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Fire Ecology, 2011
Volume 7, Issue 1

Australia - A Model System for the Development of Pyrogeography
Authors: David M.J.S. Bowman and Brett P. Murphy
Pages: 5-12
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0701005

We define pyrogeography as an integrative, multidisciplinary perspective of landscape fire, its ecological effects, and its relationships with human societies. Like biogeography, this program spans geographic scales from the local to the global, has an evolutionary frame, and thus a geological dimension. And, like other geographic disciplines, pyrogeography has a clear commitment to understanding the interrelationships between cultures and their environment. We illustrate our approach by considering the pyrogeography of Australia. We demonstrate how a long history of fire has had a pervasive influence on the continent’s biota. While Aborigines coexisted with flammable landscapes for millennia, contemporary Australian society is still learning to live in a land of fire.

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