Journal article

A Holocene record of sea level, vegetation, people and fire from western Tasmania, Australia

Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Ian Thomas



The analysis of a 10 000 calendar year (cal. ka) pollen record on the west coast of Tasmania has revealed a suite of changes that can be related to sea level, fire and people. Fire-promoted moorland has occupied the site for the entire period and challenges the long-held assumption that rainforest dominated the landscape of western Tasmania through the early to mid Holocene. Changes in wetland taxa and the occurrence of benthic marine diatoms indicate a Holocene sea-level high-stand between 6.3 and 5.8 cal. ka. A significant and sustained rise in charcoal concentration occurs after 6 cal. ka, reflecting the combined effects of anthropogenic burning and hydrological changes that were probably..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This work was completed while M-SF was in receipt of an Australian Postgraduate Award at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and finalized while in receipt of a Postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, Chile. Radiocarbon analyses were funded by an AIATSIS Radiocarbon Grant and fieldwork by the Mazda Foundation. Thanks to Maj-Britt di Folco for informing us of the site, Simon Connor and Libby Rumpff for field assistance and two anonymous referees for comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript.