Journal article

The origin and temporal development of an ancient cultural landscape

Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Ian Thomas



Aim- To reconstruct the Late Glacial and Holocene vegetation history of western Tasmania and to test the long-held notion of a replacement of forest by moorland during the mid to late Holocene in western Tasmania, Australia.Location- Western Tasmania, Australia.Methods- Fossil pollen data were screened with a modern pollen dataset using detrended correspondence analysis and charcoal data were analysed using significance tests.Results- At the landscape scale, the distribution of vegetation types in western Tasmania has remained remarkably stable through the post-glacial period Open moorland has dominated the landscape since the Late Glacial, while rain forest expanded at that time in to areas..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge and thank Mike MacPhail, Eric Colhoun and Guus van der Geer, on whose shoulders we stand, for their contributions to Tasmanian palaeoecology. Thanks to Simon Connor and Libby Rumpff for help in the field, and Bree Stafford for help with compiling the manuscript. M.S.F. was in receipt of an Australian Postgraduate Award at the University of Melbourne during the course of the research. Fiscal and logistical support from the Mazda Foundation, Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and the Institute of Ecology of Biodiversity, Chile, made this work possible and is greatly appreciated. We also thank David Bowman and two anonymous referees for their comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript.