Summary Aim The aim of this paper is to analyse fossil charcoal deposits, largely identified to the species level and spanning a sequence from the late Holocene to < 40,000 BP, in order to reconstruct Late Quaternary vegetation and climatic patterns in the western (winter‐rainfall) fynbos biome of South Africa. Location The charcoals were excavated from the Elands Bay Cave (32°19S, 18°20E) on the semiarid (200–250 mmyr−1), winter‐rainfall coastline of the western fynbos biome. Methods Patterns in the charcoal data set over time were sought by manual sorting of the charcoal×sample matrix, as well as by subjecting the data to multivariate analysis. Palaeoclimatic reconstruction was attempted by comparing the climatic controls on contemporary vegetation communities that resembled the fossil assemblages. Charcoal diversity was modelled using sample age and number of charcoal fragments as explanatory variables. Results The fossil assemblages ranged from xeric communities (similar to those presently occurring at the site) during the Holocene, to more mesic thicket and fynbos vegetation in the terminal Pleistocene, to Afromontane forest and riverine woodland communities after about 18,000 BP. Diversity of the charcoal samples increased monotonically with increasing sample age. Main conclusions The results suggest that, unlike the eastern fynbos biome, which is under fundamentally different climatic controls, soil moisture conditions in the western part of the biome were higher in the Last Glacial than during the Holocene. This scenario may help to explain the higher regional richness and associated diversification in the western than eastern part of the biome.
Journal of Biogeography – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1999
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera