Vegetation change inferred from the pollen record in recent sediments from around the Lagos-East coastal environment (SW Nigeria)
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Recent sediments from the coastal environment of Lagos East, Nigeria, were used to make a palynological reconstruction of the vegetation of the study area and to draw inferences about its palaeoclimate. A total of 8456 palynomorphs were recovered, dominated by pollen grains of Poaceae (13.96%), Cyperaceae (6.23%), Alchornea cordifolia Müll-Arg (8.36%) and Elaeis guineensis Jacq (2.41%). Others were Cyclosorus afer Ching (2.18%), Rhizophora sp. (0.45%), Nephrolepis sp. (1.03%), Celtis sp. (0.25%) and Pteris sp. (0.13%). The composition of the recovered palynomorphs suggests that the past vegetation was predominantly a mosaic of freshwater swamp, with open to dry climate, as indicated by the records of Cyperaceae, Alchornea cordifolia, Elaeis guineensis, Arecaceae, Asteraceae, Acanthaceae and Chenopodiaceae/Amaranthaceae. Radiocarbon dates obtained from two depths (surface and deepest) indicate that the sediments were deposited around the last 103.8 ± 0.4 pMC (percentage Modern Carbon) and 111.9 ± 0.4 pMC, hence in the late Holocene. The study identified fluctuations between wet and dry climatic conditions in the Holocene of this area.
pollen, Holocene, vegetation change, south-western Nigeria