Firing ahead


A short piece for you to go on with while I get the next longer post written. I know quite a few of you are interested in the topic of Aboriginal economy and fire and the Australian environment, one of my major research interests “back in the day” (oh what a horrible phrase that is, who would use it?).

One of the great friends of Watermelon sent me this link to a talk on fire by Dr Arn Tolsma who I hadn’t come across before. He explores very nicely the themes I have been following since the late 1970s – that Australian habitats are not “adapted to fire”; that there is no evidence that Aboriginal use of fire affected the environment; and that use of prescribed burning in fire prevention activities damages the environment.

These issues are also explored in the following recent publications:

Vital Importance of Habitat S. Don Bradshaw Australasian Science November-December 2009

Mooney, S.D., et al., Late Quaternary fire regimes of Australasia, Quaternary Science Reviews (2010) doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.10.010

Little evidence for fire-adapted plant traits in Mediterranean climate regions S. Don Bradshaw, Kingsley W. Dixon, Stephen D. Hopper, Hans Lambers and Shane R.Turner Trends in Plant Science February 2011

Good to see the ideas I have been exploring over more than 30 years (see tabs above – “History” and “Fire”), and been alternately criticised or ignored for doing so, being developed with firm evidence by other brave researchers.