The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository
Warning ePrints Soton is experiencing an issue with some file downloads not being available. We are working hard to fix this. Please bear with us.

Paleoecology of the Guayana Highlands (northern South America): holocene pollen record from the Eruoda-tepui, in the Chimantá massif

Paleoecology of the Guayana Highlands (northern South America): holocene pollen record from the Eruoda-tepui, in the Chimantá massif
Paleoecology of the Guayana Highlands (northern South America): holocene pollen record from the Eruoda-tepui, in the Chimantá massif

The previously recorded vegetation constancy during most of the Holocene, atop some summits of the Guayana tabular mountains (or tepuis), led to the hypotheses of either environmental stability or site insensitivity. As high-mountain biomes are considered to be especially well suited for recording past environmental changes, a palynological study on the uppermost summit of the Chimantá massif was designed to test its suitability for these purposes. A peat sequence was obtained spanning the last ~13.0 cal kyr BP, but an acceptable resolution for paleoecological reconstruction is available only for the last ~4000 years. Around 4.3 cal kyr BP, the modern vegetation was established and has remained virtually unchanged until today; minor paleoenvironmental changes recorded in other sequences around 2.5 cal kyr BP were not detected here. The main paleoclimatic trends are in good agreement with other neotropical records, especially from Lake Valencia and the Cariaco Basin. It is concluded that high-altitude tepuian sites are useful to record paleoenvironmental changes of moderate to high intensity but once a dense vegetation cover is established, gentle shifts remain hidden due to the capacity of plant communities to absorb the changes. The best sites for paleoecological research atop the tepuis are those lying on or near altitudinal ecotones, especially between the meadows and the paramoid shrublands (~2200 m elevation). Sites within the meadow domain, as most well-studied so far, are relatively insensitive to Holocene paleoenvironmental changes.

Guayana, Holocene, Neotropics, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, Palynology, Tepuis, Vegetation constancy
0031-0182
165-173
Nogué, Sandra
5b464cff-a158-481f-8b7f-647c93d7a034
Rull, Valentí
afd31aba-0540-4788-abea-f5f9e3ec3021
Montoya, Encarni
7f93c60f-cc9c-4c5f-bb43-e42a38872e8e
Huber, Otto
4b1ee06f-51ae-47d7-a068-1f543a235733
Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Teresa
f1a5df04-58b9-4d16-823c-47c193f63f01
Nogué, Sandra
5b464cff-a158-481f-8b7f-647c93d7a034
Rull, Valentí
afd31aba-0540-4788-abea-f5f9e3ec3021
Montoya, Encarni
7f93c60f-cc9c-4c5f-bb43-e42a38872e8e
Huber, Otto
4b1ee06f-51ae-47d7-a068-1f543a235733
Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Teresa
f1a5df04-58b9-4d16-823c-47c193f63f01

Nogué, Sandra, Rull, Valentí, Montoya, Encarni, Huber, Otto and Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Teresa (2009) Paleoecology of the Guayana Highlands (northern South America): holocene pollen record from the Eruoda-tepui, in the Chimantá massif. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 281 (1-2), 165-173. (doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.07.019).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The previously recorded vegetation constancy during most of the Holocene, atop some summits of the Guayana tabular mountains (or tepuis), led to the hypotheses of either environmental stability or site insensitivity. As high-mountain biomes are considered to be especially well suited for recording past environmental changes, a palynological study on the uppermost summit of the Chimantá massif was designed to test its suitability for these purposes. A peat sequence was obtained spanning the last ~13.0 cal kyr BP, but an acceptable resolution for paleoecological reconstruction is available only for the last ~4000 years. Around 4.3 cal kyr BP, the modern vegetation was established and has remained virtually unchanged until today; minor paleoenvironmental changes recorded in other sequences around 2.5 cal kyr BP were not detected here. The main paleoclimatic trends are in good agreement with other neotropical records, especially from Lake Valencia and the Cariaco Basin. It is concluded that high-altitude tepuian sites are useful to record paleoenvironmental changes of moderate to high intensity but once a dense vegetation cover is established, gentle shifts remain hidden due to the capacity of plant communities to absorb the changes. The best sites for paleoecological research atop the tepuis are those lying on or near altitudinal ecotones, especially between the meadows and the paramoid shrublands (~2200 m elevation). Sites within the meadow domain, as most well-studied so far, are relatively insensitive to Holocene paleoenvironmental changes.

This record has no associated files available for download.

More information

Published date: 1 October 2009
Keywords: Guayana, Holocene, Neotropics, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology, Palynology, Tepuis, Vegetation constancy

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 445881
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/445881
ISSN: 0031-0182
PURE UUID: 91e3107c-1a09-4ec9-8abb-3db594cdad65
ORCID for Sandra Nogué: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0093-4252

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Jan 2021 17:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:25

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Sandra Nogué ORCID iD
Author: Valentí Rull
Author: Encarni Montoya
Author: Otto Huber
Author: Teresa Vegas-Vilarrúbia

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×