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Assessing the use of mangrove pollen as a quantitative sea‐level indicator on Mahé, Seychelles

Sefton, J.P. and Woodroffe, S.A. (2021) 'Assessing the use of mangrove pollen as a quantitative sea‐level indicator on Mahé, Seychelles.', Journal of quaternary science., 36 (2). pp. 311-323.


We investigated the potential of mangrove pollen from Mahé, Seychelles, to improve existing metre‐scale Late Holocene sediment‐based sea‐level reconstructions. Mangrove species at two mangrove sites are broadly zoned according to elevation within the tidal frame. Modern pollen rain from traps deployed for 1 year generally have a poor relationship with modern vegetation, and relatively low pollen production rates. Pollen from mangrove species that live in narrow elevation zones (e.g. Avicennia marina) are poorly represented in modern pollen rain, while pollen from mangrove species that live across a larger elevational range (e.g. Rhizophora mucronata) are relatively well represented. Pollen was found in extremely low concentrations in mangrove surface and core sediments, which inhibited further study into pollen transport and preservation. The results from this modern study demonstrate that utilizing mangrove pollen would not decrease existing metre‐scale vertical uncertainties in Late Holocene sea‐level reconstructions in the Seychelles. We suggest that this approach may still be successful in other locations if mangrove vegetation is (i) zoned at a more extensive lateral scale and (ii) is closely associated with modern pollen rain and surface sediments, and (iii) sedimentological conditions promote the preservation of pollen in fossil sequences.

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Publisher statement:© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Quaternary Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Date accepted:05 January 2021
Date deposited:17 March 2021
Date of first online publication:27 February 2021
Date first made open access:17 March 2021

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