’ termite
      mounds, and the abundance of primitive eucalypts in the section
      Eudesmia such as E.tetrodonta and E.miniata and allied species such
      as Allosyncarpia ternata.
      The aridification of Australia combined with the annual pene-
      tration of tropical convection storms, and associated lightning, deep
      into the continental interior stimulated the gradual evolution,
      diversification and geographic expansion of the flammable biota. The
      absence of great rivers or mountain chains meant that there were
      no geographic barriers to check the spread of fires. From the
      monsoonal ‘cradle’, fire-promoting species expanded into higher
      rainfall environments, where lightning was less frequent, gradually
      displacing the Gondwanan rainforests from all but the most fire-
      sheltered habitats. The classic example of this is the dynamic
      balance between the giant mountain ash Eucalyptus regnans and the
      southern beech Nothofagus cunninghamii.(18) In high rainfall areas with
      no topographic shelter from fires, such as southern WA, almost the
      entire rainforest flora and fauna became extinct, being replaced by a
      ‘modern’ fire-adapted biota.(19)
      The sketchy fossil record of the late Tertiary has precluded the
      determination of evolutionary relationships amongst taxa with
      different fire sensitivities. Perhaps these relationships can be
      revealed using molecular techniques to measure the ‘evolutionary’
      distance between fire-adapted and taxonomically related rainforest
      species. For example, I am studying, the phylogeny of the Australian
      Livistona palms, some of which are remarkably fire tolerant (e.g. L.
      humilis) and some of which are not (e.g. L. benthamii).(20)

      Colonising a land of fire
      Although the timing of colonisation remains uncertain, there is no
      doubt Australian human history stretches back to the limit of
      conventional radiocarbon dating (40,000 years ago), possibly
      reaching back to more than 60,000 years ago. The timing of the
      extinction of the Pleistocene faunas is more precisely known,
      having occurred sometime after 40,000 years ago. Combining the
      two sets of geochronological data leaves little doubt that humans
      and the megafauna coexisted, most probably for an extended
      period of time.(21) Because the timing and pattern of human colon-
      isation remains uncertain, it is presently impossible to conclusively
      relate environmental changes detected in the sedimentary record,
      such as increases in microscopic charcoal particles in pollen cores,
      to human or natural causes.
      Unlike the North American situation, there is no direct evidence
      of human predation of the Pleistocene fauna. The loss of a wide
      cross-section of body sizes suggests that over-hunting was not the
      primary cause of the extinctions. An alternative theory suggests
      that anthropogenic changes in fire regimes modified habitats suffi-
      ciently to have disadvantaged browsing animals. The primary
      evidence for this theory rests on the comparison with the extinct
      giant bird Genyornys newtoni which isotopic analyses of eggshells
      show was a browser. In contrast, the surviving emu is shown to
      be a generalist feeder.(22) However, it is uncertain if isotopic
      signatures in fossils can reliably determine differences in habitat
      caused by landscape burning. For this reason I am undertaking a
      study to calibrate this methodology by comparing the isotopic
      signatures of kangaroo teeth from areas in northern Australia
      where fire management is undertaken by Aborigines and adjacent
      unmanaged areas.(23)
      Despite the absence of hard data demonstrating any impact of
      landscape burning by Aboriginal colonists, I suspect colonisation
      was associated with a significant change in vegetation structurefrom
      dense to open understoreys but did not cause an equivalent change
      in the floristic composition of fire-adapted vegetation. Initially
      intensive burning may have also caused the contraction of fire-
      sensitive rainforest patches, but such burning may have conserved
      them, particularly during the high of glacial aridity. I reach these
      conclusions by drawing a parallel between current landscapes
      managed by Aborigines and similar unmanaged areas and by
      assuming an ancient and continuous tradition of Indigenous fire

