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Late Pleistocene and Holocene Vegetation, Climate Dynamics, and Amazonian Taxa in the Atlantic Forest, Linhares, SE Brazil

Abstract

Analysis of biological proxies in lake sediment and geochemical analysis of soil profiles reveal natural vegetation dynamics, with climate inferences, since the late Pleistocene in a fragment of the pristine lowland Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil. Carbon isotopes from soil organic matter and 14C ages from the humin fraction indicate the dominance of C3 plants since ∼17,000 cal BP. Palynological analysis of a sediment core indicates the presence of Atlantic Forest vegetation since 7700 cal BP. Changes in the relative abundance of tree ferns and palms suggest the predominance of a humid period from ∼7000–4000 cal BP and establishment of the modern seasonal climate at ∼4000 cal BP. Data indicate maintenance of the regional forest coverage since the late Pleistocene, corroborating previous suggestions that this region was a forest refuge during less humid periods of the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Some plant taxa with currently divided distributions between Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest colonized the region since at least 7500 cal BP, indicating an earlier connection between Amazonia and Atlantic Forest.

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2 Corresponding author. Email: alvaro.buso.jr@gmail.com.

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Late Pleistocene and Holocene Vegetation, Climate Dynamics, and Amazonian Taxa in the Atlantic Forest, Linhares, SE Brazil

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