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Climate in the Great Lakes Region Between 14,000 and 4000 Years Ago from Isotopic Composition of Conifer Wood

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2016

Steven W Leavitt
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
Irina P Panyushkina
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
Todd Lange
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
Alex Wiedenhoeft
Affiliation:
Center for Wood Anatomy Research, USDA Forest Products Laboratory, One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53726-2398, USA
Li Cheng
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
R Douglas Hunter
Affiliation:
Biological Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4476, USA
John Hughes
Affiliation:
Retired. Department of Geography, Earth Science, Conservation, and Planning, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Michigan 49855, USA
Frank Pranschke
Affiliation:
Retired. Department of Geology, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois 60625-4699, USA
Allan F Schneider
Affiliation:
Retired. Department of Geology, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53141-2000, USA
Joseph Moran
Affiliation:
Retired. Department of Geology, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54311-7001, USA
Ron Stieglitz
Affiliation:
Retired. Department of Geology, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54311-7001, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

The isotopic composition of ancient wood has the potential to provide information about past environments. We analyzed the δ13C, δ18O, and δ2H of cellulose of conifer trees from several cross-sections at each of 9 sites around the Great Lakes region ranging from ∼4000 to 14,000 cal BP. Isotopic values of Picea, Pinus, and Thuja species seem interchangeable for δ18O and δ2H comparisons, but Thuja appears distinctly different from the other 2 in its δ13C composition. Isotopic results suggest that the 2 sites of near-Younger Dryas age experienced the coldest conditions, although the Gribben Basin site near the Laurentide ice sheet was relatively dry, whereas the Liverpool site 500 km south was moister. The spatial isotopic variability of 3 of the 4 sites of Two Creeks age shows evidence of an elevation effect, perhaps related to sites farther inland from the Lake Michigan shoreline experiencing warmer daytime growing season temperatures. Thus, despite floristic similarity across sites (wood samples at 7 of the sites being Picea), the isotopes appear to reflect environmental differences that might not be readily evident from a purely floristic interpretation of macrofossil or pollen identification.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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