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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Late Pleistocene and Holocene vegetation changes in northeastern Brazil determined from carbon isotopes and charcoal records in soils

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Ruiz Pessenda, Luiz Carlos [1] ; Marques Gouveia, Susy Eli [1] ; Ribeiro, Adauto de Souza [2] ; De Oliveira, Paulo Eduardo [3] ; Aravena, Ramon [4]
Total Authors: 5
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Ctr Energia Nucl Agr, Lab 14C, BR-13416000 Piracicaba, S Paulo - Brazil
[2] Univ Fed Sergipe, Dept Bot, Aracaju, Sergipe - Brazil
[3] Univ Guarulhos, Guarulhos, S Paulo - Brazil
[4] Univ Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1 - Canada
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Web of Science Citations: 34

Northeastern Brazil represents a strategic area in terms of Quaternary records of environmental changes in South America due to its distinct semi-arid climate in near equatorial latitudes. In this study, carbon isotope and charcoal distribution records in soils are used to characterize vegetation dynamics, forest fires and their relation to climate change since the Late Pleistocene in the States of Ceara, Piaui and Paraiba, Northeastern Brazil. At the Ceara site, the carbon isotope record showed an enrichment trend from -24%(o) to 19%(o) during the early-mid Holocene, indicating an opening of vegetation and expansion of savanna vegetation (C(4) plants) during this period. A trend toward more depleted delta(13)C values (similar to-32%.) in the late Holocene indicates an expansion of forest vegetation (C(3) plants). A similar trend is observed at the Piaui and Paraiba sites where values of similar to-24%0 are associated with open forest vegetation during the late Pleistocene. In the early-mid Holocene, delta(13)C values of up to -18.0%(o), suggest the expansion of C4 plants. Based on the carbon isotope data, it is postulated that from similar to 18,000 cal yr B.P. to similar to 11,800 cal yr B.P.-similar to 10,000 cal yr B.P. arboreal vegetation was dominant in northeastern Brazil and is associated with humid climates. The savanna expanded from similar to 10,000 cal yr B.P. to similar to 4500-3200 cal yr B.P. due to a less humid/drier climatic phase, also supported by the significant presence of fires (charcoal fragments in the soil). From approximately 3200-2000 cal yr B.P. to the present, carbon isotope records suggest forest expansion and a more humid phase. These results form part of a regional pattern since they are in agreement with paleovegetation records obtained in regions of Maranhao, northeastern Brazil and in the Amazon and Rondonia States, northern Brazil. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 07/03615-5 - Reconstruction of vegetation and climate since the middle Holocene in Brazil
Grantee:Luiz Carlos Ruiz Pessenda
Support type: Regular Research Grants