Late Holocene fire history and palaeoecological conditions at Dunphy Lake, Warrumbungle National Park, New South Wales, Australia

Tsuyoshi Kobayashi, Timothy Ralph, Jamie Lobb, Tim Ingleton, Patricia Gadd, Gunther Theischinger

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract

    Abstract

    There is a significant geographical and temporal gap in the Holocene environmental record of fire, hydrology and palaeoecological conditions in the region of the Warrumbungle Mountains in eastern Australia. Dunphy Lake (-31.3076°S, 149.0149°E) is a small, ephemeral freshwater wetland within Warrumbungle National Park, and the only example of its kind in this temperate -semiarid region. Late Holocene fire history and palaeoecological conditions at Dunphy Lake were determined using a multiproxy approach that incorporates geochronological, limnological and geochemical techniques. The sediment profile at Dunphy Lake is dominated by mud (< 63 µm) and the macrocharcoal record indicates that the largest local fire events have occurred since 1,793±28 years BP. Some distinct peaks in macrocharcoal are coincident with peaks in sand (63-2000 µm) content, suggesting that some fires occurred at similar times to episodes of significant runoff and sediment flux from the catchment. Recent palaeoecological conditions were conducive to a relatively complex aquatic food web, as shown by the presence of micro- and macro-invertebrate and diatom remains in the upper sediment facies. A geochemical record derived from ITRAX core scanning shows facies with elevated pedogenic (e.g. Mn, Ca) and detrital (e.g. Si, Ti) elements, but does not show a significant increase in anthropogenic elements at the surface. Altogether, this multiproxy approach yields a record of fire and aquatic conditions that can be used to place historical and contemporary fires and vegetation changes in this region into context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe changing freshwater landscape
    Subtitle of host publicationcollaboration, communication and communities: NZFSS and ASL 2015 joint conference
    Pages89
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2015
    EventNew Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society (NZFSS) and Australian Society for Limnology (ASL) 2015 joint conference - Wellington, New Zealand
    Duration: 23 Nov 201526 Nov 2015

    Conference

    ConferenceNew Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society (NZFSS) and Australian Society for Limnology (ASL) 2015 joint conference
    CountryNew Zealand
    CityWellington
    Period23/11/1526/11/15

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