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Climate, Fire, and Vegetation between about 13,000 and 9200 14C yr B.P. in the Chilean Lake District

  • Patricio I. Moreno (a1)

A pollen record from Lago Condorito (41°45′S, 73°07′W) shows that North Patagonian Rain Forest taxa predominated between about 13,000 and 12,200 14C yr B.P. in the lowlands of southern Chile, near the city of Puerto Montt. This was followed by the expansion and persistence of the conifer Podocarpus nubigena between 12,200 and 9900 14C yr B.P. Trees favored by disturbance expanded between 11,200 and 9900 14C yr B.P., concurrent with sharp and sustained increases of microscopic charcoal particles. Taxa of low-elevation rain forests expanded and became more diverse in pulses centered at 9900 and 9000 14C yr B.P., following the disappearance of P. nubigena. These data suggest conditions approaching modern climate between about 13,000 and 12,200 14C yr B.P. The climate cooled between 12,200 and 9900 14C yr B.P., then quickly warmed to interglacial conditions. Stand-replacing fires occurred near Lago Condorito between 11,200 and 9900 14C yr B.P., under cool-temperate, humid conditions. The proximity and reported antiquity of the Monte Verde archeological site raise the possibility that these fires were set by human activities.

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Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
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