Skip to main content Accessibility help

Late-Glacial Vegetation Associated with Caribou and Mastodon in Central Indiana

  • Donald R. Whitehead (a1), Stephen T. Jackson (a1), Mark C. Sheehan (a1) and Barbara W. Leyden (a1)


The Christensen Mastodon Site, located in central Indiana, contains a rich assemblage of vertebrates (including mastodon, caribou, and giant beaver), invertebrates, and plant macrofossils in situ in lake and bog sediments of late-glacial age. Studies of pollen and plant macrofossils suggest the existence of open, white spruce-dominated boreal forests from > 14,000 yr B.P. to ca. 13,000 yr B.P. The regional decline of spruce, local occurrence of black spruce, white spruce, and larch, immigration of many hardwood taxa (e.g., ash, oak, elm), and the initiation of bog development are recorded beginning about 13,000 yr B.P. Recent reconstructions of late-glacial and early postglacial vegetational changes provide a context for understanding the disappearance of mastodons. The dramatic and rapid restriction of boreal forests along the retreating ice margin from 11,000 to 9000 yr B.P. may have caused a substantial reduction of mastodon populations. A diminished population would be more susceptible to small-scale, stochastic events such as short-term extremes of weather, outbreaks of disease, or predation pressure from paleoindian hunters.



Hide All
Amundsen, D.C. Wright, H.E. Jr.. 1979. Forest changes in Minnesota at the end of the Pleistocene. Ecological Monographs 49, 116.
Bailey, R.E. (1972). Late- and post-glacial environmental changes in northwestern Indiana. Ph.D. dissertation Indiana University, Bloomington.
Baker, R.G. Van Zant, K.L. Dulian, J.J. (1980). Three late-glacial pollen and plant macrofossil assemblages from Iowa. Palynology 4, 197203.
Berggren, G. (1969). Atlas of seeds and small fruits of northwest-European plant species with morphological descriptions, Part 2, Cyperaceae Swedish Natural Science Research Council, Stockholm.
Bernabo, J.C. Webb, T. (1977). Changing patterns in the Holocene pollen record of Northeastern North America: A mapped summary. Quaternary Research 8, 6496.
Braun, E.L. (1950)Deciduous forests of Eastern North America Hafner Press, New York. 1974 reprint.
Bryson, R.A. Baerreis, D.A. Wendland, W.M. (1970). The character of late-glacial and postglacial climatic changes Dort, W. Jones, J.K. Pleistocene and Recent Environments of the Central Great Plains Univ. of Kansas Press, Lawrence. 5374.
Crum, H. (1973). Mosses of the Great Lakes forest. University of Michigan Herbarium Contributions 10, 1404.
Crum, H.A. Steere, W.C. Anderson, L.E. (1973). A new list of mosses of North America north of Mexico. Bryologist 76, 85130.
Davis, M.B. (1967). Late-glacial climate in northern United States: A comparison of New England and the Great Lakes region Cushing, E.J. Wright, H.E. Jr. Quaternary Paleoecology Yale University Press, New Haven.
Davis, M.B. (1976). Pleistocene biogeography of temperate deciduous forests. Geoscience and Man XIII, 1326.
Davis, R.B. Webb, T. (1975). The contemporary distribution of pollen in eastern North America: A comparison with the vegetation. Quaternary Research 5, 395434.
Delcourt, H.R. (1979). Late Quaternary vegetation history of the eastern Highland Rim and adjacent Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee. Ecological Monographs 3, 255280.
Delcourt, P.A. Delcourt, H.R. (1979). Late Pleistocene and Holocene distributional history of the deciduous forest in the southeastern United States. Veroffentlichungen des Geobotanischen Institutes der ETH, Stiftung Rubel (Zurich) 68, 79107.
Delcourt, P.A. Davis, O.K. Bright, R.C. (1979). Bibliography of taxonomic literature for the identification of fruits, seeds, and vegetative plant fragments. Oak Ridge National Laboratory Environmental Sciences Division Publication No. 1328Oak Ridge.
Delcourt, P.A. Delcourt, H.R. Brister, R.C. Lackey, L.E. (1980). Quarternary vegetation history of the Mississippi Embayment. Quaternary Research 13, 111132.
