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Sample records for pleistocene environmental change

  1. Effects of Pleistocene environmental changes on the distribution and community structure of the mammalian fauna of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquín; Ponce, Eduardo

    2010-05-01

    Biological communities in Mexico experienced profound changes in species composition and structure as a consequence of the environmental fluctuations during the Pleistocene. Based on the recent and fossil Mexican mammal checklists, we determine the distribution, composition, diversity, and community structure of late Pleistocene mammalian faunas, and analyze extinction patterns and response of individual species to environmental changes. We conclude that (1) differential extinctions occurred at family, genus, and species level, with a major impact on species heavier than 100 kg, including the extinction all proboscideans and several ruminants; (2) Pleistocene mammal communities in Mexico were more diverse than recent ones; and (3) the current assemblages of species are relatively young. Furthermore, Pleistocene relicts support the presence of biogeographic corridors; important refugia existed as well as centers of speciation in isolated regions. We identified seven corridors: eastern USA-Sierra Madre Oriental corridor, Rocky Mountains-Sierra Madre Occidental corridor, Central United States-Northern Mexico corridor, Transvolcanic Belt-Sierra Madre del Sur corridor, western USA-Baja California corridor, Tamaulipas-Central America gulf lowlands corridor, and Sonora-Central America Pacific lowlands corridor. Our study suggests that present mammalian assemblages are very different than the ones in the late Pleistocene.

  2. The relationship between environmental change and the extinction of the nannoplankton Discoaster in the early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schueth, Jonathan D.; Bralower, Timothy J.

    2015-07-01

    The long-ranging nannoplankton genus Discoaster went extinct in the early Pleistocene, one of the most significant events in the Cenozoic nannofossil record. The causal factors of this extinction are poorly constrained, at least partially because the ecology of Discoaster is not well understood. We investigate the relationship between the extinction and environmental changes by comparing a suite of high-resolution nannofossil assemblage data at four Ocean Drilling Program sites to published environmental proxy records. Through the use of multivariate analysis, we determine Discoaster shared environmental preferences with the extant species Florisphaera profunda which thrives in the lower photic zone near the nutricline in locations where the water column is stratified. We show that the last occurrence of Discoaster was globally diachronous, rather than synchronous as previously thought, and likely took place in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean. We propose that the demise of Discoaster was a two-stage process. A decrease in sea surface temperatures and increase in climate variability led to a global decline in Discoaster abundance. The extinction event itself correlates to shoaling of the nutricline as signified by a decrease in the carbon isotopic gradient between surface and thermocline foraminifera. We hypothesize that the combination of global cooling and a shoaling of the nutricline greatly reduced Discoaster's deepwater niche and contributed to its extinction. This may suggest that ocean stratification and the depth of the nutricline are important contributors to overall nannoplankton diversity.

  3. Environmental, depositional and cultural changes in the upper Pleistocene and early Holocene; the Cinglera del Capello Sequence (Capellades, Spain)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vaquero, Manuel; Allue, Ethel; Bischoff, James L.; Burjachs, Francesc; Vallverdu, Josep

    2013-01-01

    The correlation between environmental and cultural changes is one of the primary archeological and paleoanthropological research topics. Analysis of ice and marine cores has yielded a high-resolution record of millennial-scale changes during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene eras. However, cultural changes are documented in low-resolution continental deposits; thus, their correlation with the millennial-scale climatic sequence is often difficult. In this paper, we present a rare occurrence in which a thick archeological sequence is associated with a high-resolution environmental record. The Cinglera del Capello is a tufa-draped cliff located in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula, 50 km west of Barcelona. This cliff harbors several rock-shelters with Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene deposits. Together, the deposits of four rock-shelters span from 7000 to 70,000 years ago and provide a high-resolution record of the environmental and human dynamics during this timespan. This record allows the correlation of the cultural and environmental changes. The multiproxy approach to the Cinglera evidence indicates that the main cultural stages of the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene (Middle Paleolithic, Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic) are associated with significant changes in the environmental and depositional contexts.

  4. Multi-proxy evidence for Late Pleistocene-Holocene climatic and environmental changes in Lop-Nur, Xinjiang, Northwest China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luo, C.; Yang, D.; Peng, Z.; Zhang, Z.; Weiguo, L.; He, J.; Zhou, C.

    2008-01-01

    A 10.35-m-long sediment core from the Luobei depression in Lop-Nur, Xinjiang, Northwest China, provides detailed information about environmental changes during the Late Pleistocene. The samples taken every 5 cm of the core were analyzed for 10 environmental proxies, including magnetic susceptibility, granularity, chroma, carbonate and loss on ignition (LOI), and pH value. The chronology data are provided by the uranium/thorium disequilibrium dates. The sediments of the section were deposited during the last 32000 years. The results of analysis of 10 proxies were examined using multivariate statistical analysis, and the principal components were calculated. According to the results, the Late Pleistocene sequence contains four climatic and environmental stages appearing in the cycles of cold-wet and warm-dry changes. During 10-9 ka BP, it was the earliest warm episode in the Holocene. Environmental changes in this district were restricted by global change, as suggested by the analysis of glacial-interglacial cycles. But it was different from the mutative trend of a monsoon region in East China because of its own characteristics, which was the situation of cold-wet and warm-dry climate-environment change. The candidate reason may be the uplift of the Tibet Plateau and the westerly wind circulation. ?? Science Press, Institute of Geochemistry, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008.

  5. Response of the paleomagnetic record to environmental changes in the late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilipenko, O. V.; Trubikhin, V. M.; Abrahamsen, H.; Buylaert, J.-P.

