The late Quaternary decline and extinction of palms on oceanic Pacific islands

Prebble, M., and Dowe, J.L. (2008) The late Quaternary decline and extinction of palms on oceanic Pacific islands. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27 (27). pp. 2546-2567.

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Abstract

Late Quaternary palaeoecological records of palm decline, extirpation and extinction are explored from the oceanic islands of the Pacific Ocean. Despite the severe reduction of faunal diversity coincidental with human colonisation of these previously uninhabited oceanic islands, relatively few plant extinctions have been recorded. At low taxonomic levels, recent faunal extinctions on oceanic islands are concentrated in larger bodied representatives of certain genera and families. Fossil and historic records of plant extinction show a similar trend with high representation of the palm family, Arecaceae. Late Holocene decline of palm pollen types is demonstrated from most islands where there are palaeoecological records including the Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, the Hawaiian Islands, the Juan Fernandez Islands and Rapanui. A strong correspondence between human impact and palm decline is measured from palynologicalproxies including increased concentrations of charcoal particles and pollen from cultivated plants and invasive weeds. Late Holocene extinctions or extirpations are recorded across all five of the Arecaceae subfamilies of the oceanic Pacific islands. These are most common for the genus Pritchardia but also many sedis fossil palm types were recorded representing groups lacking diagnostic morphological characters.

Item ID: 8804
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: palaeoecology; Quaternary extinctions; Arecaceae; oceanic islands; Pacific Ocean; fossil pollen
ISSN: 1873-457X
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2010 05:01
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060310 Plant Systematics and Taxonomy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 21
Downloads: Total: 3
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