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A long history of cloud and forest migration from Lake Consuelo, Peru

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Dunia H. Urrego*
Florida Institute of Technology, Department of Biological Sciences, Melbourne, FL, USA
Mark B. Bush
Florida Institute of Technology, Department of Biological Sciences, Melbourne, FL, USA
Miles R. Silman
Wake Forest University, Department of Biology, Winston Salem, NC, USA
*Corresponding author. Fax: +1 321 674 7238.E-mail (D.H. Urrego).


The complete paleoecological history from Lake Consuelo forest yields a record of ground-level cloud formation and changes in its lower altitudinal limit over the last 46,300"cal yr BP. The timing of early lake level fluctuations prior to 37,000"cal yr BP appears sensitive to North Atlantic temperature oscillations, corresponding to Dansgaard"Oeschger interstadials 11, 10 and 8 recorded in GISP2. After the LGM, the first hint of warming is recorded in Lake Consuelo at 22,000"cal yr BP and agrees with other estimates for the region. The mid-Holocene (7400"5000"cal yr BP) was the period of highest rates of change and most significant reorganizations in the Consuelo forest. These community changes resulted from a regionally widespread dry period. Results from Lake Consuelo indicate that moisture availability, mediated through cloud cover, played the most significant role in ecological change in this system. Rates of past climate fluctuations never exceeded the forest capacity to accommodate change. Unfortunately, this might not be the case under predicted scenarios for the end of the current century.

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University of Washington

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