    2010-12-01

    During revisiting the Upper Pleistocene Pekla loess-soil section located on the Sea of Azov coast of the Taman Peninsula, its lower 6 m were continuously sampled, which led to an increase in the age range from ˜50 to 400 ka. The detailed rock magnetic study of the structure, grain-size, and concentrations of magnetic mineral (natural remanent magnetization (NRM) carrier) in the collected rock samples revealed regular changes in rock magnetic characteristics along the section and their correlation with climatic fluctuations. Magnetite and hematite both deposited during the transport of sedimentary material and formed during pedogenesis, which involved the entire section to a varying extent, represent the main magnetic minerals in the examined rocks. Automorphic paleosoils that were formed during warm and humid periods corresponding to odd stages of the MIS scale are characterized by elevated concentrations of magnetic mineral (NRM, magnetic susceptibility ( K lf), saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM), and anhysteresis (ideal) remanent magnetization (ARM)) parameters and share of superparamagnetic particles (up to 80%, according to elevated values of the frequency-dependent magnetic susceptibility K td) as well as by lowered rigidity parameter ( B cr) and grain size (ARM/ K parameter). Such changes in the paleosoils may be explained by the occurrence of newly formed fine-grained magnetite particles close in size to its superparamagnetic and single-domain varieties due to the activation of bio/geochemical processes during warm stages. The growth of the above-mentioned rock magnetic parameters in automorphic soils may be considered as serving a quantitative criterion for defining the boundary between warm and cold periods even in poorly developed soils.

  6. Palynologic and geomorphic evidence for environmental change during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition at Point Reyes Peninsula, central coastal California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rypins, Steven; Reneau, Steven L.; Byrne, Roger; Montgomery, David R.

    1989-07-01

    Three sites on the Point Reyes Peninsula, California, provide evidence of major environmental change during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. A 12,300-yr-long pollen record from Coast Trail Pond reveals a change from closed canopy Pseudotsuga-Abies forest to coastal scrub and grassland about 10,000 yr B.P. The same change is also evident in pollen records from two sea cliff exposures that contain a series of buried soils interstratified with fluvial and debris-flow deposits. Eight radiocarbon dates from these exposures indicate that aggradation at both sites began ca. 12,000 yr B.P. and that the change from forest to scrub and grassland occurred between 10,300 and 9400 yr B.P. High percentages of alder pollen and bracken fern spores reflect repeated geomorphic disturbance at ca. 10,400 yr B.P. The occurrence of major aggradation accompanied by recurrent debris flows between ca. 12,000 and 10,000 yr B.P. suggests that this was a period of more frequent high-intensity storms.

  7. Tapping the Late Pleistocene-Holocene environmental change and alluvial geoarchaeology in Central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macklin, Mark; Panyushkina, Irina; Toonen, Willem; Chang, Claudia; Seitkaliyev, Meyram; Voyakin, Dmitry

    2015-04-01

    We integrate the environmental history derived from spatial-temporal variability of multi proxies and the prehistory of arid lands from archaeological data in Central Asia in order to determine the relationship between the Holocene river dynamics, climate change and floodwater farming. This study addresses to developing fluvial achieves and geoarcheological records from the Talgar catchment, a south-bank tributary of the Ili River and the Talas catchment, a east-bank tributary of the Syr Darya River, in the southern Kazakhstan. The catchments of these steppe rivers flowing northwest had favorable habitats for farming from the Eneolithic to the medieval period as appears from human settlement histories documented with archaeological surveys and in some cases excavations. The river development has been reconstructed over the last 20,000 years and the key archaeological sites have been dated with radiocarbon. Periods of Holocene river aggradation and high water in downstream Lake Balkhash and Aral Sea correspond with cooler and wetter neoglacial episodes while river entrenchment and floodplain soil development are associated with warmer and drier conditions. Floodwater farming in the Talgar River reached its height in the late Iron Age (400-200 cal. BC) with more than 70 settlement sites and 700 burial mounds, and in the Talas River during the medieval period. This corresponds to a period of reduced flood flows, river stability and glacier retreat in the Tien Shan headwaters. A new hydroclimatic-based model for the spatial and temporal dynamics of floodwater farming is proposed, which explains settlement patterns since the first documented use of irrigation in the Iron Age and medieval times. The undertaken research highlights the Holocene human adaptations to the environmental change of floodplains in Central Asia.

  8. Mitochondrial DNA Indicates Late Pleistocene Divergence of Populations of Heteronympha merope, an Emerging Model in Environmental Change Biology

    PubMed Central

    Pavlova, Alexandra; Bull, James K.; Murray, Neil D.; Sunnucks, Paul

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of historical changes in species range distribution provides context for investigating adaptive potential and dispersal ability. This is valuable for predicting the potential impact of environmental change on species of interest. Butterflies are one of the most important taxa for studying such impacts, and Heteronympha merope has the potential to provide a particularly valuable model, in part due to the existence of historical data on morphological traits and glycolytic enzyme variation. This study investigates the population genetic structure and phylogeography of H. merope, comparing the relative resolution achieved through partial DNA sequences of two mitochondrial loci, COI and ND5. These data are used to define the relationship between subspecies, showing that the subspecies are reciprocally monophyletic. On this basis, the Western Australian subspecies H. m. duboulayi is genetically distinct from the two eastern subspecies. Throughout the eastern part of the range, levels of migration and the timing of key population splits of potential relevance to climatic adaptation are estimated and indicate Late Pleistocene divergence both of the Tasmanian subspecies and of an isolated northern population from the eastern mainland subspecies H. m. merope. This information is then used to revisit historical data and provides support for the importance of clinal variation in wing characters, as well as evidence for selective pressure acting on allozyme loci phosphoglucose isomerase and phosphoglucomutase in H. merope. The study has thus confirmed the value of H. merope as a model organism for measuring responses to environmental change, offering the opportunity to focus on isolated populations, as well as a latitudinal gradient, and to use historical changes to test the accuracy of predictions for the future. PMID:19956696

  9. Geomorphic and sedimentary responses of the Bull Creek Valley (Southern High Plains, USA) to Pleistocene and Holocene environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arauza, Hanna M.; Simms, Alexander R.; Bement, Leland C.; Carter, Brian J.; Conley, Travis; Woldergauy, Ammanuel; Johnson, William C.; Jaiswal, Priyank

    2016-01-01

    Fluvial geomorphology and stratigraphy often reflect past environmental and climate conditions. This study examines the response of Bull Creek, a small ephemeral creek in the Oklahoma panhandle, to environmental conditions through the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Fluvial terraces were mapped and their stratigraphy and sedimentology documented throughout the course of the main valley. Based on their elevations, terraces were broadly grouped into a late-Pleistocene fill terrace (T3) and two Holocene fill-cut terrace sets (T2 and T1). Terrace systems are marked by similar stratigraphies recording the general environmental conditions of the time. Sedimentary sequences preserved in terrace fills record the transition from a perennial fluvial system during the late glacial period and the Younger Dryas to a semiarid environment dominated by loess accumulation and punctuated by flood events during the middle to late Holocene. The highest rates of aeolian accumulation within the valley occurred during the early to middle Holocene. Our data provide significant new information regarding the late-Pleistocene and Holocene environmental history for this region, located between the well-studied Southern and Central High Plains of North America.

  10. Environmental Influences on Pleistocene Hominid Dental Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, David L.

    1970-01-01

    Considers natural and cultural environmental factors likely to have been responsible for reduction in size of hominid teeth and simplification of their morphology during the Pleistocene. Cites fossil evidence and postulates selective mechanisms. (EB)

  11. Multiproxy evidence of Late Pleistocene environmental changes in the loess-paleosol sequence of Bůhzdař (Czech Republic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flašarová, Kristýna; Vysloužilová, Barbora; Juřičková, Lucie; Šefrna, Luděk; Verecchia, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Loess-paleosol sequences preserve information that can be used to reconstruct paleoenvironement, specifically the climatic conditions and the vegetation present at the time of their formation, or determine their age. A dense network of reliably analyzed sequences from different geographic locations is crucial for representation of ecological and climatic trends during the Pleistocene (Frechen, 2011). The aim of this study is to fill the gap in the geographical distribution of well described loess-paleosol sequences in Central Europe. Therefore, it focuses on a loess-paleosol sequence in Bůhzdař, situated 9 km NW of Prague, Czech Republic. This profile was last studied in 1952 by naturalist Vojen Ložek. This study uses a number of analyses in order to get a multi-proxy record of local paleoenvironmental changes archived in a sequence of alternating loess sediments and paleosols in Bůhzař. Geochemical approaches are combined with paleozoology to define climatic conditions at the time of formation of the strata. Oxygen isotope 18O values of pedogenic carbonates can be used as a proxy of climatic factors such as temperature and precipitation, whereas carbon isotope values can be used to reconstruct changes in the atmospheric CO2 concentration (Obreht et al. 2013), perhaps also the relative proportions of plants using C3 and C4 metabolic pathways (Kaakinen et al., 2006). Findings of fossil malacofauna, which occupied specific ecological niches, can complement these results. The Bůhzdař locality is exceptional in terms of density of pedogenic carbonates, such as loess dolls, pseudomycelia and marl concretions. These concretions are, in some parts, more compact and form a compact layer. Analysis of pedogenic processes could bring new clues regarding the understanding of the way various forms of carbonates were formed. The analyses are in progress and the first results will be presented during an EGU session in April 2016. References Frechen, M. ed. (2011). Loess in

  12. Environmental changes in the Ulan Buh Desert, southern Inner Mongolia, China since the middle Pleistocene based on sedimentology, chronology and proxy indexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Guoqiang; Jin, Ming; Chen, Xuemei; Wen, Lijuan; Zhang, Jiawu; Madsen, David; Zhao, Hui; Wang, Xin; Fan, Tianlai; Duan, Yanwu; Liu, Xiaokang; Wu, Duo; Li, Fangliang; Chen, Fahu

    2015-11-01

    The Ulan Buh Desert (UBD), in southwestern Inner Mongolia, is one of the main dune fields and dust source areas in northern China. The formation of the desert and associated environmental changes since the middle Pleistocene are still unclear due to a lack of depositional records and environmental proxy index analyses. In this study, quartz and K-feldspar optical dating, environmental proxy indexes of grain size, loss on ignition, pollen, and ostracod analysis were employed to supplement the sediment record of a 120.5 m drill core, WL12ZK-1, from the southern UBD. In combination with previous stratigraphic records obtained from drill cores WL10ZK-1 (35 m deep) and WL10ZK-2 (32 m deep) from the northern UBD, and drill core WL12ZK-2 (80 m deep) from the northeastern UBD, these proxies indicate there has been essentially an arid environment in the UBD, with desert or steppe vegetation, since the middle Pleistocene, and that sand dunes were widely distributed in the UBD beginning at least ˜230 ka ago. The Yellow River filled a freshwater paleolake beginning ˜15 ka ago that covered both the UBD and the adjacent Hetao Plain. The paleolake lasted until ˜87 ka, and was associated with wetlands along its margins. Steppe vegetation was present in the surrounding region. An arid environment appeared again after ˜87 ka, and there is no evidence of a large stable lake in the UBD at any time thereafter. Sand dune deposition and a very arid desert environment were present throughout the last glacial period and lasted into the early Holocene. During the Holocene these arid conditions were interrupted by minor wetland intervals. Deserts in southern Inner Mongolia formed at least since the middle Pleistocene, expanded during the last glaciation and into the early Holocene and again after ˜2 ka. We suggest that a combination of tectonic activity and climate change may be responsible for desert formation and environmental changes in southern Inner Mongolia since the middle

  13. The dune systems of the Konya Plain (Turkey): their relation to environmental changes in Central Anatolia during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzucuoglu, C.; Parish, R.; Karabiyikoglu, M.

