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Article

Indigenous Fire-Managed Landscapes in Southeast Australia during the Holocene—New Insights from the Furneaux Group Islands, Bass Strait

1
School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University, Canberra 2601, ACT, Australia
2
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, The Australian National University, Canberra 2601, ACT, Australia
3
School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay 7001, TAS, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Chad M. Hoffman and Philip Higuera
Received: 18 December 2020 / Revised: 20 January 2021 / Accepted: 22 January 2021 / Published: 29 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bushfire in Tasmania)
Indigenous land use and climate have shaped fire regimes in southeast Australia during the Holocene, although their relative influence remains unclear. The archaeologically attested mid-Holocene decline in land-use intensity on the Furneaux Group islands (FGI) relative to mainland Tasmanian and SE Australia presents a natural experiment to identify the roles of climate and anthropogenic land use. We reconstruct two key facets of regional fire regimes, biomass (vegetation) burned (BB) and recurrence rate of fire episodes (RRFE), by using total charcoal influx and charcoal peaks in palaeoecological records, respectively. Our results suggest climate-driven biomass accumulation and dryness-controlled BB across southeast Australia during the Holocene. Insights from the FGI suggest people elevated the recurrence rate of fire episodes through frequent cultural burning during the early Holocene and reduction in recurrent Indigenous cultural burning during the mid–late Holocene led to increases in BB. These results provide long-term evidence of the effectiveness of Indigenous cultural burning in reducing biomass burned and may be effective in stabilizing fire regimes in flammable landscapes in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire frequency; biomass burned; southeast Australia; Tasmania; Furneaux Group; Holocene; aboriginal cultural burning; Bass Strait fire frequency; biomass burned; southeast Australia; Tasmania; Furneaux Group; Holocene; aboriginal cultural burning; Bass Strait
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MDPI and ACS Style

Adeleye, M.A.; Haberle, S.G.; Connor, S.E.; Stevenson, J.; Bowman, D.M.J.S. Indigenous Fire-Managed Landscapes in Southeast Australia during the Holocene—New Insights from the Furneaux Group Islands, Bass Strait. Fire 2021, 4, 17. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4020017

AMA Style

Adeleye MA, Haberle SG, Connor SE, Stevenson J, Bowman DMJS. Indigenous Fire-Managed Landscapes in Southeast Australia during the Holocene—New Insights from the Furneaux Group Islands, Bass Strait. Fire. 2021; 4(2):17. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4020017

Chicago/Turabian Style

Adeleye, Matthew A., Simon G. Haberle, Simon E. Connor, Janelle Stevenson, and David M.J.S. Bowman 2021. "Indigenous Fire-Managed Landscapes in Southeast Australia during the Holocene—New Insights from the Furneaux Group Islands, Bass Strait" Fire 4, no. 2: 17. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/fire4020017

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