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Pyrogeography and the global quest for sustainable fire management


Bowman, DMJS and O'Brien, JA and Goldammer, JG, Pyrogeography and the global quest for sustainable fire management, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 38 pp. 57-80. ISSN 1543-5938 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Annual Reviews

DOI: doi:10.1146/annurev-environ-082212-134049


Fire is an ancient influence on the Earth system, affecting biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. Humans have had a profound influence on global fire activity through setting and controlling fires, modifying the flammability of landscapes, and, more recently, changing the climate through the combustion of fossil fuels. We review this web of complex direct and indirect effects of fire on Earth using the framework provided by the emerging discipline of pyrogeography that unites biological, atmospheric, and social perspectives on fire. We describe the transition from fire activity before humans evolved, through the hunter-gatherer and agricultural phases, to the current period in Earth history dominated by industrialization (Anthropocene). We illustrate how pyrogeography provides the necessary framework to understand fire in the Anthropocene, including the management of pyrogenic emissions, protection of human life, conservation of biodiversity, and provision of ecosystem services.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Anthropocene, fire ecology, climate change, greenhouse gas pollution, smoke, wildfire, wildland-urban interface
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Landscape ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Natural hazards
Objective Field:Natural hazards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:89358
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:79
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2014-03-03
Last Modified:2014-05-12

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