Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Holocene Climate of New England

  • Margaret B. Davis, Ray W. Spear (a1) and Linda C. K. Shane (a1)
Abstract

Stratigraphic studies of pollen and macrofossils from six sites at different elevations in the White Mountains of New Hampshire demonstrate changes in the distributions of four coniferous tree species during the Holocene. Two species presently confined to low elevations extended farther up the mountain slopes during the early Holocene: white pine grew 350 m above its present limit beginning 9000 yr B.P., while hemlock grew 300–400 m above its present limit soon after the species immigrated to the region 7000 yr. B.P. Hemlock disappeared from the highest sites about 5000 yr B.P., but both species persisted at sites 50–350 m above their present limits until the Little Ice Age began a few centuries ago. The history of the two main high-elevation conifers is more difficult to interpret. Spruce and fir first occur near their present upper limits 9000 or 10,000 yr B.P. Fir persisted in abundance at elevations similar to those where it occurs today throughout the Holocene, while spruce became infrequent at all elevations from the beginning of the Holocene until 2000 yr B.P. These facts suggest a more complex series of changes than a mere upward shift of the modern environmental gradient. Nevertheless, we conclude that the minimum climatic change which would explain the upward extensions of hemlock and white pine is a rise in temperature, perhaps as much as 2°C. The interval of maximum warmth started 9000 yr B.P. and lasted at least until 5000 yr B.P., correlative with the Prairie Period in Minnesota.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Andersson, G. Hasseln i Sverige dordom och nil. Sveriges Geologiska Undersöking, Series Ca 3 1902 1 168
Bormann, F.H. Siccama, T.G. Likens, G.E. Whittaker, R.H. The Hubbard Brook ecosystem study: Composition and dynamics of the tree stratum. Ecological Monographs 40 1970 373 388
Brubaker, L.B. Postglacial forest patterns associated with till and outwash in northcentral Upper Michigan. Quaternary Research 5 1975 499 527
Davis, M.B. Phytogeography and palynology of northeastern United States Wright, H.E. Jr. Frey, David G. The Quaternary of the United States 1965 Princeton Univ. Press Princeton, N.J 377 401
Davis, M.B. Climatic changes in southern Connecticut recorded by pollen deposition of Rogers Lake. Ecology 50 1969 409 422
Davis, M.B. Pleistocene biogeography of temperate deciduous forests. Geoscience and Man 13 1976 13 26
Davis, M.B. Outbreaks of forest pathogens in Quaternary history Proceedings of IV International Conference of Palynology Lucknow, India 1976 in press
Deevey, E.S. Jr. Studies on Connecticut lake sediments. I. A post-glacial climatic chronology for southern New England. American Journal of Science 237 1939 691 724
Deevey, E.S. Jr. Additional pollen analyses from southern New England. American Journal of Science 241 1943 717 752
Deevey, E.S. Jr. Radiocarbon-dated pollen sequences in eastern North America. Verhandlungen der vierten Internationalen Tagung der Quartärbotaniker 34 1958 30 37
Deevey, E.S. Jr. Flint, F. Post-glacial Hypsithermal interval. Science 125 1957 182 184
Degerbøl, M. Krog, H. Den europaeiske Sumskildpadde (Emys orbicularis L.) i Danmark. Danmarks Geologiske Undersögelse. Series 2 78 1951 1 130
Iversen, J. Viscum, Hedera, and Ilex as climatic indicators. Geologiska Föreningens i Stockholm Förhandlingar 66 1944 463 483
Goldthwait, R.P. Past climates on “The Hill” Part 1. When glaciers were here. Part 2. Permafrost fluctuations. Mt. Washington Observatory Bulletin 1976 March, 12–16; June, 38–41
Likens, G.E. Davis, M.B. Post-glacial history of Mirror Lake and its watershed in New Hampshire, U.S.A.: an initial report. Mitteilungen Internationale Vereinigung für Theoretishe und Angewandte Limnologie 19 1975 982 993
McAndrews, J.H. Pollen analysis and vegetational history of the Itasca region, Minnesota Cushing, E.J. Wright, H.E. Jr. Quaternary Paleoecology 1967 Yale Press New Haven, Conn 219 236
Mott, R.J. Populus in late-Pleistocene pollen spectra. Canadian Journal of Botany 56 1978 1021 1031
Porter, S.C. Denton, G.H. Chronology of neoglaciation in the North American Cordillera. American Journal of Science 265 1967 177 210
Schell, I.I. Free air temperatures from observations on mountains peaks with application to Mount Washington. Blue Hill Observatory: Meteorology, Reports and Papers 1935 126 242
Siccama, T.G. Vegetation, soil and climate on the Green Mountains of Vermont. Ecological Monographs 44 1974 325 349
Stuiver, M. Deevey, E.S. Jr. Rouse, I. Yale natural radiocarbon measurements II. Radiocarbon 4 1963 35 42
Terasmae, J. Anderson, T.W. Hypsithermal range extension of white pine (Pinus strobus L.) in Quebec, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 7 1970 406 414
Wright, H.E. Jr. The dynamic nature of Holocene vegetation. Quaternary Research 6 1976 581 596
Wright, H.E. Jr. Stratigraphy of lake sediments and the precision of the paleoclimatic record Proceedings of the International Symposium on World Climate from 8000 to 0 B.C. 1966 157 173
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed