Forest Responses to Late Holocene Climate Change in North-central Wisconsin: A Comparative Plant Macrofossil Study of Two Adjacent Lakes

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ProQuest, 2008 - 67 pages
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Plant macrofossil analysis is a valuable tool for Holocene paleoecological studies, including those attempting to reconstruct upland vegetation patterns. Though its utility has been demonstrated in a number of paleoecological studies, macrofossil analysis is often underutilized, and little research has been done to investigate how macrofossil records represent local vegetation dynamics. Plant macrofossils were analyzed at contiguous 1-cm intervals from the Holocene sediments of two adjacent lakes, Borden Lake (7 ha) and Hell's Kitchen Lake (3 ha), in north-central Wisconsin (46° 11.4 N; 89° 42.1W). Borden Lake was cored in a northwest-facing embayment and Hell's Kitchen Lake was cored in a southwest-facing embayment, less than 125 m away. Pollen analysis from these sites provided a regionally integrated record of forest composition. Macrofossil records from the two sites show contrasting but complementary patterns. Mesic tree species (B. alleghaniensis and Tsuga canadensis) dominate the Borden record, while xeric species (Pinus strobus and Betula papyrifera ) are more abundant in the Hell's Kitchen record. Major changes in macrofossil assemblages are contemporaneous at the two lakes, suggesting that nearby forests have responded in concert to the same regional climate changes. Aspect of the slope adjacent to the coring site, through its influence on soil moisture, is the likely cause for the contrast in the macrofossil records. High-resolution macrofossil analyses have the potential to reveal detailed localized responses to climate when coupled with careful site selection and multiple adjacent sites.
  

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Contents

SITE CHARACTERISTICS page
6
DISCUSSSION page
19
CONCLUSIONS page
30
TABLES page
37
APPENDICES
54
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