Holocene palaeoecology of the northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia, based on stick-nest rat (Leporillus spp.) middens

A preliminary overview

Lynne McCarthy, Lesley Head, Jay Quade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Eight stick-nest rat (Leporillus spp.) middens from three locations in the northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia provide a discontinuous palaeoecological record spanning the Holocene. Evidence from radiocarbon dates, pollen, plant macrofossils and animal macrofossils is presented. Both pollen and plant macrofossils show that in the early to mid- Holocene (c. 8.8-5.3 ka), woodlands with grassy understoreys were more widespread than present. This accords with other studies suggesting wetter conditions at this time. Samples dating to the Pleistocene Holocene transition (10.9-9 ka) are dominated by halophytes. It is not yet clear whether this is due to the continuation of Pleistocene aridity, changes in rainfall seasonality, or local influences on vegetation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-218
Number of pages14
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume123
Issue number1-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1996

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midden
paleoecology
South Australia
nest
nests
Holocene
pollen
halophytes
wet environmental conditions
dry environmental conditions
rats
Pleistocene
understory
woodlands
aridity
rain
vegetation
seasonality
woodland
animals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology

Cite this

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abstract = "Eight stick-nest rat (Leporillus spp.) middens from three locations in the northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia provide a discontinuous palaeoecological record spanning the Holocene. Evidence from radiocarbon dates, pollen, plant macrofossils and animal macrofossils is presented. Both pollen and plant macrofossils show that in the early to mid- Holocene (c. 8.8-5.3 ka), woodlands with grassy understoreys were more widespread than present. This accords with other studies suggesting wetter conditions at this time. Samples dating to the Pleistocene Holocene transition (10.9-9 ka) are dominated by halophytes. It is not yet clear whether this is due to the continuation of Pleistocene aridity, changes in rainfall seasonality, or local influences on vegetation.",
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