Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Impacts of the Middle Holocene High Sea-Level Stand and Climatic Changes on Mangroves of the Jucuruçu River, Southern Bahia – Northeastern Brazil

  • Neuza Araújo Fontes (a1), Caio A. Moraes (a1), Marcelo C L Cohen (a1), Igor Charles C. Alves (a1), Marlon Carlos França (a2), Luiz C R Pessenda (a3), Mariah Izar Francisquini (a3), José Albertino Bendassolli (a4), Kita Macario (a5) and Francis Mayle (a6)...


The aim of this paper is to evaluate the compatibility between the Holocene relative sea-level (RSL) curves proposed for the Brazilian littoral and mangrove dynamics along a fluvial valley in the state of southern Bahia. This was done integrating geomorphological, sedimentological, palynological, and stable isotopic data from two cores collected at the mouth of the Jucuruçu River and at a site 23 km inland, near the city of Prado, northeastern Brazil. Core PR07, sampled from a fluvial plain at about 4.5±1 m above the RSL, reveals mangrove pollen (5–20%) and estuarine/terrestrial organic matter (δ13C=~–25‰, C/N=7.3–67) between 4.5 m (~7400 cal yr BP) and 1.75 m depth (~5350 cal yr BP). Core PR11, sampled from a mangrove tidal flat, also revealed mangrove pollen taxa (5-28%) since 660 cal yr BP. Core PR07 indicated absence of mangrove pollen and increase of sedimentary organic matter sourced from terrestrial C3 plants (δ13C=~–27‰, C/N=22–159) during the last 5350 cal yr BP. Probably, the changes in vegetation and sedimentary organic matter identified in core PR07 were caused by the combined effects of the RSL fluctuations, with a highstand at about 5350 cal yr BP of 2.7±1.35 m, and changes in fluvial discharge.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Impacts of the Middle Holocene High Sea-Level Stand and Climatic Changes on Mangroves of the Jucuruçu River, Southern Bahia – Northeastern Brazil
      Available formats

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Impacts of the Middle Holocene High Sea-Level Stand and Climatic Changes on Mangroves of the Jucuruçu River, Southern Bahia – Northeastern Brazil
      Available formats

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Impacts of the Middle Holocene High Sea-Level Stand and Climatic Changes on Mangroves of the Jucuruçu River, Southern Bahia – Northeastern Brazil
      Available formats


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email:


