Abrupt late Pleistocene ecological and climate change on Tahiti (French Polynesia)

Prebble, Matthew, Whitau, Rose, Meyer, Jean-Yves, Sibley-Punnett, Llewellyn, Fallon, Stewart and Porch, Nicholas 2016, Abrupt late Pleistocene ecological and climate change on Tahiti (French Polynesia), Journal of biogeography, vol. 43, no. 12, pp. 2438-2453, doi: 10.1111/jbi.12807.

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Title Abrupt late Pleistocene ecological and climate change on Tahiti (French Polynesia)
Author(s) Prebble, Matthew
Whitau, Rose
Meyer, Jean-Yves
Sibley-Punnett, Llewellyn
Fallon, Stewart
Porch, NicholasORCID iD for Porch, Nicholas orcid.org/0000-0001-7179-3843
Journal name Journal of biogeography
Volume number 43
Issue number 12
Start page 2438
End page 2453
Total pages 16
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Chichester, Eng.
Publication date 2016-12-01
ISSN 0305-0270
Keyword(s) climate change
multiproxy analyses
Pacific Ocean
tropical oceanic islands
vegetation change
Summary Aim: To reconstruct ecological changes from the fossil record of a unique wetland on the tropical oceanic island of Tahiti, between 44.5 and 38 cal. kyr bp. Location: Vaifanaura'amo'ora, Tamanu Plateau, Punaru'u Valley, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia (17°38'S, 149°32'50″E). Methods: Fossil pollen, spores, seeds, diatoms and invertebrates were examined from a 3.7 m core consisting of Pleistocene-aged algal sediment overlain by late Holocene peat. Results: Between 44.5 and 41.5 cal. kyr bp, Ficus trees, sub-shrubs including Sigesbeckia orientalis L., the C4 grass species Paspalum vaginatum Sw., and extinct Pritchardia palms dominated the Vaifanaura'amo'ora wetland. This vegetation association is no longer present in the tropical oceanic Pacific islands. After 41.5 cal. kyr bp, the climate rapidly became drier and cooler with grasses, sedges and ferns dominating the vegetation. Algal sediment accumulation ceased after 38 cal. kyr bp due to prolonged dry climate conditions recorded across the Pacific Ocean. Sediment accumulation recommenced in the late Holocene. Main conclusions: The ecological responses identified from Tahiti provide evidence counter to the prevailing view that the tropical oceans buffered the ecological effects of abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/jbi.12807
Field of Research 040104 Climate Change Processes
040308 Palaeontology (incl Palynology)
060306 Evolutionary Impacts of Climate Change
Socio Economic Objective 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085332

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