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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

versão On-line ISSN 2007-8706versão impressa ISSN 1870-3453


CASTILLO-BATISTA, Ana Patricia del et al. 1580 years of human impact and climate change on the dynamics of a Pinus-Quercus-Abies forest in west-central Mexico. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2018, vol.89, n.1, pp.208-225. ISSN 2007-8706.

The present research involved vegetation and environmental reconstruction of a Pinus-Quercus-Abies dominated forest in west-central Mexico over the last 1,580 years. Paleoecological techniques such as the analysis of pollen, micro-fossil charcoal particles, and geochemical elements were used to document changes in the taxonomic composition of vegetation and its relationship with anthropogenic activities and climate change. Chronology was determined using 14C dating and the age-depth model was constructed by linear interpolation. A redundancy analysis (RDA) was performed to identify patterns in composition of taxa and environmental variables and a cross-correlation analysis between taxa and micro fossil charcoal particles to determine synchrony. Results of the palynological record indicate that Pinus has been the dominant taxon throughout the sequence, together with codominant taxa such as Quercus, Abies and Alnus. Cross-correlation analysis indicated a positive correlation with Pinus and Ternstroemia, both in synchrony with micro-fossil charcoal. RDA showed that Pinus, Asteraceae, Poaceae, Phaseolus and Zea are associated with forest fires. Two events of climate change were identified: the Medieval Climatic Anomaly (MCA) (~ 950-1400 AD) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) (~ 1350-1850 AD). Main vegetation responses were the expansion of pine forest in the beginning of the ACM and a decrease at the end of this period; throughout the PEH, vegetation fluctuated in the composition of taxa. Pollen of cultural taxa such as Amaranthaceae, Asteraceae, Phaseolus, and Zea suggests the existence of human impact from ~1,580 AD to the present. The evidence points to complex patterns in response of the vegetation during periods of environmental change, which may offer new scenarios for assessing the impacts of local climate change.

Palavras-chave : Medieval Climatic Anomaly; Little Ice Age; Paleoecology; Charcoal particles; Fossil pollen.

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