Personal tools

Document Actions

Pollen core assemblages as indicators of Polynesian and European impact on the vegetation cover of Auckland Isthmus catchment, New Zealand

by Mark Horrocks last modified 2020-12-03 05:03 PM

Abrahim GMS, Parker RJ, Horrocks M. 2013. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 131, 162-170.


Tamaki Estuary is an arm of the Hauraki Gulf situated on the eastern side of central Auckland. Over the last 100 years, Tamaki catchment has evolved from a nearly rural landscape to an urbanised and industrialised area. Pollen, 14C and glass shards analyses, were carried out on three cores collected along the estuary with the aim to reconstruct the estuary’s history over the last ~8000 years and trace natural and anthropogenic effects recorded in the sediments. Glass shard analysis was used to establish key tephra time markers such as the peralkaline eruption of Mayor Island, ~6000 years BP.

During the pre-Polynesian period (since at least 8000 years BP), regional vegetation was podocarp/hardwood forest dominated by Dacrydium cupressinum, Prumnopitys taxifolia, and Metrosideros. Major Polynesian settler impact (commencing ~700 yr BP) was associated with forest clearance as indicated by a sharp decline in forest pollen types. This coincided with an increase in bracken (Pteridium esculentum) spores and grass pollen. Continuing landscape disturbance during European settlement (commencing after 1840 AD) was accompanied by the distinctive appearance of exotic pollen taxa such as Pinus.


Palynology, Tamaki Estuary, Mayor Island tephra, Auckland Isthmus, New Zealand.

Copyright © 2004 Microfossil Research Ltd
Website designed by Enterprise Web Services NZ Ltd
Website hosted and maintained by Winterhouse Consulting Ltd

Powered by Plone