Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Vegetation Change in Southwestern Amazonia (Brazil) and Relationship to the Late Pleistocene and Holocene Climate

  • Dilce F Rossetti (a1), Marcelo C L Cohen (a2) and Luiz C R Pessenda (a3)
Abstract
Abstract

The Late Quaternary climate in Amazonia is an issue still open to debate, with hypotheses varying from alternate dry and wet episodes to stable climate with undisturbed rainforest. We approach this question using δ13C, C/N, and, to a lesser extent, δ15N from deposits derived from four cores, with the results combined with published pollen data from two of these cores. These data were analyzed within the context of radiocarbon dating, which revealed ages ranging from 42.8–41.8 to 2.3–2.2 cal ka BP. Fluvial channel and floodplain deposits with freshwater phytoplankton recorded a trend of wet climate with dry episodes before ~40 cal ka BP, followed by humid and cold climate until the Last Glacial Maximum, with intensified aridity towards the end of the Late Pleistocene. Peaks of increased contributions in C4 land plants in the mid- to late Holocene were not synchronous and have no correspondence with Amazonian Holocene dry episodes, being due to sedimentary processes related to fluvial dynamics during the establishment of herbaceous fields on abandoned depositional sites. Thus, the climate remained wet in the Holocene, which would have favored the expansion of the Amazonian rainforest as we see today.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email: rossetti@dsr.inpe.br.
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

JM Adams , H Faure , L Faure-Denard , M McGlade , FI Woodward . 1990. Increases in terrestrial carbon storage from the last glacial maximum to the present. Nature 348(6303):711714.

MA Amorim , PF Moreira-Turcq , BJ Turcq , RC Cordeiro . 2009. Origem e dinâmica da deposição dos sedimentos superficiais na Várzea do Lago Grande de Curuai, Pará, Brasil. Acta Amazonica 39:165172.

SC Atchley , LC Nordt , SI Dworkin . 2004. Eustatic control on alluvial sequence stratigraphy: a possible example from the Cretaceous–Tertiary transition of the Tornillo Basin, Big Bend National Park, west Texas, USA. Journal of Sedimentary Research 74(3):391404.

H Behling . 1996. First report on new evidence for the occurrence of Podocarpus and possible human presence at the mouth of the Amazon during the late-glacial. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 5(3):241246.

H Behling , ML Costa . 2000. Holocene environmental changes from the Rio Curuá record in the Caxiuanã region, eastern Amazon Basin. Quaternary Research 53(3):369377.

H Behling , ML Costa . 2001. Holocene vegetational and coastal environmental changes from the Lago Crispim record in northeastern Pará State, eastern Amazonia. Reviews of Palaeobotany and Palynology 114(3–4):145155.

H Behling , H Hooghiemstra . 1999. Environmental history of the Colombian savannas of the Llanos Orientales since the Last Glacial Maximum form lake records El Pinal and Carimagua. Journal of Paleolimnology 21(4):461476.

H Behling , G Keim , G Irion , W Junk , JAN Mello . 2001. Holocene environmental changes in the central Amazon Basin inferred from Lago Calado (Brazil). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 173:87101.

RE Burbridge , FE Mayle , TJ Killeen . 2004. Fifty-thousand year vegetation and climate history of Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, Bolivian Amazon. Quaternary Research 61:215230.

MB Bush , M Weimann , DR Piperno , KK-B. Liu , PA Colinvaux . 1990. Pleistocene temperature depression and vegetation change in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Quaternary Research 34:330345.

MB Bush , MC Miller , PE Oliveira , PA Colinvaux . 2000. Two histories of environmental change and human disturbance in eastern lowland Amazonia. The Holocene 10:543554.

MB Bush , PE Oliveira , PA Colinvaux , MC Miller , JE Moreno . 2004. Amazonian palaeoecological histories: One Hill, Three Watersheds. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 214:359393.

A Carneiro Filho , D Schwartz , SH Tatumi , T Rosique . 2002. Amazonian paleodunes provide evidence for drier climate phases during the Late Pleistocene–Holocene. Quaternary Research 58:205209.

