Last interglacial plant macrofossils and climates from Ziegler Reservoir, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA

Quaternary Research
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Abstract

Ninety plant macrofossil taxa from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site near Snowmass Village, Colorado, record environmental changes at high elevation (2705 m asl) in the Rocky Mountains during the Last Interglacial Period. Present-day vegetation is aspen forest (Populus tremuloides) intermixed with species of higher (PiceaAbies) and lower (ArtemisiaQuercus) elevations. Stratigraphic units 4–13 contain montane forest taxa found near the site today and several species that today generally live at lower elevations within (Abies concolorLycopus americanus) and outside Colorado (Najas flexilis). These data suggest near-modern climatic conditions, with slightly warmer summer and winter temperatures. This montane forest period was succeeded by a shorter treeless interval (Unit 14) representing colder and/or drier conditions. In units 15–16, conifer trees reoccur but deciduous and herb taxa are lacking, suggesting a return to warmer conditions, although cooler than during the earlier forest period. Comparison of these inferred paleoclimatic changes with the site's geochronologic framework indicates that the lower interval of sustained warmth correlates with late MIS 6–early 5b (~ 138–94 ka), the cold interval with MIS 5b (~ 94–87 ka), and the uppermost cool assemblages with MIS 5a (~ 87–77 ka).

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Last interglacial plant macrofossils and climates from Ziegler Reservoir, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA
Series title Quaternary Research
DOI 10.1016/j.yqres.2014.07.008
Volume 82
Issue 3
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 553
Last page 566
Country United States
State Colorado
City Snowmass Village
Other Geospatial Ziegler Reservoir
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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