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The modern pollen-vegetation relationship of a tropical forest-savannah mosaic landscape, Ghana, West Africa

Julier, Adele C. M.; Jardine, Phillip E.; Adu-Bredu, Stephen; Coe, Angela L.; Duah-Gyamfi, Akwasi; Fraser, Wesley T.; Lomax, Barry H.; Malhi, Yavinder; Moore, Sam; Owusu-Afriyie, Kennedy and Gosling, William D. (2018). The modern pollen-vegetation relationship of a tropical forest-savannah mosaic landscape, Ghana, West Africa. Palynology, 42(3) pp. 324–338.

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Transitions between forest and savannah vegetation types in fossil pollen records are often poorly understood due to over-production by taxa such as Poaceae and a lack of modern pollen-vegetation studies. Here, modern pollen assemblages from within a forest-savannah transition in West Africa are presented and compared, their characteristic taxa discussed, and implications for the fossil record considered. Fifteen artificial pollen traps were deployed for 1 year, to collect pollen rain from three vegetation plots within the forest-savannah transition in Ghana. High percentages of Poaceae and Melastomataceae/Combretaceae were recorded in all three plots. Erythrophleum suaveolens characterised the forest plot, Manilkara obovata the transition plot and Terminalia the savannah plot. The results indicate that Poaceae pollen influx rates provide the best representation of the forest-savannah gradient, and that a Poaceae abundance of >40% should be considered as indicative of savannah-type vegetation in the fossil record.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Authors
ISSN: 1558-9188
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
500,000 years of solar irradiance, climate and vegetation changes (SE-12-046-WG)NE/K005294/1NERC (Natural Environment Research Council)
Travel grantA130026Leverhulme Trust -Royal Society
Extra Information: 15 pp.
Keywords: pollen; Poaceae; savannah; Ghana; palaeoecology; Bosumtwi
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 52803
Depositing User: Angela Coe
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2018 09:26
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 19:08
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