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Pollen analysis of a core from Ishiba Ngandu in Zambia reveals only one significant change in the pollen assemblage laid down over a period of 22,000 yr. About 3,000 B. P. a number of taxa characteristic of moist to dry evergreen forest at low, moderate or high altitudes declined from very low levels to even lower ones. This decline was probably both relative and absolute. At the same time a small group of taxa that grow in both swamp forest and savannah increased in a relative sense, although probably not in absolute deposition rate. Possibly this change represents the effects of agriculturalists on the vegetation. Neither montane forest nor moist forest of low and intermediate altitudes appears to have grown in this part of Zambia during the past 22,000 yr. The lack of dramatic changes in pollen cannot be attributed with any assurance to a stable climate, however, because it is unlikely that the vegetational changes to be expected if the rainfall changed by as much as 50% from the present mean level would be recognizable by pollen analysis.
Limnology and Oceanography