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It may well be that their survival in New Guinea depended on the formation of montane refuges as the drift towards the equator made the New Guinea low­ lands too hot for them, or in places too dry for them. g. Zaklinskaya, 1964; Elsik, 1974), but these are best disregarded. Some may possibly be misidentifications (Petrov and Drazheva-Stomatova, 1972), and others might result from long distance transport. 5 PALYNOLOGICAL EVIDENCE AND SYNTHESIS Although the overall picture of equatorial vegetation in the last 120 M years is very incomplete, some ten­ tative generalisations may be offered, if only perhaps in the hope of stimulating further research.

As a mountaineer ascends an East African moun­ tain he finds the lower slopes, in so far as they have not been cleared for grazing or cultivation, vegetated by a forest which is either fully evergreen, in moist INTRODUCTION The meagre fossil evidence brought forward in the previous chapter does little to advance our knowledge of the state of equatorial African vegetation at the start of the Quaternary. The few fossils available are mostly of rain forest types, and these are found out­ side the present rain forest area, which might suggest a former greater extent of rain forest.

Celtis Afrocrania Pygeum Myrica Arundinaria alpina, the chief bamboo of the Bamboo Zone. Bamboo appears to contribute little to surface spectra, however (Morrison, 1961; Hamilton, 1972), so it remains quite likely that the fossil pollen orig­ inates otherwise. In this zone the forest limit was apparently once again close to the lake, and conditions may have been rather dry. Minor oscillations of the forest limit may possibly be indicated. P. The boundary between zones U and V is the most significant in the whole diagram.

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Crassulaceae by Eggli U.


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