    1998-06-01

    Several sand flats located on the northern shores of the Late Pleistocene palaeolake of the Konya plain (inner Anatolia, Turkey), are related to changes in lake levels. In this paper, the two main dune systems are mapped according to their geomorphological, sedimentological and dynamic characteristics, and their significance is discussed with regard to the environmental changes since the Late Pleistocene, both at time of the former lake and during the drier periods of the Holocene. Cross-sections show the relationship of the dunes to the topography of the basement. Analyses of the sand fraction show distinct characteristics in size distribution, quartz and shell contents, wind erosion effects on the quartz grains and petrographic composition. Interpretation of the results, coupled with information provided by the geomorphology of the dune systems studied in the field and from aerial photographs and satellite images, highlights the importance and variations in time of local factors such as prevailing winds, sand sources, changes in lake levels and vegetation. A chronology of the main sand fields is proposed, based on the evidence of three main droughts during the Upper Pleistocene. The older one, much eroded (maximum height=3 m), covers a limestone surface at +50 m above the bottom of the dried lake. An Optical Scanning Luminescence (OSL) date shows a last period of accumulation at 14,328±3220 years. The younger one (maximum height=12 m) has moved over the emerged Late Pleistocene lacustrine marls. An OSL date gives an age of 5674±988 years for the last accumulation period. Evidence of very recent activation of this younger dune system is apparent as a result of overgrazing and excessive land reclamation. A third period of dominant wind action and dune construction is responsible for the installation of a younger and thin dune field over the Mid-Holocene lacustrine deposits of the Karapinar lake. The success of the stabilization programme of the dunes over the

  14. Late Pleistocene to Holocene environmental changes as recorded in the sulfur geochemistry of coastal plain sediments, southwestern Taiwan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, Y.-G.; Liu, J.C.-L.; Shieh, Y.-N.; Liu, T.-K.

    2004-01-01

    A core, drilled at San-liao-wan in the southwestern coastal plain of Taiwan, has been analyzed for total sulfur contents, isotopic values, as well as ratios of pyritic sulfur to organic carbon. Our results demonstrate a close relationship between late Pleistocene sea-level change and the proxies generated in this study. The inorganic sulfur contents indicate that at our study site, the Holocene transgression started at ???11 ka and remained under seawater for thousands of years until the late Holocene, corresponding to a depth of 20 m in the study core. The uppermost 20 m of core shows relatively high total organic carbon (TOC) and ??34S of inorganic sulfur, suggesting a transitional environment such as muddy lagoon or marsh, before the site turned into a modern coastal plain. In the lower part of the core, at depths of 110-145 m (corresponding ages of ???12-30 ka), low sulfur contents are recorded, probably indicating fluvial sediments deposited during the oceanic isotope stage (OIS) 2, a sea-level lowstand. The lower part of the core, roughly within OIS 3, records at least two transgressions, although the transgressional signals may be somewhat obscured by subsequent weathering. The reworked origin of organic matter reported in previous studies is confirmed by our organic sulfur data; however, the marine organic source was periodically dominant. The modern high sulfate concentrations in pore water have no correlation to the other sulfur species in the sediments, probably indicating that the sulfate migrated into the site subsequent to early diagenesis. ?? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Orbital-driven environmental changes recorded at ODP Site 959 (eastern equatorial Atlantic) from the Late Miocene to the Early Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallé, Francesca; Westerhold, Thomas; Dupont, Lydie M.

    2016-06-01

    Palaeorecords from tropical environments are important to explore the linkages between precipitation, atmospheric circulation and orbital forcing. In this study, new high-resolution XRF data from ODP Site 959 (3°37'N, 2°44'W) have been used to investigate the relationship between palaeoenvironmental changes in West Africa and sedimentation in the tropical East Atlantic Ocean. Iron intensity data have been used to build a 91-m composite depth record that has been astronomically tuned allowing the development of a detailed age model from 6.2 to 1.8 Ma. Based on this new stratigraphy, we studied the variations of Ti/Al, Ti/Ca and Al/Si ratios, proxies for aeolian versus fluvial supply, as dust indicator and fine versus coarse grain size, respectively. We discuss sedimentation patterns at ODP Site 959 associated with the environmental changes from the late Miocene until the early Pleistocene. During the interval corresponding to the earlier stages of the Messinian Salinity Crisis, our proxy records indicate enhanced run-off from the West African continent and major supply of fine material at ODP Site 959, suggesting a stronger monsoon and increased precipitation during eccentricity minima. A long-term decrease of river supply is documented after 5.4 Ma until the end of the Pliocene. From the increased values and variability of Ti/Al and Ti/Ca ratios, we suggest that after 3.5 Ma dust started to reach the study site probably as a result of the southward shift of the Intertropical Convergence Zone during winter. Between 3.2 and 2.9 Ma, ODP Site 959 Ti/Ca ratios exhibit three maxima corresponding to eccentricity maxima similarly to other dust records of northern Africa. This suggests continent-wide aridity or larger climate variability during that interval. Eccentricity forcing (405 and 100 kyr) and precession frequencies are found in the entire studied interval. The variations of Ti/Al ratio suggest stronger seasonality between 5.8 and 5.5 Ma and after 3.2 Ma.