Hide All
Alongi, DM. 2015. The impact of climate change on mangrove forests. Current Climate Change Reports 1:3039.
Angulo, R, Lessa, G, Souza, M. 2006. A critical review of mid- to late-Holocene sea-level fluctuations on the eastern Brazilian coastline. Quaternary Science Reviews 25:486506.
Barberi, M, Salgado-Labouriau, ML, Suguio, K. 2000. Paleovegetation and paleoclimate of “Vereda de Águas Emendadas”, central Brazil. Journal of South American Earth Sciences 13:241254.
Behling, H, Cohen, MCL, Lara, RJ. 2001. Studies on Holocene mangrove ecosystem dynamics of the Bragança Peninsula in north-eastern Pará, Brazil. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 167:225242.
Blasco, F, Saenger, P, Janodet, E. 1996. Mangroves as indicators of coastal change. CATENA 27:167178.
Boski, T, Bezerra, FHR, de Fátima Pereira, L, Souza, AM, Maia, RP, Lima-Filho, FP. 2015. Sea-level rise since 8.2ka recorded in the sediments of the Potengi–Jundiai Estuary, NE Brasil. Marine Geology 365:113.
Cahoon, DR, Hensel, PF, Spencer, T, Reed, DJ, McKee, KL, Saintilan, N. 2006. Coastal wetland vulnerability to relative sea-level rise:wetland elevation trends and process controls. In: Verhoeven JTA, Beltman B, Bobbing R, Whigham DF, editors. Wetlands and Natural Resource Management. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. p 271292.
Caldas, LHO, Oliveira, JJG, Medeiros, WE, Stattegger, K, Vital, H. 2006. Geometry and evolution of Holocene transgressive and regressive barriers on the semi-arid coast of NE Brazil. Geo-Marine Letters 26(5):249263.
Castro, JWA, Suguio, K, Seoane, JCS, Cunha, AM, Dias, FF, Castro, JWA, Suguio, K, Seoane, JCS, Cunha, AM, Dias, FF.. 2014. Sea-level fluctuations and coastal evolution in the state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 86:671683.
Church, JA, Clark, PU, Cazenave, A, Gregory, JM, Jevrejeva, S, Levermann, A, Merrifield, MA, Milne, GA, Nerem, RS, Nunn, PD, Payne, AJ, Pfeffer, WT, Stammer, D, Unnikrishnam, AS. 2013. Sea level change. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM, editors. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Basis, Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge. p 10291136.
Cohen, MCL, Lara, J. 2003. Temporal changes of mangrove vegetation boundaries in Amazonia: application of GIS and remote sensing techniques. Wetlands Ecology and Management 11:223231.
Cohen, MCL, Souza Filho, PWM, Lara, RJ, Behling, H, Angulo, RJ. 2005. A model of holocene mangrove development and relative sea-level changes on the Bragança Peninsula (Northern Brazil). Wetlands Ecology and Management 13:433443.
Cohen, MCL, Behling, H, Lara, RJ, Smith, CB, Matos, HRS, Vedel, V. 2009. Impact of sea-level and climatic changes on the Amazon coastal wetlands during the late Holocene. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 18:425439.
Cohen, MCL, Pessenda, LCR, Behling, H, de Fátima Rossetti, D, França, MC, Guimarães, JTF, Friaes, Y, Smith, CB. 2012. Holocene palaeoenvironmental history of the Amazonian mangrove belt. Quaternary Science Reviews 55:5058.
Cohen, MCL, França, MC, Rossetti, DF, Pessenda, LCR, Giannini, PCF, Lorente, FL, Buso, A Jr, Castro, D, Macario, K. 2014. Landscape evolution during the late Quaternary at the Doce River mouth, Espírito Santo State, southeastern Brazil. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 415:4858.
D’Alpaos, A, Lanzoni, S, Marani, M, Rinaldo, A. 2008. Landscape evolution in tidal embayments: modelling the interplay of erosion, sedimentation, and vegetation dynamics. Journal of Geophysical Research 112:117.
DHN. 2014. Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation. Tide table. Porto De Ilhéus – Malhado - BA.
Erdtman, G. 1960. The acetolysis method. Svensk Botanisk Tidsskrift 54:561564.
França, MC, Cohen, MCL, Pessenda, LCR, Rossetti, DF, Lorente, FL, Buso, Jr, Guimarães, JTF, Friaes, Y, Macario, K. 2013. Mangrove vegetation changes on Holocene terraces of the Doce River, southeastern Brazil. CATENA 110:5969.
França, MC, Alves, ICC, Castro, DF, Cohen, MCL, Rossetti, DF, Pessenda, LCR, Lorente, FL, Fontes, NA, Buso, AÁB Jr, Giannini, PCF, Francisquini, MI. 2015. A multi-proxy evidence for the transition from estuarine mangroves to deltaic freshwater marshes, southeastern Brazil, due to climatic and sea-level changes during the late Holocene. CATENA 128:155166.
