First records and potential palaeoecological significance of Dianella (Xanthorrhoeaceae), an extinct representative of the native flora of Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Nuria Canellas-Bolta, Valenti Rull, Alberto Saez, Matthew Prebble, Olga Margalef

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Easter Island, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, is currently primarily covered by grasslands, but palaeoecological studies have shown the former presence of different vegetation. Much of its original biota has been removed during the last two millennia, most likely by human activities, and little is known about the native flora. Macrofossil and pollen analyses of a sediment core from the Raraku crater lake have revealed the occurrence of a plant that is currently extinct from the island: Dianella cf. intermedia/adenanthera (Xanthorrhoeaceae), which grew and disappeared at the Raraku site long before human arrival. The occurrence of Dianella within the Raraku sedimentary sequence (between 9.4 and 5.4 cal. kyr b.p.) could have been linked to the existence of favorable palaeoenvironmental conditions (peatland rather than the present-day lacustrine environment) during the early to mid Holocene. This finding contributes new knowledge about indigenous plant diversity on Easter Island and reinforces the usefulness of further macrofossil and pollen analyses to identify native species on Easter Island and elsewhere.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)331-338
    JournalVegetation History and Archaeobotany
    Volume23
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'First records and potential palaeoecological significance of Dianella (Xanthorrhoeaceae), an extinct representative of the native flora of Rapa Nui (Easter Island)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this