Why do Australian rainforests occur as islands within the vast tracts of Eucalyptus? Why is fire a critical ecological factor in every Australian landscape? What were the consequences of the use of fire by the Ice Age colonists? In this original and challenging book, David Bowman critically examines all hypotheses that have been advanced to answer these questions. He demonstrates that fire is the most critical factor in controlling the distribution of rainforest throughout Australia. Furthermore, while Aboriginal people used fire to skillfully manage and preserve habitats, he concludes that they did not significantly influence the evolution of Australia's unique flora and fauna. This volume, the first comprehensive overview of the diverse literature on this topic, solves the puzzle of the archipelago of rainforest habitats in Australia. It is essential reading for all ecologists, foresters, conservation biologists, and others interested in the biogeography and ecology of Australian rainforests.
Gregory, bishop of Tours (573-594), was among the most prolific writers of his age and uniquely managed to cover the genres of history, hagiography, and ecclesiastical instruction. He not only wrote about events (of the secular, spiritual, and even natural variety) but about himself as an actor and witness. Though his work (especially the Histories) has been recycled and studied for centuries, our grasp of an even basic understanding of it, never mind Gregory's significance in the history of the late antique West, has hardly yet attained a definitive perspective. A Companion to Gregory of Tours brings together fourteen scholars who provide an expert guide to interpreting his works, his period, and his legacy in religious and historical studies. Contributors are: Pascale Bourgain, Roger Collins, John J. Contreni, Stefan Esders, Martin Heinzelmann, Yitzhak Hen, John K. Kitchen, Simon Loseby, Alexander Callander Murray, Patrick Perin, Joachim Pizarro, Helmut Reimitz, Michael Roberts, Richard Shaw.
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