Vegetational and climatic variations during the past 3100 years in southern India: evidence from pollen, magnetic susceptibility and particle size data

Amalava Bhattacharyya, Kizhur Sandeep, Sandhya Misra, Rajasekhariah Shankar, Anish K. Warrier, Zhou Weijian, Lu Xuefeng

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Vegetational history vis a vis climate change during the past 3100 cal. years BP was deciphered from pollen data supplemented with magnetic susceptibility and particle size data for a 2.5 m long sediment core from Pookot Lake, Kerala, southern India. Pollen data suggest a mixed assemblage of upland tropical elements and wetland mangrove taxa. The presence of trace amounts of pollen grains of montane taxa like Betula,Pinus and Alnus points to their long distance dispersal. Pollen grains of Ixora, Syzygium,Symplocos, Moraceae and Arecaceae that represent tropical vegetation were also recovered, indicating modern vegetation in and around Pookot Lake. Mangrove elements are mostly represented by species of Rhizophora and Ceriops decandra along with other taxa. High-rainfall periods are characterised by high sand % and low clay % and vice versa. The pollen data correspond well with magnetic susceptibility and particle size data. The data obtained suggest three broad phases of climate, with minor oscillations, during the past 3100 cal. years BP: (1) wet climate during 3100–2500 cal. years BP; (2) dry climate spanning a long period that ended around 1000 cal. years BP; (3) amelioration in climate after 1000 cal. years BP, reflected in the presence of luxuriant vegetation and high magnetic susceptibility values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3559-3572
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25-08-2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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