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The influence of climatic change, fire and species invasion on a Tasmanian temperate rainforest system over the past 18,000 years


Fletcher, M-S and Bowman, DMJS and Whitlock, C and Mariani, M and Beck, KK and Stahle, LN and Hopf, F and Benson, A and Hall, T and Heijnis, H and Zawadzki, A, The influence of climatic change, fire and species invasion on a Tasmanian temperate rainforest system over the past 18,000 years, Quaternary Science Reviews, 260 Article 106824. ISSN 0277-3791 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.106824


We aim to understand how did cool temperate rainforest respond to changes in climate and fire activity over the past 18 kcal yrs, interrogating the role that flammable plant species (such as Eucalyptus) have in the long-term dynamics of rainforest vegetation. We used high-resolution pollen and charcoal analysis, radiometric dating (lead and carbon), modern pollen-vegetation relationships, detrended correspondence analysis, rarefaction (palynological richness), rate of change and granger causality to understand the patterns and drivers of change in cool temperate rainforest from the sediments of Lake Vera, southwest Tasmania through time. We record clear changes in key rainforest taxa in response to climatic change throughout the record. The spread of rainforest through the lake catchment in the early and mid-Holocene effectively negated disturbance from fire despite a region-wide peak in fire activity. An anomalously dry period in the late-Holocene resulted in a local fire that facilitated the establishment of Eucalyptus within the local catchment. Granger causality tests reveal a significant lead of Eucalyptus over fire activity in the Holocene, indicating that fires were enhanced by this pyrogenic taxon following establishment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Tasmania, pollen, fire, rainforest, topographic refugia, climate change
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Fire ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:152689
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Research Performance and Analysis
Deposited On:2022-08-23
Last Modified:2022-09-20

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