Non-Fiction Books:

Australian Rainforests

Islands of Green in a Land of Fire



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Australian Rainforests by D.M.J.S. Bowman
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Why do Australian rainforests occur as islands within the vast tracts of Eucalyptus? Why is fire a critical ecological factor in every Australian landscape? What were the consequences of the use of fire by the Ice Age colonists? In this original and challenging book, David Bowman critically examines all hypotheses that have been advanced to answer these questions. He demonstrates that fire is the most critical factor in controlling the distribution of rainforest throughout Australia. Furthermore, while Aboriginal people used fire to skillfully manage and preserve habitats, he concludes that they did not significantly influence the evolution of Australia's unique flora and fauna. This volume, the first comprehensive overview of the diverse literature on this topic, solves the puzzle of the archipelago of rainforest habitats in Australia. It is essential reading for all ecologists, foresters, conservation biologists, and others interested in the biogeography and ecology of Australian rainforests.

Author Biography

David Bowman is Professor of Forest Ecology in the School of Plant Science at the University of Tasmania. He uses a range of tools, including remote sensing and geographic information analysis, stable isotopes, ecophysiological analysis, mathematical modelling, biological survey and molecular analysis to understand how Australian landscapes have evolved in response to climatic change, varying fire regimes, the introduction of large vertebrate herbivores, and the impacts of contemporary and prehistoric management.
Release date NZ
February 17th, 2000
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
149 b/w illus. 47 tables
Cambridge University Press
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