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Influence of Late Pleistocene climate changes on the Amazon vegetation

Grant number: 19/19948-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences
Principal researcher:Paulo Eduardo de Oliveira
Grantee:Thomas Kenji Akabane
Home Institution: Instituto de Geociências (IGC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/15123-4 - Past perspectives on tipping elements of the climate system: the Amazon Rainforest and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (PPTEAM), AP.PFPMCG.JP2


During the late Pleistocene, several vegetation shifts occurred in the Amazon in response to the series of climatic oscillations that affected both hemispheres. Since the vegetation intrinsically relates to the climate, past climatic oscillations invariably affected plant communities. However, an open question remains concerning how and to what extent these interactions took place due to the scarcity of high-resolution data. The Amazon River delivers large amounts of pollen to the Atlantic Ocean from the different ecosystems that cover the Amazon Basin. Therefore, adjacent marine deposits potentially register changes in floristic composition over extensive areas of the basin. In the presently proposed project, the palynological, phytolith, and charcoal content of sediment samples from the marine sediment core GeoB16224-1 will be analyzed. This core was retrieved from the continental slope of French Guiana, located northwest of the Amazon River mouth. This study aims to investigate the vegetation response to the climate changes that marked the late Pleistocene, between ca. 47-12.8 ka. In order to evaluate the impact of millennial climate fluctuations, such as Heinrich and Dansgaard-Oeschger events, a resolution of ~250 years will be adopted. Already published data from the GeoB16224-1 will be compared and integrated with the results obtained in this project, which include inorganic and organic geochemistry data that demonstrate the suitability of this file for paleoenvironmental reconstitutions of the Amazon. (AU)

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