Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Late Quaternary vegetation reconstruction from the Eastern Arc Mountains, Tanzania

  • C.T. Mumbi (a1) (a2), R. Marchant (a2), H. Hooghiemstra (a3) and M.J. Wooller (a4)
Abstract

Pollen, spore, macrofossil and stable isotope (C and N) analyses from a 266-cm sediment core collected from a swamp on the Eastern Arc Mountains, Tanzania, are used to reconstruct vegetation and environmental history. An estimated time scale based on five14C ages records approximately 38,000 yr. This palaeorecord is the first from this biodiversity hotspot and importantly extends through the last glacial maximum (LGM). The altitudinal transition from montane to upper montane forest shifted from 1700–1800 m (38,00014C yr BP) to 1800–1900 m (35,000–29,00014C yr BP). From 29,000 to 10,00014C yr BP, it shifted from 1850–1950 m across the LGM to 1750–1800 m (during 10,000–350014C yr BP), and to present-day elevations at 2000 m during the last 350014C yr BP. The relative ecosystem stability across the LGM may be explained by the Indian Ocean's influence in maintaining continuous moist forest cover during a period of East African regional climate aridity. During the late Holocene, presence of abundant coprophilous fungi and algal blooms demonstrates increasing human impact.Neurospora spores indicate frequent fires, coinciding with clear signals of decline inPodocarpus and Psychotria trees that possibly represent selective logging.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Fax: +44 1904 432998.E-mail address: rm524@york.ac.uk (R. Marchant).
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

S.R. Alin , A.S. Cohen , R. Bills , M.M. Gashagaza , E. Michel , J.-J. Tiercelin , K. Martens , P. Coveliers , S.K. Mboko , K. West , M. Soreghan , S. Kimbadi , G. Ntakimazi , (1999). Elects of landscape disturbance on animal communities in Lake Tanganyika, East Africa. Conservation Biology 13, 10171033.

S.R. Alin , A.S. Cohen , (2003). Lake-level history of Lake Tanganyika, East Africa, for the past 2500 years based on ostracod-inferred water-depth reconstruction. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 199, 3149.

P. Barker , F. Gasse , (2003). New evidence for a reduced water balance in East Africa during the Last Glacial Maximum: implication for model-data comparison. Quaternary Science Reviews 22, 823837.

P. Barker , R. Telford , O. Merdaci , D. Williamson , M. Taieb , A. Vincens , (2000). The sensitivity of a Tanzanian crater lake to catastrophic tephra input and four millennia of climate change. The Holocene 10, 303310.

P. Barker , R. Telford , F. Gasse , R. Thevenon , (2002). Late Pleistocene and Holocene palaeohydrology of Lake Rukwa, Tanzania, inferred from diatom analysis. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 187, 295306.

M.M. Bender , (1971). Variations on the 13C ratios of plants in relation to the pathway of photosynthetic carbon dioxide fixation. Phytochemistry 10, 12391244.

H.H. Birks , (2001). Plant macrofossils. J.P. Smol , H.J.B. Birks , W.M. Last , Tracking environmental changes in lake sediments: Biological techniques and indicators vol. 3, Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands., 4973.

H.H. Birks , (2003). The importance of plant macrofossils in the reconstructions of Late glacial vegetation and climate: Examples from Scotland, western Norway, and Minnesota, USA. Quaternary Science Reviews 22, 453473.

R. Bonnefille , G. Riollet , (1988). The Kashiru pollen sequence (Burundi) palaeoclimatic implications for the last 40,000 yr B.P in tropical Africa. Quaternary Research 30, 1935.

R. Bonnefille , J.C. Roeland , J. Guiot , (1990). Temperature and rainfall estimates for the past 40,000 years in equatorial Africa. Nature 346, 347349.

A. Boom , R. Marchant , H. Hooghiemstra , J.S. Sinninghe-Damsté , (2002). CO2 and temperature-controlled altitudinal shifts of C4- and C3-dominated grasslands allow reconstruction of palaeoatmospheric pCO2 . Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 177, 151168.

A.S. Cohen , M.R. Talbot , S.M. Awramik , D.L. Dettman , P. Abell , (1997). Lake level and paleoenvironmental history of Lake Tanganyika, Africa, as inferred from late Holocene and modern stromatolites. Geological Society of America Bulletin 109, 444460.

A.W. Diamond , A.C. Hamilton , (1980). The distribution of forest passerine birds and Quaternary climatic change in tropical Africa. Journal of Zoology 191, 379402.

F. Dowsett-Lemaire , (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. Afromontane and mid-altitude forests. Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 59, 3131.

G.E.B. El Ghazali , (1993). A study on the pollen flora of Sudan. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 76, 99345.

K.J. Ficken , M.J. Wooller , D.L. Swain , F.A. Street-Perrott , G. Eglinton , (2002). Reconstruction of a sub-alpine grass dominated ecosystem, Lake, Rutundu, Mount Kenya: A novel multi-proxy approach. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 177, 137150.