Dreimanis, A. (1967). Mastodons, their geologic age and extinction in Ontario, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 4, 663675.
Dreimanis, A. (1968). Extinction of mastodons in eastern North America: Testing a new climatic environmental hypothesis. Ohio Journal of Science 68, 257271.
Dreimanis, A. (1977). Late Wisconsin glacial retreat in the Great Lakes Region, North America. Annals New York Academy of Science 288, 7089.
Dreimanis, A. Goldthwait, R.P. (1973). Wisconsin glaciation in the Huron, Erie, and Ontario lobes. Geological Society of America Memoir 136, 71105.
Engelhardt, D.W. (1960). A comparative pollen study of two early Wisconsin bogs in Indiana. Indiana Academy of Science Proceedings 69, 110118.
Engelhardt, D.W. (1965). A late-glacial-postglacial pollen chronology for Indiana. American Journal of Science 263, 410415.
Fernald, M.L. 8th Ed. 1950 Gray's Manual of Botany Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
Gooding, A.M. Ogden, J.G. (1965). A radiocarbon dated pollen sequence from the Wells Mastodon site near Rochester, Indiana. Ohio Journal of Science 65, 111.
Graham, R.W. Haynes, C.V. Johnson, D.L. Kay, M. (1981). Kimmswick: a Clovis-mastodon association in eastern Missouri. Science 213, 11151117.
Gruger, E. 1972a. Late Quaternary vegetation development in south-central Illinois. Quaternary Research 2, 217231.
Gruger, E. 1972b. Pollen and seed studies of Wisconsinan vegetation in Illinois, U.S.A.. Geological Society of America Bulletin 83, 27152734.
Guilday, J.E. (1967). Differential extinction during late-Pleistocene and recent times Martin, P.S. Wright, H.E. Jr. Pleistocene Extinctions Proc. VII INQUA Congress Yale Univ. Press, New Haven. 121140.
Hall, R.D. Morgan, W.T. (1981). Stratigraphy and sedimentation of the Late Pleistocene-Holocene Christensen Bog, Hancock County, Indiana. Quaternary Researchsubmitted.
Hulten, E. (1958). The amphi-atlantic plants. Kungl. Sv. Vetenskapsakad. Handl. 4, 1serie 7.
Hulten, E. (1964). The circumpolar plants 1. Kungl. Sv. Vetenskapsakad. Hand. 4, 5serie 8.
Jensen, K. (1955). Key to subfossil Potamogeton . Botanisk Tidsskrift 52, 17.
Kapp, R.O. Gooding, A.M. (1964). A radiocarbon-dated pollen profile from Sunbeam Prairie bog, Darke County, Ohio. American Journal of Science 262, 259266.
King, J.E. (1973). Late Pleistocene palynology and biogeography of the western Missouri Ozarks. Ecological Monographs 43, 539565.
King, J.E. (1981). Late Quaternary vegetation history of Illinois. Ecological Monographs 51, 4362.
Lindsey, A. Crankshaw, W.B. Qadir, S.A. (1965). Soil relations and distribution map of the vegetation of presettlement Indiana. Botanical Gazette 126, 155, 163
Martin, A.C. (1951). Identifying pondweed seeds eaten by ducks. Journal of Wildlife Management 15, 253258.
Martin, A.C. (1954). Identifying Polygonum seeds. Journal of Wildlife Management 18, 514520.
Martin, A.C. Barkley, W. (1961)Seed Identification Manual Univ. California Press, Berkeley.
Martin, P.S. (1958). Pleistocene ecology and biogeography of North America Hubbs, C.S. Zoogeography AAAS Publication 51 375420.
Martin, P.S. (1967). Prehistoric overkill. Pleistocene Extinctions Martin, P.S. Wright, H.E. Jr. Proc. VII INQUA Congress Yale Univ. Press, New Haven.
Mirsky, A. Graham, R. Hall, R.D. Whitehead, D.R. (1978). Mastodon-caribou associations in a late-Wisconsian bog in Hancock County, central Indiana. Geological Society of America North-Central Section, Abstracts with Program 10, 278.
Montgomery, F.H. (1977)Seeds and Fruits of Plants of Eastern Canada and Northeastern United States Univ. Toronto Press, Toronto.
