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Late Quaternary Vegetation and Climate Change in the Amazon Basin Based on a 50,000 Year Pollen Record from the Amazon Fan, ODP Site 932

  • Simon G. Haberle (a1) and Mark A. Maslin (a2)

Hemipelagic sediments from the Amazon deep-sea fan, ODP Site 932 (5° 12.7′N, 47° 1.8′W), and continental shelf provide a 50,000-yr-long pollen record of Amazon Basin vegetation. The age model for Hole 932A is constrained by eight magnetic remanence intensity features, one paleomagnetic excursion, and three AMS14C dates.Alchornea,Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae, and Moraceae/Urticaceae are dominant taxa in the pollen record between 40,200 and 19,800 cal yr B.P. Andean taxa, such asPodocarpusandHedyosmum,increase in abundance between 19,800 and 11,000 cal yr B.P. and prior to 40,200 cal yr B.P. The Holocene pollen assemblage, derived from Amazon River and continental shelf sediments, is dominated by secondary growth taxa, such asCecropia.Climatic factors influencing the development of glacial and interglacial tropical vegetation are considered by comparing marine with terrestrial records of vegetation change. This comparison shows that the Amazon Basin forests were not extensively replaced by savanna vegetation during the glacial period, contradicting the refugia hypothesis.

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