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Modern Pollen Rain and Vegetational History of the Malaspina Glacier District, Alaska

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Dorothy M. Peteet*
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, New York University, New York, New York 10003 USA

Abstract

Seventy surface pollen samples from coastal forest, coastal meadow, muskeg, tree line, and alpine tundra communities form a basis for interpreting fossil pollen assemblages in the Malaspina Glacier district, Alaska. Poflen and macrofossil analyses of three radiocarbon-dated fossil sections from Icy Cape indicate that vegetational changes resulting from plant succession can be distinguished from those of migrational and climatic origin. Vegetation of the early Holocene xerothermic interval (10,000–7600 yr B.P.) was dominated by Alnus communities. Wetter conditions ensued, enabling generative muskeg surfaces to develop and first Picea sitchensis, then Tsuga heterophylla to expand from areas southeastward. Climatic cooling in more recent millennia (3500 yr B.P. to the present) is indicated by the appearance and persistent growth of Tsuga mertensiana and Selaginella selaginoides along this portion of the Gulf of Alaska coastline.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
University of Washington

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