J. Fjeldså , J.C. Lovett , (1997). Geographical patterns of old and young species in African forest biota: The significance of specific montane areas as evolutionary centers. Biodiversity and Conservation 6, 325347.

J. Fjeldså , D. Ehrlich , E. Lambin , E. Prins , (1997). Are biodiversity ‘hotspots’ correlated with current eco-climatic stability? A pilot study using the NOAA-AVHRR remote sensing data. Biodiversity and Conservation 6, 401422.

Y. Garcin , D. Williamson , M. Taieb , A. Vincens , P.E. Mathé , A. Majule , (2006a). Multi-decennial to multi-millennial changes in maar-lake deposition during the last 45,000 year in South Tropical Africa (Lake Masoko, Tanzania). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 239, 334354.

Y. Garcin , A. Vincens , D. Williamson , J. Guiot , G. Buchet , (2006b). Wet phases in tropical Southern Africa during the Last Glacial Period. Geophysical Research Letters 33, L07703 10.1029/2005GL025531(Online early articles).

Y. Garcin , A. Vincens , D. Williamson , G. Buchet , J. Guiot , (2007). Abrupt resumption of the African monsoon at the Younger Dryas-Holocene climatic transition. Quaternary Science Reviews 26, 690704.

E.C. Grimm , (1987). CONISS: A Fortran 77 program for stratigraphically constrained cluster analysis by method of incremental sum of squares. Computer Geosciences 13, 1335.

A.C. Hamilton , D. Taylor , J.C. Vogel , (1986). Early forest clearances and environmental degradation in south-west Uganda. Nature 320, 164167.

T.C. Johnson , E.T. Brown , J. McManus , S. Barry , P. Barker , F. Gasse , (2002). A high-resolution paleoclimate record spanning the past 25,000 years in southern East Africa. Science 296, 113132.

D. Jolly , D.M. Taylor , R.A. Marchant , A.C. Hamilton , R. Bonnefille , G. Riolett , (1997). Vegetation dynamics in central Africa since 18,000 yr BP: Pollen records from the interlacustrine highlands of Burundi, Rwanda and western Uganda. Journal of Biogeography 24, 495512.

I.S. Kikula , (1986). The influence of fire on the composition of Miombo woodland of South West Tanzania. Oikos 46, 317324.

D.A. Livingstone , (1980). Age of deglaciation in the Ruwenzori range, Uganda. Nature 194, 859860.

J.C. Lovett , (1996). Elevational and latitudinal changes in tree associations and diversity in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. Journal of Tropical Ecology 12, 629650.

J.C. Lovett , (1998a). Continuous change in Tanzanian moist forest tree communities with elevation. Journal of Tropical Ecology 14, 719722.

J.C. Lovett , (1998b). Botanical importance of the Eastern Arc. Journal of the East African Natural History Society 87, 5974.

J.C. Lovett , (1999). Tanzanian forest tree plot diversity and elevation. Journal of Tropical Ecology 15, 689694.

J.C. Lovett , G.P. Clarke , R. Moore , G. Morrey , (2001). Elevational distribution of restricted range forest tree taxa in eastern Tanzania. Biodiversity and Conservation 10, 541550.

R. Marchant , D. Taylor , (1998). Dynamics of montane forest in Central Africa during the late Holocene: A pollen-based record from western Uganda. The Holocene 8, 375381.

R. Marchant , D. Taylor , A.C. Hamilton , (1997). Late Pleistocene and Holocene history at Mubwindi swamp, Southwest Uganda. Quaternary Research 47, 316328.

R. Marchant , C. Mumbi , S. Behera , T. Yamagata , (2006). The Indian Ocean Dipole—The unsung driver of climatic variability in East Africa. African Journal of Ecology 45, 416.

P.A. Meyers , (1992). Organic geochemical proxies of paleocenographic, paleolimnologic, and paleoclimatic processes. Organic Geochemistry 27, 213250.

A.N.N. Muzuka , M. Ryner , K. Holmgren , (2004). 12,000-year, preliminary results of the stable nitrogen and carbon isotope record from the Empakaai Crater Lake sediments, Northern Tanzania. Journal of African Earth Sciences 40, 293303.

N. Myers , R.A. Mittermeier , C.G. Mittermeier , A.B. da Fonseca , J. Kent , (2000). Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403, 853858.

T. Nagai , Y. Kitamura , M. Endoh , T. Tokioka , (1995). Coupled atmosphere-ocean model simulations of El Niño/Southern Oscillation with and without an active Indian Ocean. Journal of Climate 8, 314.

M.H. O'Leary , (1981). Carbon isotopic fractionation in plants. Phytochemistry 20, 553567.

M.H. O'Leary , (1988). Carbon isotopes in photosynthesis: Fractionation techniques may reveal new aspects of carbon dynamics in plants. Bioscience 38, 328336.

M.A. Ryner , R. Bonnefille , K. Holmgren , A. Muzuka , (2006). Vegetation changes in Empakaai Crater, Northern Tanzania, at 14,800–9300 cal yr BP. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 140, 163174.

