Abteilung Palynologie und Klimadynamik

PhD projekt:

Vegetation, climate, fire dynamics and human impacts in Java and southern Kalimantan inferred from pollen, spore and charcoal deposits in the Java Sea during the late Holocene


In order to obtain an understanding of future environment/ecosystem interactions in tropical ecosystems a long-term perspective of the interaction between climate changes, human impact and vegetation dynamics is needed. Despite this the majority of research projects dealing with conservation and rehabilitation of tropical biodiversity and ecosystems are based on short-term datasets rarely spanning more than the century timescale. A multi-proxies approach will be applied in order to better correlate and interpreted the results obtain from the singular palaeoecological method.

Main hypothesis:

  • The different vegetation patterns on Java and on Kalimantan are well reflected in the Java sea sediments
  • natural environmental changes have nowadays a smaller impact on ecosystems then anthropogenic environmental changes
  • anthropogenic environmental changes in land use (specifically vegetation) related to human modifications increased during the Late Holocene and particularly during the Anthropocene.


Main methods: analysis of pollen surface samples and sediment cores, charcoal analysis, data analysis and interpretation of the pollen and spore data with the aim to obtain a detailed reconstruction of the vegetation, climate and environmental changes in Indonesia.

Projektleitung: Prof. Dr. Hermann Behling

Schlüsselwörter: pollen and charcoal analysis, palaeoecology, vegetation, fire and climate history, Late Holocene, Java Sea

Project funded by: DFG 2012-2015