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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Beth A. Middleton
Publication Date: February 2013

Land managers are grappling with massive changes in vegetation structure, particularly in protected areas formerly subjected to fire and grazing. The objective of this review was to compare notes on the historical and current management of ecosystems around the world (especially in wet to dry grasslands in the Americas, Australia, Africa, Europe and Asia) with respect to the usage of fire, grazing and cutting to reduce dominance and support the biodiversity of rare species. This review suggests that former disturbances, which are now often lost, may have once kept tall vegetation from pushing out rarer subdominant species. In cases where prehistoric biodiversity depended on fire or large ungulate grazing, traditional agricultural and indigenous practices may have carried biodiversity forward to historical times by mimicking pre-cultural disturbances (e.g., lightning fire and bison grazing). Ironically, biodiversity related to species richness, landscape heterogeneity and function may decline in preserves, especially if traditional management once maintained this biodiversity. Managers can benefit from a cross-continental comparison of the full arsenal of management techniques used to control encroaching vegetation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Online Links
Citation: Middleton, B. A. 2013. Rediscovering traditional vegetation management in preserves: trading experiences between cultures and continents. Biological Conservation, v. 158, p. 271-279. 10.1016/j.biocon.2012.10.003.

Cataloging Information

Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    International    National
  • Africa
  • agriculture
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • bison grazing
  • Canada
  • cattle
  • Central America
  • croplands
  • cutting
  • disturbance
  • Europe
  • farm abandonment
  • fire management
  • fire management
  • grasslands
  • grazing
  • land use
  • land use change
  • landscape biodiversity
  • livestock
  • Mexico
  • natural disturbance
  • protected area management
  • South America
Tall Timbers Record Number: 28897Location Status: Not in fileCall Number: AvailableAbstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 51905

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers 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 Tall Timbers.