  16. Comparative phylogeography reveals a shared impact of pleistocene environmental change in shaping genetic diversity within nine Anopheles mosquito species across the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Katy; O'Loughlin, Samantha M; Chen, Bin; Linton, Yvonne-Marie; Thongwat, Damrongpan; Somboon, Pradya; Fong, Mun Yik; Butlin, Roger; Verity, Robert; Prakash, Anil; Htun, Pe Than; Hlaing, Thaung; Nambanya, Simone; Socheat, Duong; Dinh, Trung Ho; Walton, Catherine

    2011-11-01

    South-East Asia is one of the world's richest regions in terms of biodiversity. An understanding of the distribution of diversity and the factors shaping it is lacking, yet essential for identifying conservation priorities for the region's highly threatened biodiversity. Here, we take a large-scale comparative approach, combining data from nine forest-associated Anopheles mosquito species and using statistical phylogeographical methods to disentangle the effects of environmental history, species-specific ecology and random coalescent effects. Spatially explicit modelling of Pleistocene demographic history supports a common influence of environmental events in shaping the genetic diversity of all species examined, despite differences in species' mtDNA gene trees. Populations were periodically restricted to allopatric northeastern and northwestern refugia, most likely due to Pleistocene forest fragmentation. Subsequent southwards post-glacial recolonization is supported by a north-south gradient of decreasing genetic diversity. Repeated allopatric fragmentation and recolonization have led to the formation of deeply divergent geographical lineages within four species and a suture zone where these intraspecific lineages meet along the Thai-Myanmar border. A common environmental influence for this divergence was further indicated by strong support for simultaneous divergence within the same four species, dating to approximately 900 thousand years ago (kya). Differences in the geographical structuring of genetic diversity between species are probably the result of varying species' biology. The findings have important implications for conservation planning; if the refugial regions and suture zone identified here are shared by other forest taxa, the unique and high levels of genetic diversity they house will make these areas conservation priorities. PMID:21981746

  17. Environmental reconstruction and biostratigraphy of late Middle Pleistocene lakeshore deposits at Schöningen.

    PubMed

    Urban, Brigitte; Bigga, Gerlinde

    2015-12-01

    The Pleistocene sequence of Schöningen provides a key link between unglaciated and glaciated areas in western Central Europe and is an important point of reference for the subdivision of the glaciated late Middle Pleistocene. This locality yields paleoecological and geological evidence of at least four interglacial periods prior to the Holocene and younger than the Elsterian glaciation. The Pleistocene deposits at Schöningen are valuable archives of climate, landscape, and human evolution, containing outstanding information on past environmental changes and human adaptation. This paper presents paleoenvironmental and biostratigraphical results from the Middle Pleistocene archaeological lakeshore site of Schöningen, focusing on the so-called reference profile Schöningen 13 II of 2003. We discuss the lithological, palynological, and macrobotanical evidence and present a revised subdivision and reinterpretation of late phases of the Reinsdorf Interglacial. PMID:26638875

  18. Charred wood remains in the natufian sequence of el-Wad terrace (Israel): New insights into the climatic, environmental and cultural changes at the end of the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracuta, Valentina; Weinstein-Evron, Mina; Yeshurun, Reuven; Kaufman, Daniel; Tsatskin, Alexander; Boaretto, Elisabetta

    2016-01-01

    The major social and economic changes associated with the rise of a sedentary lifestyle and the gradual transition to food production in the southern Levant are often considered to have been triggered by climate changes at the end of the Pleistocene (∼20,000-11,000 years BP). This explanation, however, is biased by the scarcity of high-resolution climate records directly associated with human activity and the lack of refined palaeoecological studies from multi-stratified sites in the area. Here, we present the results of an anthracological analysis, carried out on charcoals collected along a continuous column of archaeological sediments in the Natufian site of el-Wad Terrace (Mount Carmel, Israel). We also present the carbon isotopes analysis of 14C-dated archaeological remains of Amygdalus sp. The analyses of charcoal shows the predominance of an oak forest including Quercus calliprinos and ithaburensis around the site during the Early Natufian building phase (∼14,600-13,700 cal BP), and the values of Δ13C point to a high rainfall rate. This period is followed by a marked decrease in the local rainfall between ∼13,700 and 12,000 cal BP). The reduction, culturally associated with the latest Early Natufian and the Late Natufian, is independently recorded by the speleothems of the region: Soreq Cave and Jerusalem Cave. This period incorporates an increase in drought tolerant species such as Amygdalus sp. Thermo-Mediterranean species, such as Olea europaea and Ceratonia siliqua, as well as Pistacia palaestina, which dominate the modern landscape, become established in the Holocene. We conclude that the Natufian settlement at el-Wad Terrace flourished in the context of oak forests, and subsequently occupation intensity decreased in concurrence to the drying trend. This shift does not correspond to the cultural typology (i.e. Early Natufian vs. Late Natufian). Human response to climate change at the terminal Pleistocene Levant was multifaceted and localized. Its

  19. Tropical and High-latitude Surface Ocean Circulation Across The Mid-Pleistocene Transition: Teleconnections And Impacts For Ice-sheet Growth And Environmental Change Onshore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClymont, E. L.; Rosell-Mele, A.; Lloyd, J. M.

    2006-12-01

    The Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) is a major event in the Quaternary record, marking the shift to a dominant glacial/interglacial period of 100-kyr and the development of larger northern hemisphere ice-sheets at ca. 0.9 Ma. The significance of the MPT lies in the change of the global climate system response to external insolation forcing, which cannot account for the strength of the 100-kyr cycles. Existing hypotheses link the MPT to falling atmospheric CO2 concentrations, cooler deep-water temperatures, changes in sea-ice distribution and to the basal conditions of the northern hemisphere ice-sheets. We present alkenone-derived records of sea-surface temperature from the tropical Pacific and the south-east Atlantic spanning 1.5-0.5 Ma, coupled with evidence of arctic/polar water mass distributions in the high northern latitudes of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Interaction between the tropics and high-latitudes across the MPT is suggested by the results presented here. At all sites we find evidence for cooling beginning from 1.15 Ma, supporting the hypotheses invoking cooling of both the atmosphere and deep-waters as a driver of the MPT. Sea-ice expansion from 1.15 Ma is suggested by the equatorward migration of arctic/polar water masses in both the Atlantic and Pacific, which reached their maximum extent at 1.0 Ma. The negative impact of more expansive sea-ice cover to the transport of moisture to the ice-sheet source regions may have been critical to the later development of larger northern hemisphere ice-sheets from 0.9 Ma. Significantly, we find that the MPT was not simply a high-latitude phenomenon, but was accompanied by (and perhaps driven by) significant changes to circulation in the tropical Pacific. Between 1.15 0.9 Ma a secular decrease in mean sea-surface temperatures of c.1.5*C in the eastern tropical Pacific marks an intensification of Walker Circulation and a shift towards a `La Niña'-like circulation state. The associated Trade Wind