F Chen , L Zhang , Y Yang , D Zhang . 2008. Chemical and isotopic alteration of organic matter during early diagenesis: evidence from the coastal area off-shore the Pearl River estuary, south China. Journal of Marine Systems 74:372380.

Y Chikaraishi , H Naraoka . 2006. Carbon and hydrogen isotope variant of plant biomarkers in a plant-soil system. Chemical Geology 231:190197.

JE Cloern , EA Canuel , D Harris . 2002. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope composition of aquatic and terrestrial plants of the San Francisco Bay estuarine system. Limnology and Oceanography 47:713729.

MCL Cohen , DF Rossetti , LCR Pessenda , YS Friaes , PE Oliveira . 2014. Late Pleistocene glacial forest of Humaitá-western Amazônia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 415:3747.

PA Colinvaux , PE Oliveira , JE Moreno , MC Miller , MB Bush . 1996. A long pollen record from lowland Amazonia: forest and cooling in glacial times. Science 274:8588.

JM Craine , ENJ Brookshire , MD Cramer , NJ Hasselquist , K Koba , E Marin-Spiotta , L Wang . 2015. Ecological interpretations of nitrogen isotope rations of terrestrial plants and soils. Plant Soil 396:126.

AF Diefendorf , KH Freeman , SL Wing , HV Graham . 2011. Production of n-alkyl lipids in living plants and implications for the geologic past. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75:74727485.

C Emiliani . 1955. Pleistocene temperatures. Journal of Geology 63:538578.

MI Francisquin , CM Lima , LCR Pessenda , DF Rossetti , MC França , MCL Cohen . 2014. Relation between carbon isotopes of plants and soils on Marajó Island, a large tropical island: implications for interpretation of modern and past vegetation dynamics in the Amazon region. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 415:91104.

HA Freitas , LCR Pessenda , R Aravena , SEM Gouveia , AS Ribeiro , R Boulet . 2001. Late Quaternary vegetation dynamics in the southern Amazon Basin inferred from carbon isotopes in soil organic matter. Quaternary Research 55:3946.

Y Garcin , E Shcefub , VF Schwab , V Garreta , G Gleixner , A Vincens , G Todou , O Séné , J-M Onana , G Achoundong , D Sachse . 2014. Reconstructing C3 and C4 vegetation cover using n-alkane carbon isotope rations in recent lake sediments from Cameroon, Western Central Africa. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 142:482500.

J Haffer . 1969. Speciation in Amazonian forest birds. Science 165:131137.

KA Hughen , JR Southon , SJ Lehman , JT Overpeck . 2000. Synchronous radiocarbon and climate shifts during the last deglaciation. Science 290:19511954.

G Irion , MB Bush , JAN Mello , D Stüben , T Neumann , RG Müller , JO Moraes , JW Junk . 2006. A multiproxy palaeoecological record of Holocene lake sediments from the Rio Tapajós, eastern Amazonia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 240:523536.

AL Lamb , GP Wilson , MJ Leng . 2006. A review of coastal palaeoclimate and relative sea-level reconstructions using δ13C and C/N ratios in organic material. Earth-Science Reviews 75:2957.

EM Latrubesse , E Franzinelli . 2005. The late Quaternary evolution of the Negro River, Amazon, Brazil: implications for island and floodplain formation in large anabranching tropical systems. Geomorphology 70:372397.

DW Lea , DK Pak , HL Spero . 2000. Climate impact of Late Quaternary, equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature variations. Science 289:17191724.

M-P Ledru , G Ceccantini , SEM Gouveia , JA López-Sáez , LCR Pessenda , AS Riberito . 2006. Millenial-scale climatic and vegetation changes in a northern Cerrado (Northeast, Brazil) since the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews 25:11101126.

KB Liu , PA Colinvaux . 1985. Forest changes in the Amazon Basin during the last glacial maximum. Nature 318:556557.

WE Magnusson , TM Sanaiotti , AP Lima , LA Martinelli , RL Victoria , MC Araújo , AL Albernaz . 2002. A comparison of δ13C ratios of surface soils in savannas and forests in Amazonia. Journal of Biogeography 29:857866.

