Original Research

Histoire de la végétation et du climat de l’Afrique nord-tropicale au Quaternaire recent*

J. Maley
Bothalia | Vol 14, No 3/4 | a1182 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v14i3/4.1182 | © 1983 J. Maley | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 1983 | Published: 06 November 1983

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J. Maley, ORSTOM, Laboratoire de Palynologie du CNRS (LA 327), Université des Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, Montpellier, France

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Abstract

LATE QUATERNARY HISTORY OF VEGETATION AND CLIMATE OF TROPICAL NORTH AFRICA
The critical examination o f available pollen data from the vegetation of the Sahara allows one to conclude that this
vegetation has gone through but few qualitative changes during the last twenty thousand years. In particular, one
notices an extension in the Sahara of tropical Sahel taxa about the middle of Holocene. Quantitatively, some pollen
and geological data converge to Show that the Saharian plains were extremely arid between about 20 000 and 15 000
years BP and that on the mountains the vegetation became very sparse. A new colonization began on the mountains
about 15 000 years ago.
The pollen study of Holocene sediments from the central part o f the Chad basin was done in the Tjéri station. The
results of this study exhibit a major change near 7 000 years BP, characterized in the Sahel zone by a dramatic
extension o f arboreal taxa until about 5 000 years BP, probably corresponding to northward extension of the sahel
savanna. One important change took place also at the same time in the wet north tropical zone where, between about
7 000 and 4 000 years BP, there occurred an extension of taxa growing presently on the well-leached soils of
interfluves.
Such a change near 7 000 years BP also appears in the available stratigraphical, sedimentological and pedological
data from tropical north Africa. One observes particularly that, between 15 000 and 7 000 years BP, the

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