Palynological evidence for Quaternary vegetation and environments of mainland southeastern Australia

A. P. Kershaw, D. M. D'Costa, J. R.C. McEwen Mason, B. E. Wagstaff

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    Recent palynological data have allowed this preliminary reconstruction and interpretation of vegetation and associated environmental conditions for major periods within the Quaternary. It appears that closed-canopied rainforest, which dominated the landscape through much of the Tertiary period was substantially replaced by more open communities around the Tertiary/Quaternary boundary. The nature of the open vegetation changed in response to fluctuating climatic conditions and to the increasing magnitude of these oscillations. The most marked changes occurred within the last glacial/interglacial cycle most likely in response to burning by Aboriginal people. The present domination of the region by Eucalyptus forests and woodlands with a substantial grass cover may date only from the Mid Holocene period.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)391-404
    Number of pages14
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991

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