Abstract

Population growth and watershed deforestation in northwestern Tanzania threaten the biodiversity of Lake Tanganyika through erosion and habitat degradation. We used cores collected offshore from Gombe Stream National Park and a deforested watershed to reconstruct how land-use changes in the Gombe Stream area since A.D. 1750 have affected lake biodiversity. Paleoenvironmental and paleoecological data reveal substantial changes in mass accumulation rates for sediment and organic matter, nitrogen stable isotope values, and benthic species composition offshore from the deforested watershed since 1880. Comparable changes were not observed offshore from the park.

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