A pollen record of the last 450 years from a lowland peat bog on Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic, implying early anthropogenic influence

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Abstract

A pollen diagram from a small peat bog on the island of Tristan da Cunha in the central South Atlantic (37 degrees 05'S, 12 degrees 17'W) is presented. The pollen diagram contains data from both introduced and native plant taxa. The earliest pollen grains from introduced Plantago lanceolata are dated to around AD 1570, and probably represent unintentional introductions of weeds by the earliest Portuguese explorers visiting the islands. After AD 1600, a greater abundance of pollen from introduced plants and declining tree pollen values indicate opening of the lowland vegetation and more intense land use, probably attributable to the effect of seasonal seal and whale hunters. After AD 1800, evidence of increased erosion and more intense land use are inferred from the pollen diagram, reflecting permanent settlement. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-693
JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
Volume26
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geology

Keywords

  • human impact
  • palaeoecology
  • pollen analysis
  • peat
  • Tristan da Cunha

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