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Abstract Detail


Harbert, Robert S [1], NIXON, KEVIN C. [2].

50,000 Years of climate inferred using plant macrofossils from packrat (Neotoma spp.) middens in western North America.

Packrat midden plant macrofossils from the Late Quaternary of western North America provide an extremely detailed paleovegetation record of the last 50,000 years. Plant material including flowers, seeds, leaves, and twigs are used by packrats of the genus Neotoma as midden (nest) building material and food stores. Neotoma packrats build their nests in sheltered rock crevasses, overhangs, and caves. Sheltered midden sites in dry environments preserve plant material over thousands of years. Collections from more than 3,000 midden sites detail plant distribution shifts and vegetation turnover of the Late Quaternary. These paleovegetation data are now being used to generate multi-parameter, quantitative estimates of millennial-scale climate for the Late Quaternary in western North America using the Climate Reconstruction Analysis using Coexistence Likelihood Estimation (CRACLE) method, a plant community climate proxy. The climate record generated reveals a wet and cold glacial period and the details of the rate and pattern of warming and drying at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. The observed patterns of vegetation turnover, species distribution shifts, climate change, and implications for Pleistocene megafaunal extinction will be discussed.

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Original manuscript

1 - American Museum of Natural History, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, Central Park West & 79th St., New York, NY, 10024, United States
2 - Cornell University, L. H. BAILEY HORTORIUM, 408 MANN LIBRARY, ITHACA, NY, 14853-4301, USA, 607/255-4876

climate change
North America.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 1, Cookson/Moseley award presentations
Location: Sundance 4/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 8:15 AM
Number: 1002
Abstract ID:399
Candidate for Awards:Isabel Cookson Award

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