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Paleoclimatic Implications of Holocene Plant Remains from the Sierra Bacha, Sonora, Mexico

  • Thomas R. Van Devender (a1), Tony L. Burgess (a2), Jessie C. Piper (a1) and Raymond M. Turner (a2)

Abstract

A total of 93 plant taxa were identified from 11 packrat (Neotoma sp.) midden samples from the Sierra Bacha on the coast of the Gulf of California near Puerto Libertad, Sonora, Mexico. Nine indurated samples have radiocarbon dates ranging from 9970 to 320 yr B.P. Sonoran desertscrub was present on rocky slopes throughout the Holocene. Early Holocene assemblages dominated by Fouquieria columnaris (boojum tree) reflect vegetation and climate more like modern Baja California with greater winter rainfall and cooler summers. Middle Holocene vegetation was essentially modern with modest indications of greater monsoonal rainfall even though cold-water upwelling locally inhibits summer precipitation. The results are similar to all previous midden reconstructions of early and middle Holocene climates in the Sonoran Desert, but contradict general atmospheric circulation model simulations.

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Paleoclimatic Implications of Holocene Plant Remains from the Sierra Bacha, Sonora, Mexico

  • Thomas R. Van Devender (a1), Tony L. Burgess (a2), Jessie C. Piper (a1) and Raymond M. Turner (a2)

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