Vegetation changes through stadial and interstadial stages of MIS 4 and MIS 3 based on a palynological analysis of the Girraween Lagoon sediments of Darwin, Australia.

Rowe, Cassandra, Brand, Michael, Wurster, Chris, and Bird, Michael I. (2024) Vegetation changes through stadial and interstadial stages of MIS 4 and MIS 3 based on a palynological analysis of the Girraween Lagoon sediments of Darwin, Australia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 642. 112150.

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Abstract

A palynological record from Girraween Lagoon sediments (Darwin region of the Northern Territory, Australia) provides detailed long-term insight into tropical savanna vegetation community patterns, climatic and fire relationships, through Marine Isotope Stage 4 (MIS 4: 71-57 thousand years ago, ka) and Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3: 57-29 ka). Owing to a lack of data in reconstructing northern Australian environments, this paper looks to define and describe to a greater degree the nature and scope of these stadial and interstadial stages for the region. Girraween Lagoon simultaneously provides proximal palaeoecological data for the time and region of Aboriginal people’s first arrival into Australia, also encompassing the late Pleistocene continental decline of megafauna. This study provides a dataset enabling full exploration of long-term people-landscape and faunal-floral interactions. Sea levels and associated variations imposed on the transportation of moisture and heat, held implications for MIS 4 and MIS 3 monsoon strength, which was particularly consequential for Girraween regional ecology. Results reveal a prolonged transition from wooded- to grassy-savanna, into a cool drier semi-arid savanna. Increasingly episodic delivery of moisture influenced the permanency of freshwater in the landscape.

Item ID: 82850
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0031-0182
Keywords: Northern Territory, savanna, pollen, microcharcoal, megafauna, early occupation, sea level, (inter)stadial
Copyright Information: © 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC FL140100044, ARC CE170100015
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2024 00:39
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310306 Palaeoecology @ 40%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3709 Physical geography and environmental geoscience > 370905 Quaternary environments @ 40%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430103 Archaeology of Australia (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) @ 20%
SEO Codes: 21 INDIGENOUS > 2104 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture > 210402 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connection to land and environment @ 40%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 40%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190504 Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts) @ 20%
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