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A human role in Andean megafaunal extinction?

Raczka, M. F. ORCID:, Mosblech, N. A., Giosan, L., Valencia, B. G., Folcik, A. M., Kingston, M., Baskin, S. and Bush, M. B. (2019) A human role in Andean megafaunal extinction? Quaternary Science Reviews, 205. pp. 154-165. ISSN 0277-3791

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.12.005


A new fossil pollen, Sporormiella, and sediment chemistry record from Lake Llaviucu, Ecuador, spanning the period from 16,280–9000 years Before Present, provides a high-resolution record of paleoecological change in the high Andes. The deglacial transition from super-páramo through páramo grasslands, to Andean forest is traced, with near-modern systems being established by c. 11,900 years ago. It is suggested that forest elements probably existed in microrefugial populations close to the ice front. Sporormiella is used as a proxy for megafaunal abundance, and its decline to background levels is inferred to indicate a local extinction event at c. 12,800 years ago. About 1800 years prior to the extinction, charcoal becomes a regular sedimentary component in this very wet valley. An early date for human activity in the valley is suggested, with the direct implication of humans in the extinction of the megafauna.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:89922

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