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An 800 year record of mangrove dynamics and human activities in the upper Gulf of Thailand

Punwong, Paramita, Sritrairat, Sanpisa, Selby, Katherine, Marchant, Rob, Pumijumnong, Nathsuda, Traiperm, Paweena
Vegetation history and archaeobotany 2018 v.27 no.4 pp. 535-549
Avicennia, Rhizophora, aquaculture, charcoal, coasts, grasses, humans, littoral zone, mangroves, particle size, pollen, sea level, sediments, shorelines, Thailand
A multiproxy record comprising pollen, charcoal, loss on ignition and particle size analyses from two radiocarbon dated sediment cores from Klong Kone subdistrict on the western coast of the Gulf of Thailand provides insights on mangrove dynamics, environmental changes and human activities during the last 800 years. The mangroves were dominated by Rhizophora which indicates that the area has been influenced by the sea level from at least 820 cal BP until 720 cal BP. An intertidal area may have formed that supported mangrove development as part of an old shoreline during 820–720 cal BP. After 720 cal BP, mangroves decreased and were replaced by grasses, suggesting that a lower sea level caused the mangroves to grow closer to the sea until around 140 cal BP. Cereal pollen increased from 720 cal BP suggesting probable use of the shoreline for intensive cultivation. The mangroves were characterised by Avicennia, which increased toward the top of the 2 cores, suggesting that the mangroves then grew further inland, probably due to recent sea-level rise. Intensive human activity is recorded during the 20th century, as indicated by increased particle size, charcoal and carbonate content. At present, human activity in the area includes dams and construction as well as aquaculture.