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Pollen-based differentiation of Amazonian rainforest communities and implications for lowland palaeoecology in tropical South America

Burn, M. J., Mayle, F. E. and Killeen, T. J. (2010) Pollen-based differentiation of Amazonian rainforest communities and implications for lowland palaeoecology in tropical South America. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 295 (1-2). pp. 1-18. ISSN 0031-0182

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.05.009

Abstract/Summary

An ongoing controversy in Amazonian palaeoecology is the manner in which Amazonian rainforest communities have responded to environmental change over the last glacial–interglacial cycle. Much of this controversy results from an inability to identify the floristic heterogeneity exhibited by rainforest communities within fossil pollen records. We apply multivariate (Principal Components Analysis) and classification (Unweighted Pair Group with Arithmetic Mean Agglomerative Classification) techniques to floral-biometric, modern pollen trap and lake sediment pollen data situated within different rainforest communities in the tropical lowlands of Amazonian Bolivia. Modern pollen rain analyses from artificial pollen traps show that evergreen terra firme (well-drained), evergreen terra firme liana, evergreen seasonally inundated, and evergreen riparian rainforests may be readily differentiated, floristically and palynologically. Analogue matching techniques, based on Euclidean distance measures, are employed to compare these pollen signatures with surface sediment pollen assemblages from five lakes: Laguna Bella Vista, Laguna Chaplin, and Laguna Huachi situated within the Madeira-Tapajós moist forest ecoregion, and Laguna Isirere and Laguna Loma Suarez, which are situated within forest patches in the Beni savanna ecoregion. The same numerical techniques are used to compare rainforest pollen trap signatures with the fossil pollen record of Laguna Chaplin.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:32933
Publisher:Elsevier

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