Fruergaard, M, Andersen, TJ, Nielsen, LH, Johannessen, PN, Aagaard, T, Pejrup, M. 2015. High-resolution reconstruction of a coastal barrier system: impact of Holocene sea-level change. Sedimentology 62:928969.
Furukawa, K, Wolanski, E. 1996. Sedimentation in mangrove forests. Mangroves and Salt Marshes 1:310.
Goh, KM. 1978. Removal of contaminants to improve the reliability of radiocarbon dates of peats. Journal of Soil Science 29:340349.
Grimm, EC. 1987. CONISS: a FORTRAN 77 program for stratigraphically constrained cluster analysis by the method of incremental sum of squares. Computers and Geosciences 13:1335.
Krauss, KW, Lovelock, CE, McKee, KL, López-Hoffman, L, Ewe, SML, Sousa, WP. 2008. Environmental drivers in mangrove establishment and early development: a review. Aquatic Botany 89:105127.
Kumaran, KPN, Shindikar, M, Limaye, RB. 2004. Mangrove associated lignite beds of Malvan, Konkan: evidence for higher sea-level during the Late Tertiary (Neogene) along the west coast of India. Current Science 86:335340.
Lara, RJ, Cohen, MCL. 2006. Sediment porewater salinity, inundation frequency and mangrove vegetation height in Bragança, North Brazil: an ecohydrology-based empirical model. Wetlands Ecology and Management 14:349358.
Ledru, M-P, Braga, PIS, Soubiès, F, Fournier, M, Martin, L, Suguio, K, Turcq, B. 1996. The last 50,000 years in the Neotropics (southern Brazil): evolution of vegetation and climate. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 123:239257.
Lessa, GC, Angulo, RJ. 1998. Oscillations or not oscillations, that is the question—reply. Marine Geology 150:189196.
Liang, S, Zhou, R, Dong, S, Shi, S. 2008. Adaptation to salinity in mangroves: implication on the evolution of salt-tolerance. Science Bulletin 53:17081715.
Lima, JAS, Chagas, CS, Manzatto, CV, Assis, DS, Perez, DV, Pereira, NR, Cunha, TJF, Tosto, SG. 2002. Distribuição de espécies arbóreas em fragmentos de vegetação natural no município de Prado - extremo sul da Bahia. Rio de Janeiro.
Mantelli, LR, de Fatima Rossetti, D, Albuquerque, PG, de Morrison Valeriano, M. 2009. Applying SRTM digital elevation model to unravel Quaternary drainage in forested areas of Northeastern Amazonia. Computers & Geosciences 35:23312337.
Martin, L, Flexor, JM, Vilas-Boas, GS, Bittencourt, ACSP, Guimarães, MMM. 1979a. Courbe de variation du niveau relatif de la mer au cours des 7000 derniéres années sur un secteur homogéne du littoral brésilien (nord de Salvador—Bahia). In: Suguio K, Fairchild TR, Martin L, Flexor JM, editors. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Coastal Evolution in the Quaternary. p 264–95.
Martin, L, Vilas-Boas, GS, Flexor, JM. 1979b. Introdução ao estudo do Quaternário do litoral do Estado da Bahia—Trecho Salvador Ilhéus. Revista Brasileira de Geociências 9:309320.
Martin, L, Dominguez, JML, Bittencourt, ACSP. 2003. Fluctuating Holocene sea levels in eastern and southeastern brazil: evidence from multiple fossil and geometric indicators. Journal of Coastal Research 19:101124.
Martorano, LG, Coutinho, SCDA. 2003. Aspectos climáticos da região do Prado – BA. Rio de Janeiro: Embrapa Solos.
Miall, AD. 1978. Facies types and vertical profile models in braided river deposits: a summary. In: Miall AD, editor. Fluvial Sedimentology. Calgary: Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists. p 597604.
Monacci, NM, Meier-Grünhagen, U, Finney, BP, Behling, H, Wooller, MJ. 2009. Mangrove ecosystem changes during the Holocene at Spanish Lookout Cay, Belize. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 280:3746.
Neves, P, Lorscheitter, M. 1995. Upper Quaternary palaeoenvironments in the northern coastal plain of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Quaternary of South America and Antarctic Peninsula 9:3967.
Peixoto, AL, Gentry, A. 1990. Diversidade e composição florística da mata de tabuleiros na Reserva Florestal de Linhares (Espírito Santo, Brasil). Revista Brasileira de Botânica 13:1925.
