Small-scale late Holocene vegetation changes were determined from a series of 13 modern and fossil packrat middens collected from a site in the Greenwater Valley, northern Mojave Desert, California. Although the site is above the modern lower limit of Coleogyne ramosissima (black-brush), macrofossils of this shrub are only present in samples younger than 270 yr B.P. In order to measure changes more subtle than presence vs absence, macrofossil concentrations were quantified, and principal components and factor analyses were used to distinguish midden plant assemblages. Both the presence/absence data and the statistical analyses suggest a downward shift of 50 to 100 m for Coleogyne (blackbrush) communities between 1435 and 1795 A.D. ?? 1985.
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Late Holocene vegetation changes in Greenwater Valley, Mojave Desert, California