High-resolution pollen record from Efate Island, central Vanuatu: Highlighting climatic and human influences on Late Holocene vegetation dynamics


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 14 (4) - Pages 251-261

Published on 30 June 2015

Climate changes, sea-level variations, volcanism and human activity have influenced the environment of the southwest Pacific Islands during the Holocene. The high-resolution palynological analysis presented here concerns two specific levels (main lithological changes) of a well-dated Holocene core, Tfer06, collected from Emaotfer Swamp, Efate Island (Vanuatu). Our aim is to understand the role of climatic variability and human activities in shaping vegetation during these changes. Between 3790–3600 cal yr BP, the development of vegetation marked by disturbance is a marker of an increase in sustained El Niño events, also observed in many Asian-West Pacific areas. Between 1500–900 cal yr BP, the increase in introduced taxa and in microcharcoal particles is interpreted as human impact. In a forthcoming paper, the ongoing high-resolution palynological analysis of the whole core will be compared and integrated into regional palaeoecological data.


Pollen, Vegetation, Climate, Human settlement, Vanuatu, Holocene

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