UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Late Quaternary research in southern Africa: progress, challenges and future trajectories

Fitchett, JM; Grab, SW; Bamford, MK; Mackay, AW; (2017) Late Quaternary research in southern Africa: progress, challenges and future trajectories. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa , 72 (3) pp. 280-293. 10.1080/0035919X.2017.1297966. Green open access

[thumbnail of 2017 Fitchett et al PrePrint.pdf]
Preview
Text
2017 Fitchett et al PrePrint.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

Southern African late Quaternary research has developed rapidly during recent decades, with an increase in the range of proxies used, the inclusion of new field sites, and increased international collaboration and skills transfer. This has enabled recent meta-studies into the synoptic drivers of palaeoenvironmental shifts across the region, and of spatial variability in climatic and environmental changes. Expanded research has also highlighted uncertainties in the understanding of southern African palaeoenvironments, and the relationships with Northern Hemisphere analogues, encouraging on-going critical debate within the discipline. Given current concerns of climate change impacts on the natural environment, the spread of invasives, increased fire frequency, and anthropogenic influences on the natural environment, palaeoenvironmental data and inferences are increasingly being utilised outside of the palaeoenvironmental discipline, providing a valuable inter-disciplinary platform for global change science in the region. Relative to the size, landscape and climatic heterogeneity and resultant biome variability across southern Africa, the network of palaeoenvironmental study sites remains sparse, and arguably insufficient to resolve key debates. This paper critically reviews these spatial gaps in palaeoenvironmental knowledge, with a particular emphasis on the shortfalls of the current network of study sites and palaeoenvironmental records in resolving debates concerning latitudinal shifts of the Westerlies, conditions during the last glacial maximum and contemporaneous Northern and Southern Hemisphere climatic events. Southern African applications of palaeoenvironmental science in exploring ecological trait shifts, fire influences and anthropogenic impacts are briefly discussed, to facilitate the future identification of key sites, proxies, debates and applications in ongoing regional Quaternary work.

Type: Article
Title: Late Quaternary research in southern Africa: progress, challenges and future trajectories
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/0035919X.2017.1297966
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/0035919X.2017.1297966
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: southern Africa, palaeoenvironmental research, state of the science, proxies, site selection
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1568232
Downloads since deposit
193Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item