Vegetation and environments since the Last Glacial Maximum in the Southern Tablelands, New South Wales

Justine Kemp, Geoffrey Hope

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Regional changes in vegetation and environment in the last 16 ka have been reconstructed from Micalong Swamp and Willigobung Swamp (35°S) on the western Southern Tablelands of New South Wales (NSW). Micalong Swamp lies at 980m above sea level (a.s.l.), which is close to the subalpine treeline at this latitude. Willigobung Swamp (780m a.s.l.) approaches the modern ecotone between dry and wet montane forest formations. The sites are sensitive to shifts in temperature and precipitation and are the first reported pollen records from the western montane slopes of NSW. A radiocarbon-based chronology indicates that Micalong Swamp was a swampy, gravel floodplain surrounded by alpine grassland before 16.1 ka. Subalpine woodland may have become established at 1000m by 16-14 ka. Organic fen sedimentation developed <11.8 ka at Willigobung, and ~11.7 ka at the higher elevation Micalong Swamp. Wet forest elements were present at both sites around 10 ka and persisted for 3-4 ka. Sedimentation in a shallow lake or fen between 10 and 8 ka supports this evidence for wetter conditions in the early Holocene. In the late Holocene an expansion of subalpine flora between 2.7 and 0.9 ka preceded by shallow lake/fen sedimentation is consistent with regional evidence for neoglacial cooling.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)778-788
    JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
    Volume29
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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