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Fire management and woody biomass carbon stocks in mesic savannas


Murphy, B and Russell-Smith, J and Watt, FA and Cook, GD, Fire management and woody biomass carbon stocks in mesic savannas, Culture, Ecology and Economy of Fire Management in North Australian Savannas, CSIRO Publishing, Jeremy Russell-Smith, Peter Whitehead, Peter Cooke (ed), Australia, pp. 361-378. ISBN 9780643094024 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]


his engaging volume explores the management of fire in one of the world’s most flammable landscapes: Australia’s tropical savannas, where on average 18% of the landscape is burned annually. Impacts have been particularly severe in the Arnhem Land Plateau, a centre of plant and animal diversity on Indigenous land. Culture, Ecology and Economy of Fire Management in North Australian Savannas documents a remarkable collaboration between Arnhem Land’s traditional landowners and the scientific community to arrest a potentially catastrophic fire-driven decline in the natural and cultural assets of the region – not by excluding fire, but by using it better through restoration of Indigenous control over burning. This multi-disciplinary treatment encompasses the history of fire use in the savannas, the post-settlement changes that altered fire patterns, the personal histories of a small number of people who lived most of their lives on the plateau and, critically, their deep knowledge of fire and how to apply it to care for country. Uniquely, it shows how such knowledge and commitment can be deployed in conjunction with rigorous formal scientific analysis, advanced technology, new cross-cultural institutions and the emerging carbon economy to build partnerships for controlling fire at scales that were, until this demonstration, thought beyond effective intervention.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological Applications
Research Field:Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments
UTAS Author:Murphy, B (Dr Brett Murphy)
ID Code:62237
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2010-03-10
Last Modified:2010-05-11

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