Pollen and spore counts of sediment core GeoB12624, supplement to: Bouimetarhan, Ilham; Dupont, Lydie M; Kuhlmann, Holger; Pätzold, Jürgen; Prange, Matthias; Schefuß, Enno; Zonneveld, Karin A F (2015): Northern Hemisphere control of deglacial vegetation changes in the Rufiji uplands (Tanzania). Climate of the Past, 11(5), 751-764


In tropical eastern Africa, vegetation distribution is largely controlled by regional hydrology, which has varied over the past 20 000 years. Therefore, accurate reconstructions of past vegetation and hydrological changes are crucial for a better understanding of climate variability in the tropical southeastern African region. We present high-resolution pollen records from a marine sediment core recovered offshore of the Rufiji River delta. Our data document significant shifts in pollen assemblages during the last deglaciation, identifying, through changes in both upland and lowland vegetation, specific responses of plant communities to atmospheric (precipitation) and coastal (coastal dynamics and sea-level changes) alterations. Specifically, arid conditions reflected by a maximum pollen representation of dry and open vegetation occurred during the Northern Hemisphere cold Heinrich event 1 (H1), suggesting that the expansion of drier upland vegetation was synchronous with cold Northern Hemisphere conditions. This arid period is followed by an interval in which forest and humid woodlands expanded, indicating a hydrologic shift towards more humid conditions. Droughts during H1 and the shift to humid conditions around 14.8 kyr BP in the uplands are consistent with latitudinal shifts of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) driven by high-latitude Northern Hemisphere climatic fluctuations. Additionally, our results show that the lowland vegetation, consisting of well-developed salt marshes and mangroves in a successional pattern typical for vegetation occurring in intertidal habitats, has responded mainly to local coastal dynamics related to marine inundation frequencies and soil salinity in the Rufiji Delta as well as to the local moisture availability. Lowland vegetation shows a substantial expansion of mangrove trees after ~ 14.8 kyr BP, suggesting an increased moisture availability and river runoff in the coastal area. The results of this study highlight the decoupled climatic and environmental processes to which the vegetation in the uplands and the Rufiji Delta has responded during the last deglaciation.

DOI https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.835316
Related Identifier https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-751-2015
Metadata Access https://ws.pangaea.de/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=datacite4&identifier=oai:pangaea.de:doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.835316
Creator Bouimetarhan, Ilham; Dupont, Lydie M; Kuhlmann, Holger; Pätzold, Jürgen; Prange, Matthias; Schefuß, Enno; Zonneveld, Karin A F
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2015
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 1621 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (39.753 LON, -8.234 LAT); Area South of Mafia Island