      Country managed by the fire-stick
      My recent studies in Arnhem Land and those of my student, Tom
      Vigilante, in the north Kimberly have revealed the following three
      key features of Aboriginal landscape burning. First, the major
      ecological impact is the opening up of the vegetation by high
      frequencies of fire that stunt woody species and produces sparse
      loads of fine-fuels. Second, fire intensities are reduced, allowing the
      survival of fire-sensitive species such as the cypress-pine Callitris
      intratropicaand the conservation of vulnerable fragments of rain-
      [snipped, for out of date by more recent evidence and a unusual–for–him rare
      unbalanced part, which Bowman included (25).]
      Regrettably, we cannot undertake similar comprehensive research
      programs in southern Australia because of the dramatic changes that
      have occurred over the last 200 years of settlement. Nonetheless,
      colonial records and allied ecological studies show that at the time of
      European settlement, many landscapes were more open than today
      and were ideal for grazing animals. Since settlement there have been
      marked changes in the distribution and structure of vegetation types
      with a general trend towards increasing densities of trees. The classic
      examples of these changes involve the widespread thickening of
      rangelands, a process that admittedly is confounded by overgrazing
      by introduced herbivores and the El Nino–La Nina climate cycles that
      brings floods and droughts to eastern Australia.(26) In many forest
      types, massive fires such as those in Victoria in 1939 have obliterated
      the evidence of millennia of Aboriginal fire management.(27) It is my
      impression that the current regrowth forests, once mature, will be far
      denser than the original stands, and the associated massive accumu-
      lations of fuel signal a shift from regular low-intensity fires towards a
      cycle of infrequent and catastrophic fires.

      Wild, tame and feral bushfires
      I consider there are three great ages of bushfires in Australia: the pre-
      human, when lightning started massive wildfires and enabled fire-
      adapted species to eventually subordinate the Gondwanan rainforests
      throughout the continent; the Aboriginal, when bushfires were
      tamed; and the post-Aboriginal and the current period, when fire has
      become feral. Different plant and animal species populations were
      advantaged and disadvantaged, in some cases to the point of
      extinction, under the dominant fire regimes characteristic of these
      great ages.
      Under the pre-human fire regime that developed in the late-
      Tertiary, fires were caused by infrequent lightning strikes to create a
      ‘coarse-scale’ mosaic of large areas of vegetation in different stages
      of recovery. This pattern of landscape would have provided habitat
      for a wide diversity of herbivores including browsers and grazers,
      and the extensive fire edges would have supported animals requiring
      a mix of resources. The Aboriginal colonists gradually ‘tamed’
      wildfire as a tool to hunt game, including the extinct megafauna. This
      system of fire usage created mosaics that supported high densities of
      game species adapted to burnt landscapes. Although more research is
      required to test the hypothesis, I suspect that the extinct fauna that
      required long-unburnt habitats, such as the leaf-eating kangaroos
      Sthenurus, Simosthenurus and Procoptodon would have been disad-
      vantaged, and the addition of human hunting pressure may have
      eventually driven such species to extinction.(28) Significantly, the
      cessation of Aboriginal fire management and the associated periodic
      landscape-wide loss of unburnt habitats seems to be an important
      cause of the extinction of smaller mammals and some bird species in
      the continental interior and monsoon tropics.(29,30) I suspect these
      species were originally adapted to the long ecotones that formed the
      boundaries between areas burnt by infrequent fires caused by
      lightning. Following the imposition of Aboriginal fire management
      these ‘edge species’ become dependent upon the fine-grained mosaic
      created by Aboriginal fire-stick ‘ranching’. In sum, I suggest that one
      of the great triumphs of the Pleistocene Australians was the taming
      of wildfires through the development of ‘igniculture’.
      While it is true that in some cases the 19th century squatters
      and 20th century cattlemen adopted Aboriginal burning practices,
      this technological transfer ceased with the more intensive
      husbandry of stock that requires investment in infrastructure such
      as fencing.(31)The disruption of the refined and consistently imple-
      mented system of fire management established by Aboriginal
      people is, I believe, the root of the current fire management
      problem – tamed fire has become feral.