L Martin , M Fournier , P Mourguiart , A Sifeddine , B Turcq , ML Absy , J-M Flexor . 1993. Southern oscillation signal in South American paleoclimatic data of the last 7000 years. Quaternary Research 39:338346.

L Martin , J Bertaux , T Correge , M-P Ledru , P Mourguiart , A Sifeddine , F Soubiès , D Wirrmann , K Suguio , B Turcq . 1997. Astronomical forcing of contrasting rainfall changes in tropical South America between 12,400 and 8800 cal yr BP. Quaternary Research 47:117122.

FE Mayle , MJ Power . 2008. Impact of a drier Early–Mid-Holocene climate upon Amazonian forests. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363:18291838.

FE Mayle , R Burbridge , TJ Killeen . 2000. Millennial-scale dynamics of southern Amazonian rain forests. Science 290:22912294.

BT McLaurin , RJ Steel . 2007. Architecture and origin of an amalgamated fluvial sheet sand, lower Castlegate Formation, Book Cliffs, Utah. Sedimentary Geology 197:291311.

PA Meyers . 1994. Preservation of elemental and isotopic source identification of sedimentary organic matter. Chemical Geology 114:289302.

PA Meyers . 1997. Organic geochemical proxies of paleoceanographic, paleolimnologic, and paleoclimatic processes. Organic Geochemistry 27:213250.

N Ogrinc , G Fontolanb , J Faganelic , S Covellib . 2005. Carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions of organic matter in coastal marine sediments (the Gulf of Trieste, N Adriatic Sea): indicators of sources and preservation. Marine Chemistry 95:163181.

J Ometto , JR Ehleringer , TF Domingues , JA Berry , FY Ishida , E Mazzi , N Higucji , LB Flanagan , GB Nardoto , LZ Martinelli . 2006. The stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of vegetation in tropical forests of the Amazon Basin, Brazil. Biogeochemistry 79:251274.

LCR Pessenda , BM Gomes , R Aravena , AS Ribeiro , R Boulet , SEM Gouveia . 1998. The carbon isotope record in soils along a forest-cerrado ecosystem transect: implications for vegetation changes in the Rondônia State, southwestern Brazilian Amazon region. The Holocene 8:599603.

LCR Pessenda , R Boulet , R Aravena , V Rosolen , SEM Gouveia , AS Ribeiro , M Lamotte . 2001. Origin and dynamics of soil organic matter and vegetation changes during the Holocene in a forest-savanna transition zone, Brazilian Amazon Region. The Holocene 11:250254.

LCR Pessenda , AS Ribeiro , SE Gouveia , R Aravena , R Boulet , Bendassoli . 2004. Vegetation dynamics during the late Pleistocene in the Barreirinhas region, Maranhão State, Northeastern Brazil, based on carbon isotopes in soil organic matter. Quaternary Research 62:183193.

LCR Pessenda , MP Ledru , SEM Gouveia , R Aravena , AS Ribeiro , JA Bendassolli , R. Boulet 2005. Holocene palaeoenvironmental reconstruction in northeastern Brazil inferred from pollen, charcoal and carbon isotope records. The Holocene 15:814822.

ET Premuzic , CM Benkovitz , JS Gaffney , JJ Walsh . 1982. The nature and distribution of organic matter in the surface sediments of world oceans and seas. Organic Geochemistry 4:6377.

PJ Reimer , E Bard , A Bayliss , JW Beck , PG Blackwell , CB Ramsey , CE Buck , H Cheng , RL Edwards , M Friedrich , PM Grootes , TP Guilderson , H Haflidason , I Hajdas , C Hatté , TJ Heaton , DL Hoffmann , AG Hogg , KA Hughen , KF Kaiser , B Kromer , SW Manning , MRW Reimer , DA Richards , EM Scott , JR Southon , RA Staff , CSM Turney , J van der Plicht . 2013. IntCal13 and Marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 55(4):18691887.

DF Rossetti , PM Toledo , HM Moraes–Santos , AEA Santos Jr. 2004. Reconstructing habitats in Central Amazonia using megafauna, sedimentology, radiocarbon and isotope analysis. Quaternary Research 61:289300.

