Forest contraction in north equatorial Southeast Asia during the Last Glacial Period

Wurster, Christopher M., Bird, Michael I., Bull, Ian D., Creed, Frances, Bryant, Charlotte, Dungait, Jennifer A.J., and Paz, Victor (2010) Forest contraction in north equatorial Southeast Asia during the Last Glacial Period. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (35). pp. 15508-15511.

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Abstract

Today, insular Southeast Asia is important for both its remarkably rich biodiversity and globally significant roles in atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Despite the fundamental importance of environmental history for diversity and conservation, there is little primary evidence concerning the nature of vegetation in north equatorial Southeast Asia during the Last Glacial Period (LGP). As a result, even the general distribution of vegetation during the Last Glacial Maximum is debated. Here we show, using the stable carbon isotope composition of ancient cave guano profiles, that there was a substantial forest contraction during the LGP on both peninsular Malaysia and Palawan, while rainforest was maintained in northern Borneo. These results directly support rainforest “refugia” hypotheses and provide evidence that environmental barriers likely reduced genetic mixing between Borneo and Sumatra flora and fauna. Moreover, it sheds light on possible early human dispersal events.

Item ID: 11868
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1091-6490
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2010 23:26
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040606 Quaternary Environments @ 80%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 28
Downloads: Total: 6
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