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Print version ISSN 1405-2768


RONDANELLI-REYES, Mauricio J.; TRONCOSO-CASTRO, J. Max  and  LEON, Carolina A.. Recent vegetational history in Patagonia occidental. Palynology analysis from Laguna Cea, Coyhaique, Chile. Polibotánica [online]. 2011, n.32, pp.163-178. ISSN 1405-2768.

A palynological analysis was performed on the sedimentary cover of Laguna Cea, located in the subbasin of the Simpson River in the Coyhaique region of southern Chile. The pollen record shows a landscape evolution from a woodland-type ecosystem covered by Nothofagaceae (Nothofagus antarctica/N. dombeyi) to a meadow-type ecosystem in which low brush such as calafate (Berberidaceae), herbaceous layers such as different types of grasses (Poaceae), and hydrophilic vegetation such as marsh plants (Cyperaceae) may be found. This structural change in vegetation occurred approximately 120 years before present (BP) and coincided with the middle of the XIX Century, the epoch which marks the beginning of colonial settlements and the consequent clearing and livestock grazing. The palynological record supports the occurrence of fire through charcoal particles in the sediments analyzed for the aforementioned period, which suggests that current variation in the landscape of the region has been influenced by anthropic action.

Keywords : Chilean west Patagonia; history of vegetation; human impact; palynology.

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