The Open UniversitySkip to content

The response of vegetation on the Andean flank in western Amazonia to Pleistocene climate change

Cárdenas, Macarena L.; Gosling, William D.; Sherlock, Sarah C. ; Poole, Imogen; Pennington, R. Toby and Mothes, Patricia (2011). The response of vegetation on the Andean flank in western Amazonia to Pleistocene climate change. Science, 331(6020) pp. 1055–1058.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


A reconstruction of past environmental change from Ecuador reveals the response of lower montane forest on the Andean flank in western Amazonia to glacial-interglacial global climate change. Radiometric dating of volcanic ash indicates that deposition occurred ~324,000 to 193,000 years ago during parts of Marine Isotope Stages 9, 7, and 6. Fossil pollen and wood preserved within organic sediments suggest that the composition of the forest altered radically in response to glacial-interglacial climate change. The presence of Podocarpus macrofossils ~1000 meters below the lower limit of their modern distribution indicates a relative cooling of at least 5°C during glacials and persistence of wet conditions. Interglacial deposits contain thermophilic palms suggesting warm and wet climates. Hence, global temperature change can radically alter vegetation communities and biodiversity in this region.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011 The Authors
ISSN: 0036-8075
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetThe Open University/Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh studentship
Not SetNot SetSantander Corporate responsibility fund
Not Set#1052-1947British Ecological Society small ecological projects grant )
Not SetNot SetUniversity of Utrecht
Keywords: Amazon; Andes; biodiversity; climate change; temperature; precipitation; pollen; Pleistocene; Ecuador
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Environment, Earth and Ecosystems
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 28265
Depositing User: William Gosling
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2011 09:51
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2013 11:43
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340