- A pollen-based record of late glacial-Holocene climatic variability in the southern lake district, Chile
- Journal of Paleolimnology
- Volume | Issue number
- 39 | 2
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
A pollen record from Puyehue area (40°S; 72°W) in the southern Lake District, Chile, indicates that prior to 13,410 14C yr BP (ca. 16,500-15,200 cal yr BP), cold resistant and hygrophilous vegetation, particularly Nothofagus forest and myricaceous vegetation, covered the area. From ca. 15,000 cal yr BP onward, the forest became increasingly dense. Between 10,010 and 7450 14C yr BP (ca. 11,000-8000 cal yr BP), the expansion of Nothofagus obliqua and the spread of grasses suggests the climate became warmer and semi-arid. Lowland deciduous forest (Nothofagus obliqua, Aextoxicon punctatum, Laurelia sempervirens) and Valdivian rainforest (Nothofagus dombeyi, Eucryphia cordifolia, Caldcluvia paniculata, Aextoxicon punctatum, Laureliopsis philippiana) were abundant. During the next two thousand years, stable warm climatic conditions prevailed, and the diversity of the vegetation increased. From 5760 to 1040 14C yr BP (ca. 6500-900 cal yr BP), the North Patagonian rainforest expanded. The presence of Pilgerodendron/Fitzroya, together with Nothofagus forest, suggests that humid conditions prevailed. During the last millennium, human impact intensified and regional vegetation was disturbed, particularly the lowland deciduous forest and Valdivian rainforest. North-Patagonian and subantartic taxa, such as Podocarpus nubigena, Pilgerodendron/Fitzroya, Nothofagus dombeyi type, Austrocedrus chilensis and Drimys winteri, occupied the low and high-altitude parts of the Cordillera. Five hundred years ago, shrub and grasses expanded in the Nothofagus forest, suggesting that forest became more open under cool-cold, and humid climatic conditions. These conditions prevail to the present day.
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