Few sites on the eastern Great Plains contain paleobotanical records for the mid-Wisconsin. We report on four sites, two stream cutbanks and two quarry exposures, ranging in age from >50 to ???23.4 ka. The oldest site at >50 ka contains a suite of macrofossils from prairie and disturbed ground habitats, with no representation of trees, indicating an open prairie. By ???38 ka the assemblages include aquatic, wetland, mudflat, and prairie elements with rare specimens of Populus, Betula cf. papyrifera, Salix and at the most northerly site, Picea. This assemblage suggests a prairie/parkland with interspersed marshes, cooler temperatures and increased moisture. Populus and Salix continued to be represented from ???36 to ???29 ka, but the only other taxon was Carex. A hiatus may be present at some time during this interval. After ???29 ka, Picea became dominant on the uplands and it was joined by sedges in local wetlands. At sites near riverine loess sources, loess accumulation began to fill in the wetlands and organic deposition ceased some time after 29 ka. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Mid-Wisconsinan environments on the eastern Great Plains