  20. Lifestyle and Ice: The Relationship between Ecological Specialization and Response to Pleistocene Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Kašparová, Eva; Van de Putte, Anton P.; Marshall, Craig; Janko, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Major climatic changes in the Pleistocene had significant effects on marine organisms and the environments in which they lived. The presence of divergent patterns of demographic history even among phylogenetically closely-related species sharing climatic changes raises questions as to the respective influence of species-specific traits on population structure. In this work we tested whether the lifestyle of Antarctic notothenioid benthic and pelagic fish species from the Southern Ocean influenced the concerted population response to Pleistocene climatic fluctuations. This was done by a comparative analysis of sequence variation at the cyt b and S7 loci in nine newly sequenced and four re-analysed species. We found that all species underwent more or less intensive changes in population size but we also found consistent differences between demographic histories of pelagic and benthic species. Contemporary pelagic populations are significantly more genetically diverse and bear traces of older demographic expansions than less diverse benthic species that show evidence of more recent population expansions. Our findings suggest that the lifestyles of different species have strong influences on their responses to the same environmental events. Our data, in conjunction with previous studies showing a constant diversification tempo of these species during the Pleistocene, support the hypothesis that Pleistocene glaciations had a smaller effect on pelagic species than on benthic species whose survival may have relied upon ephemeral refugia in shallow shelf waters. These findings suggest that the interaction between lifestyle and environmental changes should be considered in genetic analyses. PMID:26535569

  1. Lifestyle and Ice: The Relationship between Ecological Specialization and Response to Pleistocene Climate Change.

    PubMed

    Kašparová, Eva; Van de Putte, Anton P; Marshall, Craig; Janko, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Major climatic changes in the Pleistocene had significant effects on marine organisms and the environments in which they lived. The presence of divergent patterns of demographic history even among phylogenetically closely-related species sharing climatic changes raises questions as to the respective influence of species-specific traits on population structure. In this work we tested whether the lifestyle of Antarctic notothenioid benthic and pelagic fish species from the Southern Ocean influenced the concerted population response to Pleistocene climatic fluctuations. This was done by a comparative analysis of sequence variation at the cyt b and S7 loci in nine newly sequenced and four re-analysed species. We found that all species underwent more or less intensive changes in population size but we also found consistent differences between demographic histories of pelagic and benthic species. Contemporary pelagic populations are significantly more genetically diverse and bear traces of older demographic expansions than less diverse benthic species that show evidence of more recent population expansions. Our findings suggest that the lifestyles of different species have strong influences on their responses to the same environmental events. Our data, in conjunction with previous studies showing a constant diversification tempo of these species during the Pleistocene, support the hypothesis that Pleistocene glaciations had a smaller effect on pelagic species than on benthic species whose survival may have relied upon ephemeral refugia in shallow shelf waters. These findings suggest that the interaction between lifestyle and environmental changes should be considered in genetic analyses. PMID:26535569

  2. Small mammal diversity loss in response to late-Pleistocene climatic change.

    PubMed

    Blois, Jessica L; McGuire, Jenny L; Hadly, Elizabeth A

    2010-06-10

    Communities have been shaped in numerous ways by past climatic change; this process continues today. At the end of the Pleistocene epoch about 11,700 years ago, North American communities were substantially altered by the interplay of two events. The climate shifted from the cold, arid Last Glacial Maximum to the warm, mesic Holocene interglacial, causing many mammal species to shift their geographic distributions substantially. Populations were further stressed as humans arrived on the continent. The resulting megafaunal extinction event, in which 70 of the roughly 220 largest mammals in North America (32%) became extinct, has received much attention. However, responses of small mammals to events at the end of the Pleistocene have been much less studied, despite the sensitivity of these animals to current and future environmental change. Here we examine community changes in small mammals in northern California during the last 'natural' global warming event at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition and show that even though no small mammals in the local community became extinct, species losses and gains, combined with changes in abundance, caused declines in both the evenness and richness of communities. Modern mammalian communities are thus depauperate not only as a result of megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene but also because of diversity loss among small mammals. Our results suggest that across future landscapes there will be some unanticipated effects of global change on diversity: restructuring of small mammal communities, significant loss of richness, and perhaps the rising dominance of native 'weedy' species. PMID:20495547

  3. Late Miocene to Pleistocene Environmental Changes in the Western Qaidam Basin (NE Tibetan Plateau) Revealed By Magnetic Properties in Lacustrine Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herb, C.; Appel, E.; Zhang, W.; Koutsodendris, A.; Fang, X.; Pross, J.

    2014-12-01

    The advantage of studying magnetic properties of the lacustrine sediments deposited in the Qaidam paleolake to reconstruct past environmental changes was shown in detail for the 940-m-long drill core SG-1 (2.69-0.08 Ma) recovered from the western Qaidam Basin. Especially magnetic susceptibility (χ) turned out to be a useful proxy indicating past humidity changes in the study region. The causes of χ variation could be related to weathering (low-temperature oxidation) in the catchment area and a changing catchment area, respectively. To benefit further from magnetic properties as high-resolution paleoclimate proxies in the Qaidam paleolake, we expand our magnetic record to the late Miocene by investigating magnetic properties of the 723-m deep drilling SG-1b. While SG-1 was drilled in the flat lying strata of the Chahansilatu sub-basin, SG-1b was recovered from the adjacent Jianshan anticline (in ~20 km distance from SG-1). Magnetostratigraphy of core SG-1b detects a time span ranging from 7.3 to 1.6 Ma, missing the younger sequence as a consequence of the anticline structure. We analyze climatic implications of the magnetic record of SG-1b, especially by observing 750 hysteresis loops and 20 FORC diagrams, and check for small-scale variations of the studied sediments by comparing χ of bulk samples (in the order of 10 g) and samples used for hysteresis measurements (in the order of 0.01 g). Spectral analysis based on the time scale provided by magnetostratigraphy reveals variations of χ in the order of Milankovitch cycles (precession, obliquity, and eccentricity) indicating insolation changes as one important driving factor of the magnetic concentration signal. The magnetic records of SG-1 and SG-1b are also used to check implications of the anticline structure on magnetic signatures by comparing the overlapping interval of both cores (2.69-1.6 Ma).

