A record of vegetation dynamics and lake level changesfrom Lake Emakat, northern Tanzania, during the last c 1200 years
2008 (English)In: Journal of Paleolimnology, ISSN 0921-2728, Vol. 40, no 2, 583-601 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Analyses of down-core variations in pollen and charcoal in two short cores of lake sediment and wood samples taken from the in situ remains of Nuxia congesta from Lake Emakat, a hydrologically-closed volcanic crater lake occupying the Empakaai Crater in northern Tanzania, have generated evidence of past vegetation change and lake level fluctuations. Eight AMS radiocarbon (C-14) dates on bulk samples of lake sediment provide a chronological framework for the two cores and indicate that the sediment record analysed incorporates the last c. 1200 years. The in situ remains of a Nuxia congesta tree, now standing in deep water, were dated with three additional AMS C-14 dates, suggesting tree growth within the interval similar to 1500-1670 AD. Down-core variations in pollen from terrestrial taxa, particularly the montane forest trees Hagenia abyssinica and Nuxia congesta, indicate a broad period of generally more arid conditions in the catchment to c. 1200 AD and at a prolonged period between c. 1420 and 1680 AD. Variations in pollen from plants in lake margin vegetation indicate low lake levels, presumably as a result of reduced effective precipitation, contemporary with indications of relatively dry conditions mentioned above, but also during the late 18th and the late 19th centuries. The presence of charcoal throughout both cores indicates the frequent occurrence of vegetation fires. An increase in burning, evident in the charcoal data and dated to the early to mid second millennium AD, could relate to an expansion of human population levels and agricultural activity in the region.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 40, no 2, 583-601 p.
Africa, Climate change, palaeoecology, lake level change, Tanzania
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-14323DOI: doi:10.1007/s10933-007-9184-0ISI: 000257329500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-14323DiVA: diva2:180843