Pessenda, LCR, Ribeiro, ADS, Gouveia, SEM, Aravena, R, Boulet, R, Bendassolli, JA. 2004. Vegetation dynamics during the late Pleistocene in the Barreirinhas region, Maranhão State, northeastern Brazil, based on carbon isotopes in soil organic matter. Quaternary Research 62:183193.
Pessenda, LCR, De Oliveira, PE, Mofatto, M, de Medeiros, VB, Francischetti Garcia, RJ, Aravena, R, Bendassoli, JA, Zuniga Leite, A, Saad, AR, Lincoln Etchebehere, M. 2009. The evolution of a tropical rainforest/grassland mosaic in southeastern Brazil since 28,000 14C yr BP based on carbon isotopes and pollen records. Quaternary Research 71:437452.
Pessenda, LCR, Vidotto, E, De Oliveira, PE, Buso, AA, Cohen, MCL, Rossetti, D, de, F, Ricardi-Branco, F, Bendassolli, JA. 2012. Late Quaternary vegetation and coastal environmental changes at Ilha do Cardoso mangrove, southeastern Brazil. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 363:5768.
Prado, LF, Wainer, I, Chiessi, CM, Ledru, M-P, Turcq, B. 2013. A mid-Holocene climate reconstruction for eastern South America. Climate of the Past 9:21172133.
Reading, HG. 1996. Sedimentary Environments:Processes, Facies and Stratigraphy, 3rd edition. Blackwell Science.
Record, S, Charney, ND, Zakaria, RM, Ellison, AM. 2013. Projecting global mangrove species and community distributions under climate change. Ecosphere 4:34.
Reimer, PJ, Baillie, MGL, Bard, E, Bayliss, A, Beck, JW, Blackwell, PG, Bronk Ramsey, C, Buck, CE, Burr, GS, Edwards, RL, Friedrich, M, Grootes, PM, Guilderson, TP, Hajdas, I, Heaton, TJ, Hogg, AG, Hughen, KA, Kaiser, KF, Kromer, B, McCormac, FG, Manning, SW, Reimer, RW, Richards, DA, Southon, JR, Talamo, S, Turney, CSM, van der Plicht, J, Weyhenmeyer, CE. 2009. IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon age calibration curves, 0-50,000 years CAL BP. Radiocarbon 51(4):11111150.
Roe, HM, van de Plassche, O. 2005. Modern pollen distribution in a Connecticut saltmarsh: implications for studies of sea-level change. Quaternary Science Reviews 24:20302049.
Rossetti, D, de, F, Polizel, SP, Cohen, MCL, Pessenda, LCR. 2015. Late Pleistocene–Holocene evolution of the Doce River delta, southeastern Brazil: implications for the understanding of wave-influenced deltas. Marine Geology 367:171190.
Rossetti, DF, Valeriano, MM, Thales, M. 2007. An abandoned estuary within Marajó Island: implications for late Quaternary paleogeography of northern Brazil. Estuaries and Coasts 30:813826.
Roubik, DW, Moreno, JE. 1991. Pollen and Spores of Barro Colorado Island. Missouri Botanical Garden.
Suguio, K, Martin, L, Bittencourt, AC, Bittencourt, ACSP, Dominguez, JML, Flexor, J-M, De Azevedo, AEG. 1985. Fluctuacões do nivel do mar durante o Quaternario superior ao longo do litoral Brasileiro e sus implicacões na sedimentação costeira. Revista Brasileira de Geociências 15:273286.
Suguio, K, Barreto, AMF, Oliveira, PE, Bezerra, FHR, Vilela, MCSH. 2013. Indicators of Holocene sea level changes along the coast of the states of Pernambuco and Paraíba, Brazil. Geologia - Série Científica USP 13:141152.
Tanoli, SK. 2014. Sedimentological evidence for the Late Holocene sea level change at the Enjefa Beach exposures of Kuwait, NW Arabian Gulf. Arabian Journal of Geosciences 8:60636074.
Toonen, WHJ, Kleinhans, MG, Cohen, KM. 2012. Sedimentary architecture of abandoned channel fills. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 37:459472.
Walker, RG. 1992. Facies, facies models and modern stratigrahic concepts. In: Walker RG, James NP, editors. Facies Models - Response to Sea Level Change. Ontario: Geological Association of Canada. p 114.
Woodroffe, C. 1981. Mangrove swamp stratigraphy and Holocene transgression, Grand Cayman Island, West Indies. Marine Geology 41:271294.
Woodroffe, CD. 1995. Response of tide-dominated mangrove shorelines in northern Australia to anticipated sea-level rise. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 20:6585.
Woodroffe, CD, Murray-Wallace, CV. 2012. Sea-level rise and coastal change: the past as a guide to the future. Quaternary Science Reviews 54:411.
Woodroffe, SA, Long, AJ, Punwong, P, Selby, K, Bryant, CL, Marchant, R. 2015. Radiocarbon dating of mangrove sediments to constrain Holocene relative sea-level change on Zanzibar in the southwest Indian Ocean. The Holocene 25:820831.



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