Intensifying Weathering and Land Use in Iron Age Central Africa

Type Article
Date 2012-03
Language English
Author(s) Bayon Germain1, Dennielou BernardORCID1, Etoubleau Joel1, Ponzevera Emmanuel1, Toucanne SamuelORCID1, Bermell Sylvain1
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Unite Rech Geosci Marines, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Science (0036-8075) (Amer Assoc Advancement Science), 2012-03 , Vol. 335 , N. 6073 , P. 1219-1222
DOI 10.1126/science.1215400
WOS© Times Cited 120
Abstract About 3000 years ago, a major vegetation change occurred in Central Africa, when rainforest trees were abruptly replaced by savannas. The consensus is that the forest disturbance was caused by climate change. We show here that chemical weathering in Central Africa, reconstructed from geochemical analyses of a marine sediment core, intensified abruptly at the same period, departing significantly from the long-term weathering fluctuations related to the Late Quaternary climate. Evidence that this weathering event was also contemporaneous with the migration of Bantu-speaking farmers across Central Africa suggests that human land-use intensification at that time already had a significant impact on the rainforest.
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