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A Holocene record of environmental change from Río Zeballos, Central Patagonia

Citation
McCulloch R, Figuerero Torres MJ, Mengoni Goñalons G, Barclay R & Mansilla C (2017) A Holocene record of environmental change from Río Zeballos, Central Patagonia, Holocene, 27 (7), pp. 941-950.

Abstract
There are few continuous palaeoenvironmental records spanning the Holocene in Andean Southern Patagonia near the Northern Patagonian Ice Field (~47°S). Insights into the environmental context for human-landscape interactions have relied mostly on data extrapolated from distant extra-Andean locations that suggest limited environmental change during the Holocene. La Frontera (46°52’S), a high altitude site on the southern beech forest-steppe ecotone boundary in the Río Zeballos valley provides lithostratigraphical and palaeoecological evidence, constrained by 14C dating and tephrochronology, for dynamic environmental change during the last ~8000 years. An initial amelioration in environmental conditions after c. 8210 cal. BP was followed by a reversal to colder conditions between c. 7420 and 6480 cal. BP, coincident with initial human occupation within the Paso Roballos and Lago Pueyrredón basin. Between c. 6480 and 3700 cal. BP the woodland / steppe composition continued to fluctuate in response to climatic change. After c. 3700 cal. BP a gradual shift to more stable and temperate conditions, punctuated by increased fire activity, is contemporary with the later phases of human occupation extending up into the Paso Roballos-Río Zeballos corridor.

Keywords
central Patagonia; Holocene; palaeoenvironments; pollen analysis; tephrochronology

StatusPublished
AuthorsMcCulloch Robert, Figuerero Torres Maria Jose, Mengoni Goñalons Guillermo, Barclay Rebecca, Mansilla Claudia
Publication date07/2017
Publication date online09/12/2016
Date accepted by journal03/10/2016
PublisherSAGE
ISSN 0959-6836
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Holocene: Volume 27, Issue 7

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