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An ice-core pollen record showing vegetation response to Late-glacial and Holocene climate changes at Nevado Sajama, Bolivia

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We present the results of pollen analysis performed on an ice core recovered from Nevado Sajama, Bolivia, dated to 25 ka BP. Low pollen concentrations from 25 to 15 ka BP are consistent with the scenario of an expanded ice cap surrounded by sparse vegetation and cold conditions on the Altiplano during the Last Glacial Maximum. After 15 ka BP, more pollen is present and percentages show vegetation response to climate fluctuations during the late Pleistocene. Initially, high concentrations of Poaceae pollen are replaced by Asteraceae pollen, suggesting the occurrence of dry conditions towards the end of the Bølling–Allerød/Guantiva interstadial. A deglacial climatic reversal is registered in the pollen record by an abrupt decline in Asteraceae and maximum percentages of Poaceae, indicating wet conditions during 14–12 ka BP. The climate changed abruptly to warm and dry after 12 ka BP, but vegetation remained in disequilibrium with climate until 10 ka BP. Pollen results indicate dry conditions at the beginning of the Holocene, with humidity increasing steadily until 8.5 ka BP. Decreased pollen concentration values (used as a moisture availability proxy) place the mid-Holocene dry period between 8 and 5 ka BP. This was followed by wetter conditions to the present day.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-07-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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