Caush dating coral 301

Generally, low terrestrial sediment input between 70 and 15 kyr ago also provides evidence for drier climatic conditions (Fig. The records from the North Australian Basin and tropical Queensland (Lynch’s Crater and ODP Site 820) record similar changes to drier vegetation types through this period70 kyr ago, charcoal peaks in the Cape Pasley record are associated with high values for Myrtaceous elements (Fig. 4), indicating that sclerophyll forests were the principal source of fuel for fires.

After 70 kyr ago, lower and more stable values for charcoal indicate a reduction in biomass burning and that burning events were less extreme.

Spores of the coprophilous fungi Sporormiella, commonly produced on the dung of herbivores and shown in the fossil record to be consistent and reliable markers of Pleistocene megafaunal biomass (declining during mass extinctions and increasing during the introduction of domesticated livestock in recent centuries), were identified in this study (Supplementary Fig.

2) and used to indicate the presence of megafaunal populations.

This altered fire regime coincides with the change to more open vegetation shown by the expansion of herbaceous and herbaceous taxa and reduced terrestrial sediment levels (Fig. The record from the Cape Range Peninsula also shows high levels of charcoal associated with peak Myrtaceae values in the early part of the last glacial cycle (Fig.

Environmental histories that span the last full glacial cycle and are representative of regional change in Australia are scarce, hampering assessment of environmental change preceding and concurrent with human dispersal on the continent ca. Here we present a continuous 150,000-year record offshore south-western Australia and identify the timing of two critical late Pleistocene events: wide-scale ecosystem change and regional megafaunal population collapse.As a marine sequence, the Cape Pasley record is not subject to local taphonomic biases that may occur and require consideration at terrestrial settings such as local moisture levels.In our record, Sporormiella is abundant throughout MIS 6, 5, 4 and the early part of MIS 3, and rare in the later part of MIS 3, 2 and MIS 1.The insert map of Australia shows all sites mentioned in the text: the three long (≥150 kyr) continuous records of environmental change are denoted by open circles, other records of environmental change by squares, megafaunal sites by open diamonds and the triangle denotes archaeological site.Site numbers on inset map: (1) North Australian Basin (core MD98-2167); (2) Coral Sea (core ODP Site 820); (3) Lynch’s Crater; (4) Lake Eyre; (5) Cape Range Peninsula (core Fr10/95-GC17); (6) Devil’s Lair. The greatest density of forest, dominated by Eucalyptus, is identified during MIS 5.5 (the last interglacial), most likely developed under climatic conditions comparable to those today in the south-western corner of the continent (Fig.

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Maps made using GMTThe Cape Pasley marine core record provides a high-resolution record of environmental change from the south-west of Australia. Overall, vegetation change has followed Northern Hemisphere ice-volume variation with expansion of tree cover under warm, high-precipitation regimes during MIS 5 and, to a lesser degree, MIS 1, and contraction during maximum cold and dry phases of MIS 6 2 (Fig. 1) and indicates that this period experienced the highest effective precipitation of the entire record.

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