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Late Quaternary Organic Deposits at Smelter Creek and Vegetation History of the Middle King Valley, Western Tasmania

Eric A. Colhoun, Guus van de Geer and Sean J. Fitzsimons
Journal of Biogeography
Vol. 19, No. 2 (Mar., 1992), pp. 217-227
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/2845507
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2845507
Page Count: 11
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Late Quaternary Organic Deposits at Smelter Creek and Vegetation History of the Middle King Valley, Western Tasmania
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Abstract

Two sequences or organic deposits within a late Quaternary succession were studied in the King Valley. The upper Holocene peat sequence commenced forming about 11.8 ka BP. The early Holocene vegetation was wet forest dominated by Phyllocladus. Nothofagus attains a weak peak in the mid Holocene at c. 6 ka BP. Epacridaceae becomes important around 8 ka BP and Melaleuca peaks after 3.7 ka BP. Lagarostrobos expands after 4.9 ka BP. These taxa largely represent expansion of heath, riparian forest and scrub vegetation. The lower sequence is interglacial and is dated by the amino-acid method to Isotope Stage 5. The vegetation consisted of Casuarina-Phyllocladus wet forest and scrub, that altered to Casuarina-Lagarostrobos forest/woodland with heath and sedgeland in the upper part. Comparison of the Smelter Creek interglacial vegetation with other interglacial sequences from perhumid western Tasmania indicates that local ecological factors influenced the spatial variations in interglacial vegetation communities. Each site needs to be analysed and dated independently so that we can obtain enough information on the range of vegetation communities developed during interglacials.

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