The last 25,000 years in the Eastern Plateau of Southern Brazil according to Alpes de São Francisco record

Leonhardt, Adriana; Lorscheitter, Maria Luisa


The palaeoenvironmental history has been studied based on palynology of a sedimentary profile from the Alpes de São Francisco bog (29290 3500S, 50370 1800W), São Francisco de Paula municipality, Rio Grande do Sul eastern Plateau, extreme Southern Brazil. The results indicate a regional cold and dry climate between 25,000 and 12,500 yr BP, interpreted from the grassland vegetation, forest taxa were present in refuges and the shallow local lake began to fill in. Climatic conditions became more aride after 16,000 yr BP, when grassland became rare. From 12,500 yr BP onwards, the climate began to change and at 11,000–9700 yr BP a warm and moist climate permitted the slight migration of pioneer arboreal taxa from refuges and locally a marsh formation. Between 9700 and 6500 yr BP a warm and dry climate resulted in reduction of grassland, confined the forest in refuges, dried out the marsh. The gradual increase of humidity between 6500 and 4000 yr BP allowed migration of forests from refuges and a bog developed. Between 4000 and 2000 yr BP Araucaria forest spread, indicating moister climate. The local bog expanded. From 2000 yr BP onwards, humid but warmer climate seems to result in a lower reproductive capacity of Araucaria forest taxa limiting its expansion. The bog reached the present-day in a decline condition. The results are compared to previous records from Southern Brazil highlands and some places from Argentina in order to better elucidate the climatic and vegetational history of these important South America areas during the late Quaternary.

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