Analysis of the pollen in core samples taken around lakes shows an increase in the pollen of raupō (Typha australis) after the land had been burnt. There was probably more raupō because of higher nutrients and water flow. The pollen from the flower spikes formed an important food resource for Māori, who used it to make cakes. Vegetation around the edge of lakes may have been burnt to encourage the spread of raupō.
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Photograph by Peter E. Smith
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