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The roles of statistical inference and historical sources in understanding landscape change: the case of feral buffalo in the freshwater floodplains of Kakadu National Park

Citation

Bowman, DMJS and Prior, LD and Williamson, G, The roles of statistical inference and historical sources in understanding landscape change: the case of feral buffalo in the freshwater floodplains of Kakadu National Park, Journal of Biogeography, 37, (1) pp. 193-199. ISSN 0305-0270 (2009) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

The definitive published version is available online at: http://interscience.wiley.com

Official URL: http://interscience.wiley.com

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02244.x

Abstract

The statistical analysis of Bowman et al. (Journal of Biogeography, 2008, 35, 1976 1988) revealed the weak relationship between the rate of woody cover encroachment onto the freshwater floodplains in the central section of Kakadu National Park (KNP) over a 40-year period and estimates of proximate water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) density. The analysis relied on detailed mapping of buffalo tracks, the best historical record of spatial variation of buffalo density in KNP. In their reply, Petty & Werner (Journal of Biogeography, 2009, doi: 10.1111/j.1365- 2699.2009.02185.x) prefer to privilege an amalgam of historical sources to claim that buffalo removal is the primary driver of the woody expansion on floodplains. The contrasting weight placed on data analysis and differences of interpretation underscore a tension between statistically based historical ecology approaches and environmental history narratives, a tension that forms part of the broader cultural clash between the Sciences and Humanities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Aerial photography, Australia, Bubalus bubalis, buffalo, environmental history, feral animal impacts, historical ecology, landscape change, monsoon tropics, woody vegetation dynamics.
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological Applications
Research Field:Invasive Species Ecology
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales
Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
Author:Prior, LD (Dr Lynda Prior)
Author:Williamson, G (Dr Grant Williamson)
ID Code:59937
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2009-12-23
Last Modified:2010-10-06
Downloads:0

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