Today on ScienceBlogs: Aborigines improve biodiversity by starting fires:
Imagine that you have been given responsibility over a tract of land. Your goal is to maintain its precious biodiversity (increasing it if at all possible), prevent the local habitats from becoming degraded and among all that, find a way to eke out a way of life. Of the many possible ways of doing this, regularly and deliberately setting fire to the local plants might be low on the list. But that's exactly what Aborigine populations in Australia have been doing for centuries and a new study shows that this counter-intuitive strategy does indeed work.