Lake sediment fecal and biomass burning biomarkers provide direct evidence for prehistoric human-lit fires in New Zealand.

Show simple item record Argiriadis, E en Battistel, D en McWethy, DB en Vecchiato, M en Kirchgeorg, T en Kehrwald, NM en Whitlock, C en Wilmshurst, Janet en Barbante, C en 2019-03-05T02:35:17Z en 2018-08-14 en
dc.identifier.citation Scientific Reports 8(1) 01 Dec 2018 en
dc.identifier.issn 2045-2322 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Deforestation associated with the initial settlement of New Zealand is a dramatic example of how humans can alter landscapes through fire. However, evidence linking early human presence and land-cover change is inferential in most continental sites. We employed a multi-proxy approach to reconstruct anthropogenic land use in New Zealand's South Island over the last millennium using fecal and plant sterols as indicators of human activity and monosaccharide anhydrides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, charcoal and pollen as tracers of fire and vegetation change in lake-sediment cores. Our data provide a direct record of local human presence in Lake Kirkpatrick and Lake Diamond watersheds at the time of deforestation and a new and stronger case of human agency linked with forest clearance. The first detection of human presence matches charcoal and biomarker evidence for initial burning at c. AD 1350. Sterols decreased shortly after to values suggesting the sporadic presence of people and then rose to unprecedented levels after the European settlement. Our results confirm that initial human arrival in New Zealand was associated with brief and intense burning activities. Testing our approach in a context of well-established fire history provides a new tool for understanding cause-effect relationships in more complex continental reconstructions. en
dc.format.medium Electronic en
dc.language eng en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Scientific reports en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Feces en
dc.subject Humans en
dc.subject Plants en
dc.subject Charcoal en
dc.subject Phytosterols en
dc.subject Conservation of Natural Resources en
dc.subject Fires en
dc.subject Geologic Sediments en
dc.subject Archaeology en
dc.subject Fossils en
dc.subject History, Ancient en
dc.subject New Zealand en
dc.subject Lakes en
dc.subject Biomarkers en
dc.subject Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons en
dc.title Lake sediment fecal and biomass burning biomarkers provide direct evidence for prehistoric human-lit fires in New Zealand. en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1038/s41598-018-30606-3 en
pubs.issue 1 en
pubs.begin-page 12113 en
pubs.volume 8 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The authors en
pubs.publication-status Published en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.subtype Historical Article en
pubs.subtype Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't en
pubs.subtype research-article en
pubs.subtype Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S. en
pubs.subtype Journal Article en
pubs.elements-id 753692 en Science en School of Environment en
dc.identifier.eissn 2045-2322 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2018-08-16 en
pubs.dimensions-id 30108240 en

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