Download e-book for iPad: Australian rainforests: islands of green in a land of fire by D. M. J. S. Bowman

By D. M. J. S. Bowman

ISBN-10: 0521465680

ISBN-13: 9780521465687

Why do Australian rainforests take place as islands in the sizeable tracts of Eucalyptus? Why is fireplace a serious ecological think about each Australian panorama? What have been the implications of using hearth via the Ice Age colonists? during this unique and difficult ebook, David Bowman seriously examines all hypotheses which have been complicated to respond to those questions. He demonstrates that fireplace is the main serious consider controlling the distribution of rainforest all through Australia. moreover, whereas Aboriginal humans used fireplace to skillfully deal with and guard habitats, he concludes that they didn't considerably effect the evolution of Australia's precise wildlife. This quantity, the 1st complete review of the varied literature in this subject, solves the puzzle of the archipelago of rainforest habitats in Australia. it really is crucial interpreting for all ecologists, foresters, conservation biologists, and others drawn to the biogeography and ecology of Australian rainforests.

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1987; Floyd 1990; Russell-Smith 1991; Fensham 1995), there has been little agreement as to the bounds of the concept of rainforest in Australia. Indeed Webb and Tracey (1981) note that scientiWc deWnition of Australian rainforest has become ‘increasingly elusive’ despite ongoing research. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the concept of Australian rainforest. 26 What is Australian rainforest? Classificatory systems of Australian rainforest Schimper and the first definition of rainforest in Australia The term ‘rainforest’ is a translation of ‘Regenwald’, which was coined by the German botanist Schimper.

The idea that sclerophyll leaves are necessarily xerophytic adaptations has been shown to be wrong (Beadle 1966; Seddon 1974): there is no better example than species with sclerophyll leaves that occur in, and sometimes dominate, tropical rainforests (Richards 1952; Peace and Macdonald 1981; Medina et al. 1990). Because sclerophyll foliage is not necessarily related to drought stress, many authors classify sclerophyllous leaves as being ‘xeromorphic’ rather than possessing xerophytic adaptations (Beadle 1966; Seddon 1974).

The deWnition of rainforest in Australia is the subject of the following two chapters. The remainder of the book seeks to explain why Australian rainforests have a fragmentary distribution. Fire, air, earth and water A number of theories have been advanced to explain the control of rainforest in Australia. Some of these theories have been concealed, Trojan-horse-like, within deWnitions of ‘rainforest’. Other theories are explicit and typically have championed the primacy of single environmental contingencies such as Wre history, environmental changes, soil fertility, or water stress.

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Australian rainforests: islands of green in a land of fire by D. M. J. S. Bowman


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