DF Rossetti , PM Toledo , AM Góes . 2005. New geological framework for Western Amazonia (Brazil) and implications for biogeography and evolution. Quaternary Research 63:7889.

DF Rossetti , MCL Cohen , TC Bertani , EH Hayakawa , JDS Paz , DF Castro , Y Friaes . 2014. Late Quaternary fluvial terrace evolution in the main southern Amazonian tributary. Catena 116:1937.

DH Sandweiss , KA Maasch , DG Anderson . 1999. Climate and culture: transitions in the Mid-Holocene. Science 283:499500.

VF Schwab , Y Garcin , D Sachse , G Todou , O Séné , J-M Onana , G Achoundong , G Gleixner . 2015. Effect of aridity on δ13C and δD values of C3 plant- and C4 graminoid-derived leaf wax lipids from soils along an environmental gradient in Cameroon (Western Central Africa). Organic Geochemistry 78:99109.

NJ Shackleton . 1969. The last interglacial in the marine and terrestrial records. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 174:135154.

JS Sinninghe Damsté , D Vershuren , J Ossebaar , J Blokker , R van Houten , MT van der Meer , B Plessen , S Schouten . 2011. A 25,000-year record of climate-induced changes in lowland vegetation of eastern equatorial Africa revealed by the stable carbon-isotopic composition of fossil plant leaf waxes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 302:236246.

A Sifeddine , L Marint , B Turcq , C Volkmer–Ribeiro , F Soubiès , RC Cordeiro , K Suguio . 2001. Variations of the Amazonian rainforest environment: a sedimentological record covering 30,000 years. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 168:221235.

M Stuiver , HA Polach . 1977. Discussion: reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19(3):355363.

RM Teeuw , EJ Rhodes . 2004. Aeolian activity in northern Amazonia: optical dating of Late Pleistocene and Holocene paleodunes. Journal of Quaternary Science 19:4954.

SF Thornton , J McManus . 1994. Applications of organic carbon and nitrogen stable isotope and C/N ratios as source indicators of organic matter provenance in estuarine systems: evidence from the Tay Estuary, Scotland. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 38:219233.

MB Toledo , MB Bush . 2008. A Holocene pollen record of savanna establishment in coastal Amapá. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 80:341351.

T van der Hammen , ML Absy . 1994. Amazonia during the last glacial. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 109:247261.

T van der Hammen , H Hooghiemstra . 2000. Neogene and Quaternary history of vegetation, climate and plant diversity in Amazonia. Quaternary Science Reviews 19:725742.

RL Victoria , LA Martinelli , PCO Trivelin , E Matsui , BR Forsberg , JE Richey , AL Devol . 1992. The use of stable isotopes in studies of nutrient cycling: carbon isotope composition of Amazon varzea sediments. Biotropica 24:240249.

PM Vitousek , DN Menge , SC Reed , CC Cleveland . 2013. Biological nitrogen fixation: rates, patterns and ecological controls in terrestrial ecosystems. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Science 368:2013.

M Vivo , AP Carmignotto . 2004. Holocene vegetation change and the mammal faunas of South America and Africa. Journal of Biogeography 31:943957.

L Wang , SA Macko . 2011. Constrained preferences I nitrogen uptake across plant species and environments. Plan, Cell & Environment 34:525534.

C Weng , MB Bush , JS Athens . 2002. Two histories of climate change and hydrarch succession in Ecuadorian Amazonia. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 120:7390.

GP Wilson , AL Lamb , MJ Leng , S Gonzalez , D. Huddart 2005. Variability of organic δ13C and C/N in the Mersey Estuary, U.K. and its implications for sea-level reconstruction studies. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 64:685698.

Recommend this journal

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

Radiocarbon
  • ISSN: 0033-8222
  • EISSN: 1945-5755
  • URL: /core/journals/radiocarbon
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Rossetti supplementary material
Rossetti supplementary material 1

 Word (44 KB)
44 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 38 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 162 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 16th March 2017 - 29th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.