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Millenial-scale climatic and vegetation changes in a northern Cerrado (Northeast, Brazil) since the Last Glacial Maximum

AuthorsLedru, M.P.; Ceccantini, G.; Gouveia, S.E.M.; López Sáez, José Antonio ; Pessenda, L.C.R.; Ribeiro, A.S.
Issue DateMay-2006
CitationQuarternary Science Reviews 25(9-10): 1110-1126 (2006)
AbstractIn the Southern Hemisphere, lacustrine sediments started to be deposited with the beginning of the deglaciation at ca 19,000 cal yr BP. At this time the region of Lake Caço was dominated by sparse and shrubby vegetation with dominance of steppic grasses in a poor sandy soil. The landscape did not present any ecological characteristics of a modern Cerrado. However single pollen grains of two Cerrado indicators, Byrsonima and Mimosa, suggest that some Cerrado species were able to survive under the prevailing arid climate, probably as small shrubs. After 15,500 cal yr BP, a sudden increase in the moisture rates is evidenced with the progressive expansion of rainforest showing successive dominance of various associations of taxa. The development of the forest stopped abruptly at the end of the Pleistocene between 12,800 and 11,000 cal yr BP, as attested by strong fires and the expansion of Poaceae. In the early Holocene an open landscape with a relatively high level of water in the lake preceded the progressive expansion of Cerrado species towards a denser forested landscape; fires are recorded from then on, resulting in the physiognomy of the Cerrado we know today. Late Pleistocene paleoenvironmental records from northern Brazil reflect the interplay between insolation forcing of two hemispheres with the local components represented by the interannual shift of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone and the influence of seasonal equatorwards polar air incursions. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2005.10.005
Appears in Collections:(CCHS-IH) Artículos
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