      Learning to living with bushfire
      Although there remains much uncertainty about how Australia
      became ‘the land of fire’, there is sufficient information to inform
      fire management. I interpret the existing knowledge as showing
      that attempts to totally suppress fire are futile. Rather than fighting
      against the inevitable ‘tide’ of bushfires, Australians need to adapt
      more effectively to their fire-prone land. However, this now
      represents a tremendous challenge because of the construction of
      infrastructure and habitations established in bushland.
      The very serious threat fire poses to life and property, and the
      widespread phobia of landscape fires provides a strong incentive to
      impose a policy of fire prohibition backed by fire suppression tech-
      nologies. In the short term these approaches may work, but in the
      longer term they will fail because it is impossible to snuff out the
      inherent flammability of the Australian environment. Just as flood
      mitigation encourages people to build on flood plains so too fire
      suppression encourages the establishment of flammable buildings
      and settlements embedded in bushland. The typical media portrayal
      of bushfires as ‘disasters’ reinforces the desire to wage war against
      fire, and failure seems only to spur on heroic attempts to achieve a
      total victory.
      While it is unrealistic to attempt to ‘return’ to Aboriginal fire
      management, the fact that Aborigines were able to ‘tame’ wildfire
      should be a great source of inspiration in the quest for ecologically
      sustainable fire regimes. To achieve this goal, a landscape perspective
      is required with analyses of why some styles of fire management
      work and others fail: current landscapes should be seen as great
      ‘natural experiments’ that await investigation. The findings of these
      studies are vital to sustain the process of ‘adaptive management’ that
      involves learning about and articulating the efficacy of various
      management interventions. In this regard, I suspect that the common
      mode of conducting short-term and narrowly focused ecological
      studies has generated a blizzard of details that engender a sense that
      coherent solutions will remain forever elusive. There is a funda-
      mental mismatch between the temporal and spatial scales at which
      fire managers and ecologists operate. Ecologists typically work at the
      local scale and consider the longer-term fate of populations, while
      fire managers work at the landscape scale with the immediate goal of
      fire suppression. Fire managers often see only ‘fuel’ and forget about
      the conservation of biodiversity so valued by ecologists. It remains a
      great challenge to balance these sharply contrasting but legitimate
      perspectives. We must identify relative costs and benefits of recurrent
      fuel reduction fires compared to infrequent massive ‘back-burns’
      used in bushfire suppression, and indeed wildfire.
      Rather than attempting to manage landscapes for all possible
      biological and social outcomes, I suggest we should accept that fire
      management can achieve only a limited number of objectives.
      Further, fire management is context specific, for example small
      fragments on the urban fringe present fewer options than large
      tracts in remote areas. Nonetheless, I see no reason why focused
      fire management should not be ecologically sustainable. In this
      regard, I see a parallel with the fire management system developed
      by Aborigines, which was focused on the management of a few
      core species but nonetheless conserved the biodiversity we value
      today. There can be no doubt that some styles of management are
      more sympathetic to biodiversity and ecosystem services than
      others. I believe the currently ascendant ‘bushfire disaster’ mode of
      management is ultimately more destructive of biodiversity than a
      program of recurrent fires to reduce fuel loads.
      Sustainable fire management requires complicated trade-offs
      to realise specific objectives. A concrete example concerns the
      management of bushfire smoke. High concentrations of micro-
      scopic particulates from severe wildfires surrounding Darwin are
      correlated significantly with hospital presentations for asthma,
      whilst no such pattern was evident with the low levels of partic-
      ulates associated with control burning and less severe wildfires.(32)
      We must accept that some management goals, such as reduced fire
      hazards, may have costs including the loss of some elements of
      biodiversity and the nuisance of low levels of smoke pollution.
      Just as gardens reflect the character of their owners, I suggest
      that landscapes reflect the character of their communities. As I
      drive through the settled landscapes of southern Australia I sense
      we are ‘still settling Australia’.(33) I sense a Darwinian struggle of an
      industrial civilisation adapting to a fiery land. While I am confident
      that we will achieve sustainable fire management, the question
      remains whether this will be achieved rapidly by design or painfully
      by being gradually worn down by implacable evolutionary forces.(34)

