Siliceous microfossils as Late Quaternary paleo-environmental indicators at Braamhoek wetland, South Africa
2010 (English)In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 20, no 5, 747-760 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A peat-sequence covering the last 16 ka (16 000 cal. yr BP) from Braamhoek wetland, eastern South Africa, was analysed in terms of phytolith and diatom composition. The fossil peat was rich in phytoliths, while diatoms were less prominent, probably as a result of degradation during wetland plant growth associated with silica uptake. With this study we present the first continuous phytolith and diatom record from South Africa covering the Late Pleistocene and Holocene period. The phytolith assemblages indicate a clear dominance of C
3-grasses within the wetland throughout the sequence. The fossil diatom record infer changes in past moisture conditions. Unlike the modern wetland, which is dominated by benthic and aerophilic diatoms, the Late Pleistocene– early Holocene wetland favoured growth of planktonic species. Abundance of planktonic diatoms suggests three main phases when water depth was deeper than today; at c.13.6 ka, 11.3 ka and 10.4–10.0 ka. These indications of past fluctuations in humidity mostly provide confirmation of previously published indications of pollen, charcoal fragments and isotopes in the same core, but the siliceous microfossil data also help to refine the paleo-environmental interpretation of the sequence.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 20, no 5, 747-760 p.
diatoms, Holocene, paleoclimate, phytoliths, South Africa
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24706DOI: 10.1177/0959683610362810OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-24706DiVA: diva2:198148
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-73752008-02-252008-02-152010-12-21Bibliographically approved