Newnham, R.M., Lowe, D.J. & Matthews, B.W. (1998). A late-Holocene and prehistoric record of environmental change from Lake Waikaremoana, New Zealand. The Holocene, 8(4), 443-454.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5240
Further evidence in support of a late pre-European (Polynesian) settlement of New Zealand is provided by an 1850-year-long tephropalynological record from a remote region in New Zealand's North Island. The earliest unequivocally anthropogenic forest clearance is estimated from sedimentation rates to have occurred c. 375 14C years BP (c. ad 1523–1631), although the radiocarbon chronology, shown by tephrochron ology to be erroneous due to hard-water effects, suggested this occurred c. 900 years earlier. Delineation of the anthropogenic era, and the distinction between human activity and other agents of environmental change in the pollen/spore diagram, are supported by cluster analysis and detrended correspondence analysis. Two distinct phases of forest clearance are evident during the pre-European era, reflecting local changes either in population pressure or settlement patterns. We note that the lull between the two phases of forest clearance coincides with the maximum of the ‘Little Ice Age’ within the period c. late ad 1600s to early 1800s.