Past environmental change on Mauritius has been the focus of research with the Palaeoecology & Landscape Ecology group at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) for a number of years. This research has been lead by Erik de Boer and Henry Hooghiemstra and has already resulted in a number of key publications on the environmental history of the island (de Boer et al., 2013, 2014, 2015). One current past environmental change research project working on Mauritius is being undertaken by Jona de Krui; a student within the UvA BSc Biology program supervised by myself and Erik. Jona’s is working on a study site (modern day swamp) on the north-east of the island and is focused on improving our understanding changes in the:
- depositional environment (loss-on-ignition analysis),
- fire activity (macro-charcoal analysis), and
- vegetation (macro-fossils) over the last c. 1000 years.
Jona has now completed the analysis of all his samples and we are currently collating the data sets; however, a number of the macro-fossils which he has discovered remain unidentified. Below are images of the unknown macro-fossils if you have any suggestions on identifications please comment, or get in touch directly.
de Boer, E.J., Vélez, M.I., Rijsdijk, K.F., de Louw, P.G., Vernimmen, T.J., Visser, P.M., Tjallingii, R. & Hooghiemstra, H. (2015) A deadly cocktail: How a drought around 4200 cal. yr BP caused mass mortality events at the infamous ‘dodo swamp’ in Mauritius. The Holocene 25, 758-771. DOI: 10.1177/0959683614567886
de Boer, E.J., Tjallingii, R., Vélez, M.I., Rijsdijk, K.F., Vlug, A., Reichart, G., Prendergast, A.L., de Louw, P.G.B., Florens, F.B.V., Baider, C. & Hooghiemstra, H. (2014) Climate variability in the SW Indian Ocean from an 8000-yr long multi-proxy record in the Mauritian lowlands shows a middle to late Holocene shift from negative IOD-state to ENSO-state. Quaternary Science Reviews 86, 175-189. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.12.026
de Boer, E.J., Hooghiemstra, H., Vincent Florens, F.B., Baider, C., Engels, S., Dakos, V., Blaauw, M. & Bennett, K.D. (2013) Rapid succession of plant associations on the small ocean island of Mauritius at the onset of the Holocene. Quaternary Science Reviews 68, 114-125. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.02.005