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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


HABERLE, S. G.; SZEICZ, J. M.  and  BENNETT, K. D.. Late Holocene vegetation dynamics and lake geochemistry at Laguna Miranda, XI Region, Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2000, vol.73, n.4, pp.655-669. ISSN 0716-078X.

Palynological and geochemical analysis of late Holocene lake sediments and dendrochronological analysis of Pilgerodendron in a volcanically active region of southern Chile reveal the long-term impact of a series of tephra fall events and tectonic activity on lake sedimentation and local vegetation. An upper 0,75 m core overlaps with a 4,35 m long Livingstone piston core to give a 4,60 m long sediment record, extending back to 4800 yr BP. Geochemical data shows the shift from allogenic dominance to authigenic and biogenic dominance as waterlogged soils developed within the catchment. This is presumed to have occurred under the influence of continued addition of nutrients to the catchment from tephra deposition and the associated high sedimentation rates. The palynological record from this site is dominated by Nothofagus dombeyi-type and Filicales. The most prominent changes in the pollen record, however, are the gradual decline in Podocarpus nubigena pollen throughout the last 4800 yr; the appearance and increase of Gramineae pollen during the past 2100 yr; and the rapid increase in the pollen of Pilgerodendron uviferum within the past 300-400 yr. Pilgerodendron tree-ring analysis and the pollen results over the last 400 years show that the most recent expansion of Pilgerodendron at the northern and eastern margins of this site is a response to either, periodic tectonic induced watertable changes, or is part of a long-term trend in gymnosperm growth around a shallowing lake margin. The decline of shade-intolerant trees such as Weinmannia and Podocarpus within a Nothofagus-rich forest community towards an increased presence of Pilgerodendron and Gramineae (likely Chusquea bamboo), that began over 2100 yr BP, may have been due as much to autogenic processes such as a change in the disturbance regime resulting in the development of waterlogged soils, rather than to an episode of climate change. It is important to recognise the potential effects of autogenic processes that may result from disturbance such as volcanic/tectonic activity in reconstructing past vegetation dynamics from pollen records

Keywords : Hudson Volcano; tephra; pollen; geochemistry; dendrochronology.

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