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Postglacial vegetation dynamics of western Tierra del Fuego
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
2012 (English)In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 22, no 11, 1337-1350 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The southern fringes of the South American landmass provide a rare opportunity to examine the development of moorland vegetation with sparse tree cover in a wet, cool temperate climate of the Southern Hemisphere. We present a record of changes in vegetation over the past 17,000 years, from a lake in extreme southern Chile (Isla Santa Inés, Magallanes region, 53°38.97S; 72°25.24W), where human influence on vegetation is negligible. The western archipelago of Tierra del Fuego remained treeless for most of the Lateglacial period; Lycopodium magellanicum, Gunnera magellanica and heath species dominated the vegetation. Nothofagus may have survived the last glacial maximum at the eastern edge of the Magellan glaciers from where it spread southwestwards and established in the region at around 10,500 cal. yr BP. Nothofagus antarctica was likely the earlier colonizing tree in the western islands, followed shortly after by Nothofagus betuloides. At 9000 cal. yr BP moorland communities expanded at the expense of Nothofagus woodland. Simultaneously, Nothofagus species shifted to dominance of the evergreen Nothofagus betuloides and the Magellanic rain forest established in the region. Rapid and drastic vegetation changes occurred at 5200 cal. yr BP, after the Mt Burney MB2 eruption, including the expansion and establishment of Pilgerodendron uviferum and the development of mixed Nothofagus-Pilgerodendron-Drimys woodland. Scattered populations of Nothofagus, as they occur today in westernmost Tierra del Fuego may be a good analogue for Nothofagus populations during the Lateglacial in eastern sites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 22, no 11, 1337-1350 p.
Keyword [en]
Holocene, Lateglacial, Magellanic moorland, Nothofagus, pollen analysis, postglacial vegetation dynamics, Tierra del Fuego
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-186011DOI: 10.1177/0959683612444144ISI: 000309938500013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-186011DiVA: diva2:572677
Available from: 2012-11-28 Created: 2012-11-27 Last updated: 2012-12-03Bibliographically approved

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Bennett, Keith D.
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