Until recently, the timing and cause of tree island formation have been poorly understood, with estimates of initial tree-island development as early as thousands of years ago to as recently as the last few decades. To increase our knowledge about the origins of these features, sediment cores were collected on and around tree islands. These cores were dated using radioisotopic techniques, including carbon-14 dating, which provides reliable dates from ~40,000 to ~300 years ago, and lead-210 dating, which provides age models for the last century. These age models were paired with vegetational reconstruction based on pollen analysis from cores to identify the timing of tree-island formation and assess past tree-island response to hydrologic changes in the 20th century.
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USGS Numbered Series
Tree Islands of the Florida Everglades - A Disappearing Resource