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Summary of the Snowmastodon Project Special Volume A high-elevation, multi-proxy biotic and environmental record of MIS 6–4 from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Ian M. Miller*
Affiliation:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, USA
Jeffrey S. Pigati
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-980, Denver, CO 80225, USA
R. Scott Anderson
Affiliation:
School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
Kirk R. Johnson
Affiliation:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, USA National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Box 37012, MRC 106, Washington, DC 20013, USA
Shannon A. Mahan
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-974, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Thomas A. Ager
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-980, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Richard G. Baker
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
Maarten Blaauw
Affiliation:
School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast, BT7 1NN Belfast, UK
Jordon Bright
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Peter M. Brown
Affiliation:
Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research, 2901 Moore Lane, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
Bruce Bryant
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-980, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Zachary T. Calamari
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, 1100 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, 1109 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Paul E. Carrara
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-980, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Michael D. Cherney
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, 1100 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, 1109 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
John R. Demboski
Affiliation:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, USA
Scott A. Elias
Affiliation:
Geography Department, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
Daniel C. Fisher
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, 1100 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, 1109 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Harrison J. Gray
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-974, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Danielle R. Haskett
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Jeffrey S. Honke
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-980, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Stephen T. Jackson
Affiliation:
Department of Botany, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA Southwest Climate Science Center, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona, 715N. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
Gonzalo Jiménez-Moreno
Affiliation:
Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Universidad de Granada, Fuente Nueva s/n, 18002 Granada, Spain
Douglas Kline
Affiliation:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, USA
Eric M. Leonard
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, USA
Nathaniel A. Lifton
Affiliation:
Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, and Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Carol Lucking
Affiliation:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, USA
H. Gregory McDonald
Affiliation:
Museum Management Program, National Park Service, 1201 Oakridge Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80525, USA
Dane M. Miller
Affiliation:
Department of Botany, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA
Daniel R. Muhs
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-980, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Stephen E. Nash
Affiliation:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, USA
Cody Newton
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
James B. Paces
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-963, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Lesley Petrie
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Mitchell A. Plummer
Affiliation:
Idaho National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1625, Idaho Falls, ID 83415, USA
David F. Porinchu
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Adam N. Rountrey
Affiliation:
University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, 1109 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA Centre for Marine Futures, Oceans Institute, University of Western Australia, M470 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
Eric Scott
Affiliation:
San Bernardino County Museum, 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands, CA 92374, USA
Joseph J.W. Sertich
Affiliation:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, USA
Saxon E. Sharpe
Affiliation:
Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512, USA
Gary L. Skipp
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-980, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Laura E. Strickland
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-980, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Richard K. Stucky
Affiliation:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver, CO 80205, USA
Robert S. Thompson
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Box 25046, MS-980, Denver, CO 80225, USA
Jim Wilson
Affiliation:
Aeon Laboratories, LLC, 5835 N Genematas Drive, Tucson, AZ 85704, USA
*
Corresponding author.E-mail address:ian.miller@dmns.org (I.M. Miller).

Abstract

In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.

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Articles
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University of Washington

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