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Late Holocene Vegetation and Fire Reconstruction at Laguna Carse, Costa Rica

Authors: Taber Friedel*, Florida Atlantic University, Erik Johanson, Florida Atlantic University, Sally Horn, University of Tennessee
Topics: Paleoenvironmental Change, Biogeography
Keywords: Palynology, lake sediments, neotropics
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study presents a high-resolution reconstructed pollen record from Laguna Carse, Costa Rica, a landslide-formed lake in the southern Pacific lowlands during the Late Holocene. The 7.14 m long sediment record has a basal date of only 350 cal yr BP, providing very high temporal resolution. Prior analyses of macroscopic charcoal and stable carbon isotopes (d13COM) show that there are patterns of positive d13COM shifts and inferred increases in maize agriculture preceded by increased forest clearance and agricultural burning. Here we assess changes in landscape vegetation, possibly related to the earlier arrival of the Spanish and to climate stress from the LIA. Points of particular interest to this project and the vegetation history are peaks seen on the d13COM curve at 160 cal yr BP, following the Little Ice Age (LIA) (~100 cal yr BP) and in historical times (~50 cal yr BP).

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