      1 Nicholas, F.W. & Nicholas, J.M. (2002).Charles Darwin in Australia.
      (Cambridge University
      Press: Cambridge.)
      2 Bradstock, R.A., Williams, J.E., & Gill, A.M. (2002). Flammable Australia: the
      fire regimes and
      biodiversity of a continent.(Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)
      3 Bond, W. (2002). Burning issues down under. Trends in Ecology and Evolution
      17, 393.
      4 Bowman, D.M.J.S. (1998). Tansley Review No. 101: The impact of Aboriginal
      burning on the Australian biota. New Phytologist 140, 385–410.
      5 I wish to record my debt to the late Professor W.D. Jackson who taught me to
      think about
      bushfire as an evolutionary force.
      6 Cronon, W. (1992). A place for stories: nature, history and narrative. The
      Journal of American
      History 78, 1347–76.
      7 Hill, R.S. (1994). History of the Australian vegetation: Cretaceous to
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      8 Flannery, T.F. (1994). The future eaters: an ecological history of the
      Australasian lands and people.
      (Read Books: Sydney.)
      9 Kershaw, A.P., Clark, J.S., Gill, A.M. & D’Costa, D.M. (2002). A history of
      fire in Australia.
      In Flammable Australia: the fire regimes and biodiversity of a continent(Eds
      R.A. Bradstock, J.E.
      Williams & A.M. Gill.) pp. 3–25. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)
      10 White, M.E. (1994). After the greening: the browning of Australia. (Kangaroo
      Press: Sydney.)
      11 Hill, op. cit.
      12 Bowman, D.M.J.S. (2000). Australian rainforests: islands of green in the land
      of fire. (Cambridge
      University Press: Cambridge.)
      13 Bowman, D.M.J.S. (2001). On the elusive definition of ‘Australian
      rainforest’: response to
      Lynch and Neldner (2000). Australian Journal of Botany 49, 785–7.
      14 Nicolle, D. (2000).Currency Creek Arboretum (CCA) eucalypt research, Volume
      1. (D. Nicolle:
      15 Williams, J.E. and Woinarski, J.C.Z. (1997). Eucalypt ecology: individuals
      to ecosystems.
      (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)
      16 Bowler, J.M. (1982). Aridity in the late Tertiary and Quaternary of
      Australia. In Evolution of
      the flora and fauna of arid Australia. (Eds W.R. Barker & P.J.M. Greenslade.)
      pp. 35–45.
      (Peacock Publications: Adelaide.)
      17 Bowman, D.M.J.S. (2002). The Australian summer monsoon: a biogeographic
      Australian Geographic Studies 40, 261–77.
      18 Jackson, W.D. (1968). Fire, air, water and earth – an elemental ecology of
      Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia 3, 9–16.
      19 Bowman, D.M.J.S. (2000). Rainforest and flame forests: the great Australian
      dichotomy. Australian Geographical Studies 38, 327–31.
      20 The research is in collaboration with Professor Yuji Isagi, of Hiroshima
      University and
      supported by a major Japanese Government research grant.
      21 Brook, B.W. & Bowman, D.M.J.S. (2002). Explaining the Pleistocene megafaunal
      extinctions: models, chronologies, and assumptions. Proceedings of the National
      Academy of
      Sciences, USA 99, 14624–27.
      22 Miller, G.H.F., Magee, J.W., Johnson, B.J., Fogel, M.L., Spooner, N.A.,
      McCulloch, M.T. &
      Ayliffe, L.K. (1999). Pleistocene extinction of Genyornis newtoni:human impact
      Australian megafauna. Science 283, 205–8.
      23 The research is in collaboration with a number of other researchers
      (Professor Rainer
      Gruen, Associate Professor Rod Wells and Dr Michael Gagan), my student PhD
      Murphy and is supported by the Australian Research Council.
      24 Bowman, D.M.J.S., Garde, M. & Saulwick A. (2001). Kunj-ken makka man-wurrk:
      fire is for
      kangaroos: interpreting Aboriginal accounts of landscape burning in Central
      Arnhem Land.
      In Histories of old ages: essays in honour of Rhys Jones.(Eds A. Anderson, I.
      Lilley & S.
      O’Connor .) pp. 61–78. (Pandanus Books: Canberra.)
      25 Bowman, D.M.J.S., Price, O., Whitehead, P.J. & Walsh, A. (2001). The
      ‘wilderness effect’
      and the decline of Callitris intratropica on the Arnhem land Plateau, northern
      Australian Journal of Botany 49, 1–8.
      26 see papers in Bowman, D.M.J.S. & Farrer, S.L. (2002). Measuring and
      imagining: exploring
      centuries of Australian landscape change. The Special 50th Anniversary Issue.
      Journal of Botany 50.
      27 Griffiths, T. (2001). Forests of ash: an environmental history.(Cambridge
      University Press:
      28 Prideaux, G.J. (in press). Systematics and evolution of the sthenurine
      kangaroos. University
      of California Publications in Geological Sciences.
      29 Franklin, D.C. (1999). Evidence of disarray amongst granivorous bird
      assemblages in the
      savannas of northern Australia, a region of sparse human settlement. Biological
      90, 53–68.
      30 Woinarski, J.C.Z., Milne, D.J. & Wanganeen, G. (2001). Changes in mammal
      in the relatively intact landscapes of Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory,
      Austral Ecology 26, 360–70.
      31 Barr, N. & Carey, J. (1991). Greening a brown land: the search for
      sustainable land use.
      (Macmillan: Melbourne.)
      32 Johnston, F.H., Kavanagh, A., Bowman, D.M.J.S., & Scott, R. (2002). Exposure
      to bushfire
      smoke and asthma: an ecological study. Australian Medical Journal 176, 535–8.
      33 Dovers, S. (2000). Still settling Australia: environment, history, and
      policy. In Environmental
      history and policy: still settling Australia. (Ed. S. Dovers.) pp. 2–23.
      (Oxford University Press:
      34 I thank Don Franklin, Fay Johnston, Aaron Petty and Peter Whitehead for
      allowing me to
      rehearse these ideas with them. "
      © CSIRO 2003


      Good night!

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