Burning Bush: A Fire History of Australia

Stephen J. Pyne, Author Henry Holt & Company $27.45 (520p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1472-3
In Australia, known as the fire continent, much of the native flora responds to fire as species elsewhere do to rain. Pyne ( Fire on the Rim ) shows how fire has shaped both the natural and social history of the land down under. In a brilliant paleontologic reconstruction, based on existing ashes and charcoal, he traces the evolution of vegetation before human habitation. In poor soils and drought, plants acquired traits to cope with environmental stress; fire did not kill the ecosystem, but brought it to life, mobilizing nutrients and reorganizing habitats. Forty thousand years ago, aborigines moved into a dramatically changing environment and used fire as their primary tool for flushing game and shaping habitats. Pyne chronicles the arrival of Europeans and the introduction of agriculture, from which time the fire history of Australia changes to systems of management and protection. The book provides an exhaustive, illuminating account of a unique and exotic environment. Illustrations. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Open Ebook - 548 pages - 978-0-295-99883-1
Hardcover - 548 pages - 978-0-295-99882-4
Paperback - 978-0-8050-2101-1
Paperback - 548 pages - 978-0-295-97677-8
Open Ebook - 520 pages - 978-1-4668-8291-1
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