Moran, J.M. (1973). The late-glacial retreat of ‘Arctic’ air as suggested by onset of Picea decline. The Professional Geographer 25, 373376.
Moyle, J.B. (1945). Some chemical factors influencing the distribution of aquatic plants in Minnesota. American Midland Naturalist 34, 402420.
Ogden, J.G. (1966). Forest history of Ohio. 1. Radiocarbon dates and pollen stratigraphy of Silver Lake, Logan Co., Ohio. Ohio Journal of Science 66, 387400.
Ogden, J.G. Hay, R.J. (1967). Ohio Wesleyan University natural radiocarbon measurements III. Radiocarbon 9, 316332.
Oltz, D.F. Kapp, R.O. (1963). Plant remains associated with mastodon and mammonth remains in central Michigan. American Midland Naturalist 70, 339346.
Parker, W.H. MacLachlan, D.G. (1978). Morphological variation in white and black spruce: investigation of natural hybridization between Picea glauca and P. mariana . Canadian Journal of Botany 56, 25122520.
Pielou, E.C. (1977)An Introduction to Mathematical Ecology Wiley-Interscience, New York.
Prest, V.K. (1970). Quaternary geology of Canada. Geology and Economic Minerals of Canada Geological survey of Canada, Ottawa. 675764.
Ricklefs, R.E. (1979). Ecology Chiron Press, New York.
Rowe, J.S. (1959). Forest regions of Canada. Canada Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources Forestry Branch, Bulletin 123, 271.
Saunders, J.J. (1977). Late Pleistocene vertebrates of the Western Ozark Highland, Missouri. Illinois State Museum Report of Investigations 33, 1118.
Schopf, T.J.M. (1979). Evolving paleontological views on deterministic and stochastic approaches. Paleobiology 5, 337352.
Shane, L.C.K. (1975). Palynology and radiocarbon chronology of Battaglia Bog, Portage Co., Ohio. Ohio Journal of Science 75, 96102.
Shane, L.C.K. (1976). Late-glacial and postglacial palynology and chronology of Darke County, west-central Ohio. Ph.D. dissertation Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.
Shane, L.C.K. (1980). Detection of a late-glacial climatic shift in central Mid-western pollen diagrams. Abstracts Sixth Biennial Meeting, American Quaternary Association 171172.
Spence, D.H.N. (1967). Factors controlling the distribution of freshwater macrophytes with particular reference to the lochs of Scotland. Journal of Ecology 55, 147170.
Watts, W.A. (1973). Rates of change and stability in vegetation in the perspective of long periods of time Birks, H.J.B. West, R.G. Quaternary Plant Ecology 195205.
Watts, W.A. Winter, T.C. (1966). Plant macrofossils from Kirchner Marsh, Minnesota—A paleoecological study. Geological Society of America Bulletin 77, 13391360.
Wayne, W.J. (1968). The Erie Lobe margin in east-central Indiana during the Wisconsin glaciation. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Sciences 77, 279291.
Webb, T. McAndrews, J.H. (1976). Corresponding patterns of contemporary pollen and vegetation in central North America. Geological Society of America Memoir 145.
Webb, T. Yeracaris, G.Y. Richard, P. (1978). Mapped patterns in sediment samples of modern pollen from southeastern Canada and northeastern United States. Geographie Physique et Quaternaire 32, 163176.
Whitehead, D.R. (1973). Late-Wisconsin vegetational changes in unglaciated eastern North America. Quaternary Research 3, 621631.
Williams, A.J. (1974). Late-glacial-postglacial vegetational history of the Pretty Lake region, northeastern Indiana. United States Geological Survey Professional Paper 686-B.
Wood, R.D. (1967)Charophytes of North America Univ. Rhode Island Bookstore, Providence.
Wright, H.E. Jr.. 1967. A square-rod piston sampler for lake sediments. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 37, 975976.
Wright, H.E. Jr.. 1968. The roles of pine and spruce in the forest history of Minnesota and adjacent areas. Ecology 49, 937955.
Wright, H.E. Jr.. 1971. Late Quaternary vegetation history of North America Turekian, K. The Late Cenozoic Glacial Ages Yale University Press, New Haven. 425464.
Wright, H.E. Jr.. 1976. Pleistocene ecology—Some current problems. Geoscience and Man XIII, 112.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed