A promethean legacy: late quaternary vegetation history of Southern Georgia, Caucasus
AuthorConnor, Simon Edward
AffiliationFaculty of Arts, Social and Environmental Enquiry
Document TypePhD thesis
CitationsConnor, Simon Edward (2006) A promethean legacy: late quaternary vegetation history of Southern Georgia, Caucasus. PhD Thesis, Faculty of Arts, Social and Environmental Enquiry, University of Melbourne.
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2006 Simon Edward Connor.
This dissertation presents new data on the vegetation history of the Caucasus, a region of high biodiversity and ancient human occupation. The aim of the study is to determine the causes of vegetation changes in Southern Georgia over the past 14,000 years by comparing well-dated pollen and charcoal records to evidence of past climatic change and human activity in the region. Pollen data from semi-arid and mountainous environments are often very difficult to interpret, a consideration which has hampered previous research in Southern Georgia. In this thesis I present a novel method to overcome this problem to allow the reconstruction of past trends in rainfall, temperature, forest cover and land-use. Reconstructed climatic parameters show that the study area’s climate was extremely arid and seasonally variable between 14,000 and 11,500 years ago. Precipitation increased slowly during the early Holocene, such that a rainfall pattern of more or less modern character was established in Georgia between 9000 and 8000 years ago. Conditions then became wetter and warmer during the mid Holocene, reverting to a cooler and drier climates during the late Holocene.
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