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Changing the Landscape of Australia


Australia, when Europeans arrived, consisted of a series of biota highly adapted to what we now call hazard reduction burning. The reason is that this is what the aborigines had been practicing for 50,000 years or so.

They were greatly assisted in this by the existence in Australia of the “The Fire Tree”, the eucalypt. The eucalypt promotes fire and is resistant to fire, so that in a regime of constant burning, eucalypts have a higher survival rate and you tend to get the type of monoculture remarked on by many early scientists, including Charles Darwin.

Since the advent of European man in Australia, we have, by preventing the Aboriginal practice of Fire-stick Farming, changed the landscape.

More here by Peter Stitt: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/hazard-reduction-burning.pdf [PDF, 109 KB]

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