Fire, forests and their forgotten history

Fire is a vital process in natural systems, providing structure, disturbance and change across ecosystems from heathlands to forests. It is integral to understanding the composition of forests worldwide, as it dictates vegetation types (with frequent fires driving a shift to more fire-resistant species) and subsequently the faunal species which live with them. Fire is …

Pleistocene Rewilding: What is it?

Pleistocene rewilding describes the theory of restoring Pleistocene habitats back to their original state (at around 11,000 years ago), by reintroducing the megafauna which maintained them. The end Pleistocene saw huge megafaunal extinction (loss of 97 of the 150 megafaunal species between 50kyr and 10kyr, Barnosky 2004). This period of extinction has been linked to …

What happened to the Easter Islanders?

“The person who felled the last tree could see it was the last tree. But they still felled it” – Bahn & Fenley (1992) By AD 900, Easter Island, the most remote piece of land in the world, was first inhabited by Polynesian settlers. Around 500-600 years later, their society collapsed. The following article will …

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