Macrofossils and pollen representing forests of the pre-Taupo volcanic eruption (c. 1850 yr BP) era at Pureora and Benneydale, central North Island, New Zealand.
Clarkson, B. R., McGlone, M. S., Lowe, D. J. & Clarkson, B. D. (1995). Macrofossils and pollen representing forests of the pre-Taupo volcanic eruption (c. 1850 yr BP) era at Pureora and Benneydale, central North Island, New Zealand. Journal of The Royal Society of New Zealand, 25(4), 263-281.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/139
Micro- and macrofossil data from the remains of forests overwhelmed and buried at Pureora and Benneydale during the Taupo eruption (c. 1850 conventional radiocarbon yr BP) were compared. Classification of relative abundance data separated the techniques, rather than the locations, because the two primary clusters comprised pollen and litter/wood. This indicates that the pollen:litter/wood within-site comparisons (Pureora and Benneydale are 20 km apart) are not reliable. Plant macrofossils represented mainly local vegetation, while pollen assemblages represented a combination of local and regional vegetation. However, using ranked abundance and presence/absence data, both macrofossils and pollen at Pureora and Benneydale indicated conifer/broadleaved forest, of similar forest type and species composition at each site. This suggests that the forests destroyed by the eruption were typical of mid-altitude west Taupo forests, and that either data set (pollen or macrofossils) would have been adequate for regional forest interpretation. The representation of c. 1850 yr BP pollen from the known buried forest taxa was generally consistent with trends determined by modern comparisons between pollen and their source vegetation, but with a few exceptions. A pollen profile from between the Mamaku Tephra (c. 7250 yr BP) and the Taupo Ignimbrite indicated that the Benneydale forest had been markedly different in species dominance compared with the forest that was destroyed during the Taupo eruption. These differences probably reflect changes in drainage, and improvements in climate and/or soil fertility over the middle Holocene.
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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal of The Royal Society of New Zealand, 25(2), 1995, (c) Royal Society of New Zealand at the Royal Society of New Zealand Journals Online webpage.