F.A. Street-Perrott , Y. Huang , R.A. Perrott , G. Eglinton , P. Barker , L. Ben-Khelifa , D.D. Harkness , M. Ivanovich , D.O. Olago , (1997). Impact of lower atmospheric CO2 on tropical mountain ecosystems: Carbon isotope evidence. Science 278, 14221426.

M. Stute , M. Forster , H. Frishkorn , A. Serejo , J.F. Clark , P. Schlosser , W.S. Broecker , G. Bonani , (1995). Cooling of tropical Brazil (5°C) during the last glacial maximum. Science 269, 379383.

D.M. Taylor , (1990). Late Quaternary pollen records from two Ugandan mires: Evidence for environmental change in the Rukiga Highlands of southwest Uganda. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 80, 283300.

D. Taylor , R. Marchant , P. Robertshaw , (1999). A sediment-based history of medium altitude forest in central Africa: A record from Kabata Swamp, Ndale volcanic field, Uganda. Journal of Ecology 87, 303315.

F. Thévenon , D. Williamson , M. Taieb , (2002). A 22 ka sedimentological record from Lake Rukwa, South-west Tanzania: Environmental, chonostratigraphic and climatic implications. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 187, 285294.

F. Thévenon , D. Williamson , A. Vincens , M. Taieb , O. Merdaci , M. Decobert , G. Buchet , (2003). A Late Holocene charcoal record from Lake Massoko, SW Tanzania: climatic and anthropological implications. The Holocene 13, 785792.

L.G. Thompson , E. Mosley-Thompson , M.E. Davis , K.A. Henderson , H.H. Brecher , V.S. Zagorodnov , T.A. Mashiotta , P.-N. Lin , V.N. Mikhalenko , D.R. Hardy , J. Beer , (2002). Kilimanjaro ice core records: Evidence of Holocene climate change in tropical Africa. Science 298, 598–593.

L.L. Tieszen , (1991). Natural variations in the carbon isotopic values of plants: Implications for archaeology, ecology and paleoecology. Journal of Archaeological Science 18, 227248.

B. Van Geel , (1978). A palaeoecological study of Holocene peat bog sections in Germany and the Netherlands based on the analysis pollen, spores and macro- and microscopic remains of fungi, algae, cormophytes and animals. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 25, 1120.

B. Van Geel , J. Buurman , O. Brinkkemper , J. Schelvis , A. Aptroot , G. Van Reenen , T. Hakbijl , (2003). Environmental reconstruction of a Roman Period settlement site in Uitgeest (The Netherlands), with special reference to coprophilous fungi. Journal of Archaeological Science 30, 873883.

E. Van Zinderen Bakker , J.A. Coetzee , (1988). A review of Late Quaternary pollen studies in East, Central and Southern Africa. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 55, 155174.

A. Vincens , D. Williamson , F. Thevenon , M. Taieb , G. Buchet , M. Decobert , N. Thouveny , (2003). Pollen-based vegetation changes in southern Tanzania during the last 4200 years: Climate change and/or human impact. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 198, 321334.

A. Vincens , Y. Garcin , G. Buchet , (2007). Influence of rainfall seasonality on African lowland vegetation during the Late Quaternary: Pollen evidence from Lake Masoko, Tanzania. Journal of Biogeography 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2007.01698.x(Online early articles).

F. White , (1981). The history of the Afromontane archipelago and the scientific need for its conservation. African Journal of Ecology 19, 3354.

D. Williamson , M.J. Jackson , S.K. Banerjee , J. Marvin , O. Merdaci , N. Thouveny , M. Decobert , E. Gibert-Massault , M. Massault , D. Mazaudier , M. Taieb , (1999). Magnetic signatures of hydrological change in a tropical maar lake (Lake Massoko, Tanzania) : preliminary results. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth Part A Solid Earth and Geodesy 24, 799803.

M.J. Wooller , A.D.Q. Agnew , S. Mathai , D.L. Swain , F.A. Street-Perrott , (2001). An altitudinal and stable carbon isotope survey of grasses on Mount Kenya, East Africa. Journal of East African Natural History 90, 6985.

M.J. Wooller , D.L. Swain , K.J. Ficken , A.D.Q. Agnew , F.A. Street-Perrott , (2003). Late Quaternary vegetation changes around Lake Rutundu, Mount Kenya, East Africa: Evidence from grass cuticles, pollen and stable carbon isotopes. Journal of Quaternary Science 18, 315.

M.J. Wooller , B. Smallwood , H. Behling , M. Fogel , (2004). Mangrove ecosystem dynamics and elemental cycling at Twin Cays, Belize, during the Holocene. Journal of Quaternary Science 19, 703711.

M. Wooller , J. Fogel , M. Wilkie , A. Johnson , (2005). Stable isotope characteristics across a sharp ecotone in Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater, Western Australia: Palaeoecological implications. Oecologia 145, 100112.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 1 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 30 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 21st September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.