  4. Pleistocene lake level changes in Western Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borodavko, P. S.

    2009-04-01

    Global cooling in the Early Pleistocene caused extensive continental glaciation in the northern hemisphere including the arid areas of Central Asia. The reduction of temperatures (particularly summer temperatures) reduced evaporation and strengthened the importance of precipitation. The simultaneity of "lakes periods" (pluvials) and stages of glaciation is established experience confirmed by investigations in the west of North America and Russia. In the Mongolian Great Lakes Depression new evidence for similar conditions is found. The Great Lakes Depression is one of the largest in Central Asia, and is divided into 2 main Lakes basins: Hyargas Lake Basin and Uvs Lake Basin. The basin is 600-650 km in length with a width of 200-250 km in the north and 60-100 km in the south. Total catchment area is about 186600 km2. The elevation of the basin floor is from 1700 m a.s.l. to 760 m a.s.l., decreasing to the north and south-east. The depression extends south-north and is bounded by mountains: Tannu-Ola to the north, Hangai to the east; Gobi Altai to the south and Mongolian Altay to the west. The maximum elevation of the mountains is 4000 m a.s.l. There are some mountains with an elevation between 2000 and 3000 m a.s.l in the lake catchment. These mountains are not glaciated today. The geological record [1] suggests the Great Lakes Depression already existed in the Mesozoic, but assumed its modern form only during the Pliocene-Quaternary when tectonic movements caused the uplift of the surrounding mountains. A phase of tectonic stability occurred during the Late Quaternary. The depression is filled by Quaternary fluvial, aeolian and lacustrine deposits (e.g. sand, pebbles). The Neogene deposits are represented by coloured clay, marl, sand and sandstone [1]. Hyargas Lake is the end base level of erosion of the lake group consisting of the Hara-Us Nur, Dorgon, Hara Nur and Airag lakes. Hyargas is one of the largest lakes in Mongolia, with a water surface of 1,407 km2. The

  5. Mammalian responses to Pleistocene climate change in southeastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prideaux, Gavin J.; Roberts, Richard G.; Megirian, Dirk; Westaway, Kira E.; Hellstrom, John C.; Olley, Jon M.

    2007-01-01

    Resolving faunal responses to Pleistocene climate change is vital for differentiating human impacts from other drivers of ecological change. While 90% of Australia's large mammals were extinct by ca. 45 ka, their responses to glacial-interglacial cycling have remained unknown, due to a lack of rigorous biostratigraphic studies and the rarity of terrestrial climatic records that can be related directly to faunal records. We present an analysis of faunal data from the Naracoorte Caves in southeastern Australia, which are unique not only because of the species richness and time-depth of the assemblages that they contain, but also because this faunal record is directly comparable with a 500 k.y. speleothem-based record of local effective moisture. Our data reveal that, despite significant population fluctuations driven by glacial-interglacial cycling, the species composition of the mammal fauna was essentially stable for 500 k.y. before the late Pleistocene extinctions. Larger species declined during a drier interval between 270 and 220 ka, likely reflecting range contractions away from Naracoorte, but they then recovered locally, persisting well into the late Pleistocene. Because the speleothem record and prior faunal response imply that local conditions should have been favorable for megafauna until at least 30 ka, climate change is unlikely to have been the principal cause of the extinctions.

  6. African climate change and faunal evolution during the Pliocene-Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    deMenocal, Peter B.

    2004-03-01

    Environmental theories of African faunal evolution state that important evolutionary changes during the Pliocene-Pleistocene interval (the last ca. 5.3 million years) were mediated by changes in African climate or shifts in climate variability. Marine sediment sequences demonstrate that subtropical African climate periodically oscillated between markedly wetter and drier conditions, paced by earth orbital variations, with evidence for step-like (±0.2 Ma) increases in African climate variability and aridity near 2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma, and 1.0 Ma, coincident with the onset and intensification of high-latitude glacial cycles. Analysis of the best dated and most complete African mammal fossil databases indicates African faunal assemblage and, perhaps, speciation changes during the Pliocene-Pleistocene, suggesting more varied and open habitats at 2.9-2.4 Ma and after 1.8 Ma. These intervals correspond to key junctures in early hominid evolution, including the emergence of our genus Homo. Pliocene-Pleistocene shifts in African climate, vegetation, and faunal assemblages thus appear to be roughly contemporary, although detailed comparisons are hampered by sampling gaps, dating uncertainties, and preservational biases in the fossil record. Further study of possible relations between African faunal and climatic change will benefit from the accelerating pace of important new fossil discoveries, emerging molecular biomarker methods for reconstructing African paleovegetation changes, tephra correlations between terrestrial and marine sequences, as well as continuing collaborations between the paleoclimatic and paleoanthropological communities.

  7. Pleistocene vegetation change in central Africa recorded off the Congo River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupont, L. M.

