Late Holocene vegetation, climate change and human impact in southwestern Madhya Pradesh, India
Keywords:Late Holocene, Vegetation, Climate, Pollen analysis, Southwestern Madhya Pradesh
Pollen analysis of a 2 m deep sediment profile from the dried Kachhar Lake, Sehore District, has demonstrated that between 2050 and 1610 yr BP, open Acacia-scrub forest constituted of Acacia cf. nilotica, Grewia, Mitragyna, Sapotaceae flourished in the region under relatively warm and humid climate with moderate monsoon precipitation, than that prevails today. The retrieval of fragmentary charcoals implies the repeated forest fire incidences. The presence of Cerealia and ruderal plant taxa, viz. Cannabis sativa, Cheno/Am, Caryophyllaceae, etc. suggests the agricultural practices in the region. Between 1610 and 600 yr BP, Acacia-scrub forest turned profuse with expansion of Acacia cf. nilotica and other arboreals, viz. Shorea robusta, Terminalia, Grewia and Madhuca indica in response to more-humid climate with the onset of increased monsoon precipitation. Agriculture practice continued with same intensity as before. Since 600 yr BP onwards, the climate changed to less-humid as indicated by decline in Acacia-scrub forest. The decline in Cerealia reflects the low pace of agriculture practice.
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