Paleoenvironmental change in tropical Africa during the Holocene based on a record from Lake Kifuruka, western Uganda

Academic Article


  • ABSTRACTA 10 000‐year palynological record of vegetation and environmental changes in tropical Africa is presented, based on sediment data from a 230‐cm‐long core recovered from Lake Kifuruka in western Uganda. The Lake Kifuruka record provides new sedimentary and paleoecological data for human–environment interactions and anthropogenic disturbance in the tropical African region during the Holocene. The record shows evidence for prolonged dry conditions in the region at the terminus of the last glaciation period and the onset of the Holocene period. The early Holocene and mid‐Holocene periods were characterized by largely warm and wet climatic conditions. The pollen record shows evidence of forest disturbance that is probably associated with agricultural activities near Lake Kifuruka shortly after ca. 4300BP cal a BP coinciding with a time of increased desiccation in the region. The forest disturbance in the record appears to have intensified and continued into the modern period but with no significant change in the overall vegetation diversity, suggesting quick environmental recovery. The Lake Kifuruka record is largely devoid of the abrupt climatic changes that have been observed from a couple of sites in the East African region, which implies that the changes may be site specific rather than regional scale.
  • Authors

  • Kiage, Lawrence M
  • Howey, Meghan
  • Hartter, Joel
  • Palace, Michael
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 2017
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Uganda
  • crater lakes
  • human disturbance
  • paleoenvironmental change
  • palynology
  • tropical Africa
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 1099
  • End Page

  • 1111
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 8