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Late Quaternary Environmental and Climatic Changes in Central Brazil


Paleoenvironmental changes dating back to 30,000 yr B.P. documented in a pollen record from central Brazil (lat. 19°S) permit the reconstruction of climatic changes related to shifts of the Antarctic polar fronts. The paleoclimatic inferences were obtained by a study of modern vegetation and pollen distribution, taking into account present-day climatic parameters. At 30,000 yr B.P. the climate must have been warmer and moister than today judging from the high amount of tree pollen taxa characteristic of floodplain forest. From 17,000 to 14,000 yr B.P. the climate was drier although tree pollen percentages were relatively high. After 12,000 yr B.P. Araucaria forest elements increased, suggesting a moister and cooler climate. The Araucaria forest disappeared during a short interval between 11,000 and 10,000 yr B.P. This could be related to the Younger Dryas event. At the beginning of the Holocene the climate became cool and moist again, as indicated by the reexpansion of the Araucaria forest. The latter was progressively replaced by a mesophytic semideciduous forest indicating warmer and drier climate after 8500 yr B.P. At 5000 yr B.P. an arid interval was followed by the expansion of mesophytic semideciduous forest elements.

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Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
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