Holocene Paleoenvironmental Change in the Kenyan Central Rift as Indicated by Micromammals from Enkapune Ya Muto Rockshelter

Curtis Marean, Nina Mudida, Kaye Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An assemblage of micromammals, recovered from the Holocene levels of a rockshelter at 2400 m in the montane forest of the Mau Escarpment, were examined with the goal of testing and contributing to prior reconstructions of paleoenvironments in the Central Rift Valley of Kenya. Species representation in the assemblage is consistent with a drying of the Rift Valley lakes in the middle Holocene and suggests a decrease in forest accompanied by expanding grasslands near the site. Changes in the abundance of grassland species suggests an increase in the frequency of fires, probably the result of pastoral burning. The body size of the root rat (Tachyoryctes splendens) decreases from the early Holocene to the middle Holocene, and this may indicate increasing aridity or increasing temperature. We compare measures of species diversity (number of taxa, species richness, and the Shannon diversity index) for both micromammals and macromammals since species diversity may change with paleoenvironmental change. The macromammals show no changes in species diversity that are assignable to paleoenvironmental change, while the micromammals show a trend toward decreasing diversity from the early to middle Holocene, and then show an increase in diversity during the peak of the middle Holocene dry phase, though sample size effects may be confounding the patterning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-389
Number of pages14
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Holocene
species diversity
rift zone
grassland
size effect
escarpment
montane forest
aridity
paleoenvironment
diversity index
Micromammals
Rock Shelter
body size
species richness
Middle Holocene
lake
Species Diversity
temperature
Grassland
Assemblages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

@article{e153bbc618e64539a5e6b02e64a1800f,
title = "Holocene Paleoenvironmental Change in the Kenyan Central Rift as Indicated by Micromammals from Enkapune Ya Muto Rockshelter",
abstract = "An assemblage of micromammals, recovered from the Holocene levels of a rockshelter at 2400 m in the montane forest of the Mau Escarpment, were examined with the goal of testing and contributing to prior reconstructions of paleoenvironments in the Central Rift Valley of Kenya. Species representation in the assemblage is consistent with a drying of the Rift Valley lakes in the middle Holocene and suggests a decrease in forest accompanied by expanding grasslands near the site. Changes in the abundance of grassland species suggests an increase in the frequency of fires, probably the result of pastoral burning. The body size of the root rat (Tachyoryctes splendens) decreases from the early Holocene to the middle Holocene, and this may indicate increasing aridity or increasing temperature. We compare measures of species diversity (number of taxa, species richness, and the Shannon diversity index) for both micromammals and macromammals since species diversity may change with paleoenvironmental change. The macromammals show no changes in species diversity that are assignable to paleoenvironmental change, while the micromammals show a trend toward decreasing diversity from the early to middle Holocene, and then show an increase in diversity during the peak of the middle Holocene dry phase, though sample size effects may be confounding the patterning.",
author = "Curtis Marean and Nina Mudida and Kaye Reed",
year = "1994",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1006/qres.1994.1042",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "41",
pages = "376--389",
journal = "Quaternary Research",
issn = "0033-5894",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Holocene Paleoenvironmental Change in the Kenyan Central Rift as Indicated by Micromammals from Enkapune Ya Muto Rockshelter

AU - Marean, Curtis

AU - Mudida, Nina

AU - Reed, Kaye

PY - 1994/5

Y1 - 1994/5

N2 - An assemblage of micromammals, recovered from the Holocene levels of a rockshelter at 2400 m in the montane forest of the Mau Escarpment, were examined with the goal of testing and contributing to prior reconstructions of paleoenvironments in the Central Rift Valley of Kenya. Species representation in the assemblage is consistent with a drying of the Rift Valley lakes in the middle Holocene and suggests a decrease in forest accompanied by expanding grasslands near the site. Changes in the abundance of grassland species suggests an increase in the frequency of fires, probably the result of pastoral burning. The body size of the root rat (Tachyoryctes splendens) decreases from the early Holocene to the middle Holocene, and this may indicate increasing aridity or increasing temperature. We compare measures of species diversity (number of taxa, species richness, and the Shannon diversity index) for both micromammals and macromammals since species diversity may change with paleoenvironmental change. The macromammals show no changes in species diversity that are assignable to paleoenvironmental change, while the micromammals show a trend toward decreasing diversity from the early to middle Holocene, and then show an increase in diversity during the peak of the middle Holocene dry phase, though sample size effects may be confounding the patterning.

AB - An assemblage of micromammals, recovered from the Holocene levels of a rockshelter at 2400 m in the montane forest of the Mau Escarpment, were examined with the goal of testing and contributing to prior reconstructions of paleoenvironments in the Central Rift Valley of Kenya. Species representation in the assemblage is consistent with a drying of the Rift Valley lakes in the middle Holocene and suggests a decrease in forest accompanied by expanding grasslands near the site. Changes in the abundance of grassland species suggests an increase in the frequency of fires, probably the result of pastoral burning. The body size of the root rat (Tachyoryctes splendens) decreases from the early Holocene to the middle Holocene, and this may indicate increasing aridity or increasing temperature. We compare measures of species diversity (number of taxa, species richness, and the Shannon diversity index) for both micromammals and macromammals since species diversity may change with paleoenvironmental change. The macromammals show no changes in species diversity that are assignable to paleoenvironmental change, while the micromammals show a trend toward decreasing diversity from the early to middle Holocene, and then show an increase in diversity during the peak of the middle Holocene dry phase, though sample size effects may be confounding the patterning.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0028190421&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0028190421&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1006/qres.1994.1042

DO - 10.1006/qres.1994.1042

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0028190421

VL - 41

SP - 376

EP - 389

JO - Quaternary Research

JF - Quaternary Research

SN - 0033-5894

IS - 3

ER -