Document


Title

Human impacts on Persoonia falcata. Perspectives on post-contact vegetation change in the Keep River region, Australia, from contemporary vegetation surveys
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): J. Atchison
Publication Year: 2009

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
  • aboriginal management
  • aborigines
  • Acacia spp.
  • archaeological sites
  • Australia
  • Buchanania
  • Chrysopogon
  • diameter classes
  • Eucalyptus miniata
  • Eucalyptus tetrodonta
  • fire regimes
  • fruits
  • Gardenia
  • grasses
  • Heteropogon
  • histories
  • Kimberley
  • land management
  • land use
  • Northern Territory of Australia
  • Persoonia
  • Persoonia falcata
  • Plectrachne
  • savannas
  • seedlings
  • seeds
  • Sehima
  • sorghum
  • stand characteristics
  • Terminalia
  • Themeda
  • understory vegetation
  • vegetation
  • vegetation surveys
Topic(s):
Region(s):
  • International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 47510
Tall Timbers Record Number: 23467
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.

Description

Persoonia falcata R. Br. and Buchanania obovata Engl. seeds are consistently preserved in abundance from archaeological sites across the Keep River region from 3500 B.P. up until the contact period. Although artefacts continued to be deposited after establishment of the pastoral industry, remains of these two plant species disappear in the upper levels of all excavated deposits. The contemporary vegetation in the vicinity of these sites appears to lack P. falcata, although B. obovata remains in abundance. These observations raise questions regarding (1) the impact of changing land-use and fire regimes, (2) the impact of Aboriginal land management on particular plant species and (3) the reorientation of Aboriginal site use across the region after settlement. These issues are explored in this paper using a comparative analysis of stand structure of the contemporary vegetation around previously excavated sites, as well as from published information on recent regional fire history. Results show improved recruitment of P. falcata (that is, seedlings are recruited into adult life stages) in the only site where Aboriginal people have re-introduced customary management. Both the timing of burning and significant unburnt periods appear important to the post-contact decline and also in the future success of populations of P. falcata in the region. © Springer-Verlag 2008.

Citation:
Atchison, J. 2009. Human impacts on Persoonia falcata. Perspectives on post-contact vegetation change in the Keep River region, Australia, from contemporary vegetation surveys. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, v. 18, no. 2, p. 147-157. 10.1007/s00334-008-0198-y.