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Holocene vegetation history from fossil rodent middens near Arequipa, Peru

Quaternary Research

By:
, , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1006/qres.2001.2262

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Abstract

Rodent (Abrocoma, Lagidium, Phyllotis) middens collected from 2350 to 2750 m elevation near Arequipa, Peru (16??S), provide an ???9600-yr vegetation history of the northern Atacama Desert, based on identification of >50 species of plant macrofossils. These midden floras show considerable stability throughout the Holocene, with slightly more mesophytic plant assemblages in the middle Holocene. Unlike the southwestern United States, rodent middens of mid-Holocene age are common. In the Arequipa area, the midden record does not reflect any effects of a mid-Holocene mega drought proposed from the extreme lowstand (100 m below modern levels, >6000 to 3500 yr B.P.) of Lake Titicaca, only 200 km east of Arequipa. This is perhaps not surprising, given other evidence for wetter summers on the Pacific slope of the Andes during the middle Holocene as well as the poor correlation of summer rainfall among modern weather stations in the central AndesAtacama Desert. The apparent difference in paleoclimatic reconstructions suggests that it is premature to relate changes observed during the Holocene to changes in El Nin??o Southern Oscillation modes. ?? 2001 University of Washington.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Holocene vegetation history from fossil rodent middens near Arequipa, Peru
Series title:
Quaternary Research
DOI:
10.1006/qres.2001.2262
Volume
56
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
242
Last page:
251
Number of Pages:
10