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Vegetation history in central Kentucky and Tennessee (USA) during the last glacial and deglacial periods

  • Yao Liu (a1) (a2), Jennifer J. Andersen (a1), John W. Williams (a3) and Stephen T. Jackson (a1) (a2)

Knowledge about vegetation dynamics during the last glacial and deglacial periods in southeastern North America is under-constrained owing to low site density and problematic chronologies. New pollen records from two classic sites, Anderson Pond, TN, and Jackson Pond, KY, supported by AMS 14C age models, span 25.2–13.7 ka and 31.0–15.4 ka, respectively. A transition from Pinus dominance to Picea dominance is recorded at Jackson Pond ca. 26.2 ka, ~ coincident with Heinrich Event H2. Anderson and Jackson Ponds record a transition from conifer to deciduous-tree dominance ~ 15.9 and 15.4 ka, respectively, marking the development of no-analog vegetation characterized by moderate to high abundances of Picea, Quercus, Carya, Ulmus, Fraxinus, Ostrya/Carpinus, Cyperaceae, and Poaceae, and preceding by ~ 2000 yr the advent of similar no-analog vegetation in glaciated terrain to the north. No-analog vegetation developed as a time-transgressive, south-to-north pattern, mediated by climatic warming. Sporormiella abundances are consistently low throughout the Jackson and Anderson Pond records, suggesting that megafaunal abundances and effects on vegetation varied regionally or possibly that the Sporormiella signal was not well-expressed at these sites. Additional records with well-constrained chronologies are necessary to assess patterns and mechanisms of vegetation dynamics during the last glacial and deglacial periods.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author at: DOI Southwest Climate Science Center, 1955 E. Sixth St., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA. E-mail address: (S.T. Jackson).
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