Large heat storage capacity in the western equatorial Pacific has played an important role in modulating global climate. The fluctuation in pollen and spore abundances, together with organic matter (OM) and lithogenics sedimentation, was investigated to reconstruct terrestrial and marine environmental change around New Guinea during the Late Pleistocene. Although appreciable contribution from Indonesian Maritime Continent was expected, the majority of the pollen and spore grains found in core C4402 was transported from New Guinea. Fern spores accounted for 70% (46–90%) of the total pollens and spores. Positive correlation between lithogenic content and the relative abundance of fern spores suggests that lithogenics could be derived from coastal lowland.
The mass accumulation rate (MAR) of pollen and spores varied from 44 to 7,031×10−3 grains cm−2 yr−1 with maxima in oxygen isotope stages (OIS) 2, 3, 4, and around the OIS 4/5 boundary. Less rainfall during glacial times generally enhanced transport of pollen by wind to Site C4402. Their scavenging from the water column was promoted by high activity of the biological pump. Pollen record from core C4402 suggests that lower montane group vegetation was dominant relative to lowland vegetation and upper and mid-montane group during glacial times. Although appreciable contribution by terrestrial OM is expected from high correlation of MAR between organic carbon (OC) and pollen and spores, fairly low COrganic/N ratios and δ13C values (around −20‰) of OM demonstrate that OM in core C4402 is mainly of marine origin.