Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Fire regimes emerge partly from human activities that reflect cultural-ecological knowledge of the relationships among fire, vegetation, grazing, climate, and other variables, as well as social relations. More knowledge of such “fire cultures,” past and present, therefore remains necessary to better understand the causes and persistent consequences of landscape burning. In the neotropics, people have used fire for centuries to manage livestock pastures. Conventional wisdom has long posited that such practices derived solely from antecedent European and indigenous, Native American fire cultures. Analysis of accounts of rangeland burning from throughout the neotropics during colonial times, however, demonstrates that ranchers incorporated African fire cultures and that the timing of burning shifted from early during the dry season in the sixteenth century to late during the dry season by the nineteenth century.

Number

7

Publisher

Wiley Online Library

Publication Title

Geographical Review

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