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Late Glacial and Holocene vegetation history and paleoclimate of the Kaibab Plateau, Arizona

Chengyu Weng, Stephen T. Jackson


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors reconstructed fire history since the Late Glacial based on pollen and plant macrofossil records and sedimentary deposits at two lakes on the Kaibab Plateau and analyzed the relationships between climate, vegetation and fire of the Holocene.

Publication findings:

Fire was relatively rare at both sites between approximately 12,000-10,600 cal yr B.P. Most of this period was cool and relatively wet, which likely suppressed fire occurrence. The establishment of ponderosa pine and Picea and Abies spp. at the lower and higher elevation sites, respectively, increased fire occurrence greatly after approximately 10,600 cal yr B.P. The authors suggest that the increased fire frequency likely gave ponderosa pine a competitive advantage at this time over Picea forest.

Climate and Fire Linkages

Fire was relatively rare at both sites between approximately 12,000-10,600 cal yr B.P. Most of this period was cool and relatively wet, which likely suppressed fire occurrence.

Fire and Ecosystem Effects Linkages

The establishment of ponderosa pine and Picea and Abies spp. at the lower and higher elevation sites, respectively, increased fire occurrence greatly after approximately 10,600 cal yr B.P. The authors suggest that the increased fire frequency likely gave ponderosa pine a competitive advantage at this time over Picea forest.