    2003-04-01

    Marine sediments from the Congo Canyon accumulate material and information from one of Africa's large inland basins that is covered, at present, mainly with lowland rain forest and swamp forests. The sediments provide a record of monsoon related hydrological and vegetation change. Multiproxy studies were carried out on ODP Site 1075 located north of the undersea canyon, and GeoB Site 1008 located south of the canyon. Pollen records are compared with other terrestrial signals (iron, clay minerals, biomarkers). The differentiated responses of mangroves, grasslands and swamps, lowland rain forest, and Afromontane forest to environmental fluctuations give insight in several aspects of Pleistocene climate cycles. The record of Rhizophora (mangrove tree) pollen is consolidated by biomarker data and shows maxima during interglacial periods and during periods of rapid sea-level rise. While the latter might be the effect of increased erosion of mangrove peat, the first indicates extension of mangrove swamps during periods with increased run-off. The record of lowland forest pollen indicates extension of the rain forest as a response to increased precipitation in periods of strong monsoons of the past 150 ka which is corroborated by clay mineral fluctuations. During the humid periods, Poaceae (grasses) and Cyperaceae pollen percentages are low indicating a closed canopy in large areas of the basin. During interglacial stages of the early Pleistocene, maxima of tropical forest elements combine with maxima of grass and cyperaceous pollen indicating that the warm periods might have been drier than those of the late Pleistocene. Podocarpus pollen percent maxima register extension of the Afromontane forest during cool periods from 1.05 to 0.6 Ma. Restricted distribution of mountainous forest during the late Pleistocene glacial stages (MIS 6, 4-2) is concurrent with extension of open vegetation types indicating more arid conditions in equatorial areas.

  8. Gradual and abrupt changes during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Heather L.; Sosdian, Sindia M.; Rosenthal, Yair; Raymo, Maureen E.

    2016-09-01

    During the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT), the dominant glacial-interglacial cyclicity as inferred from the marine δ18O records of benthic foraminifera (δ18Obenthic) changed from 41 kyr to 100 kyr years in the absence of a comparable change in orbital forcing. Currently, only two Mg/Ca-derived, high-resolution bottom water temperature (BWT) records exist that can be used with δ18Obenthic records to separate temperature and ice volume signals over the Pleistocene. However, these two BWT records suggest a different pattern of climate change occurred over the MPT-a record from North Atlantic DSDP Site 607 suggests BWT decreased with no long-term trend in ice volume over the MPT, while South Pacific ODP Site 1123 suggests that BWT has been relatively stable over the last 1.5 Myr but that there was an abrupt increase in ice volume at ∼900 kyr. In this paper we attempt to reconcile these two views of climate change across the MPT. Specifically, we investigated the suggestion that the secular BWT trend obtained from Mg/Ca measurements on Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi and Oridorsalis umbonatus species from N. Atlantic Site 607 is biased by the possible influence of Δ[CO32-] on Mg/Ca values in these species by generating a low-resolution BWT record using Uvigerina spp., a genus whose Mg/Ca values are not thought to be influenced by Δ[CO32-]. We find a long-term BWT cooling of ∼2-3°C occurred from 1500 to ∼500 kyr in the N. Atlantic, consistent with the previously generated C. wuellerstorfi and O. umbonatus BWT record. We also find that changes in ocean circulation likely influenced δ18Obenthic, BWT, and δ18Oseawater records across the MPT. N. Atlantic BWT cooling starting at ∼1.2 Ma, presumably driven by high-latitude cooling, may have been a necessary precursor to a threshold response in climate-ice sheet behavior at ∼900 ka. At that point, a modest increase in ice volume and thermohaline reorganization may have caused enhanced sensitivity to the 100 kyr

  9. Environmentally controlled succession in a late Pleistocene coral reef (Sinai, Egypt)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mewis, H.; Kiessling, W.

    2013-03-01

    The concept of ecological succession has been frequently applied in the study of ancient reefs. Whereas Paleozoic and Mesozoic reefs are commonly thought to reveal an autogenic primary—climax zonation, patterns in Neogene and Quaternary reefs are much more diverse. Here, we describe a well-preserved late Pleistocene coral reef from Dahab on Sinai Peninsula (Egypt), which shows a distinct zonation that resembles an ecological succession. In contrast to classical examples of ecological successions, species composition, paleoenvironmental conditions, and coral biodiversity of the Dahab reef indicate an allogenic, sea-level controlled community change, from marginal marine to reef slope and back reef. A review of the literature confirms that autogenic, short-term successions are virtually absent in Quaternary reefs. We predict that long generation times of corals make it unlikely that classical autogenic successions develop in reefs at all, unless environmental conditions are unusually stable.

  10. Multivariate analysis of a small pleistocene catchment: tracing hydrological change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boettcher, Steven; Merz, Christoph; Dannowski, Ralf

    2013-04-01

    intensity of the processes varies in time and space. Therefore, the resulting output dataset can be interpreted in reference to the effective hydrological processes, controlling the system. The aim of this study is the identification of the catchment behavior under changing hydrological boundary conditions. The interpretation of hydraulic and hydrochemical data sets with innovative non-linear statistics allows the identification of spatio-temporal dynamics of the dominating/active processes and the cause/effect chain of climate change impacts on water and substance cycles. A comparison of the thus derived results with other catchments throughout the region can highlight general relationships as a basis for a sustainable water resource management valid for pleistocene catchments with high risk of water stress.

  11. The consequences of pleistocene climate change on lowland neotropical vegetation

    SciTech Connect

    De Oliveira, P.E.; Colinvaux, P.A. )

    1994-06-01

    Palynological reconstructions indicate that lowland tropical America was subject to intense cooling during the last ice-age. The descent of presently montane taxa into the lowlands of Amazonia and Minas Gerais indicate temperature depressions ranging from 5[degrees]C to 9[degrees]C cooler-than-present. The strengthened incursion of southerly airmasses caused a reassortment of vegetation throughout Amazonia. Presently allopatric species are found to have been sympatric as novel forest assemblages and formed and dissolved. Modest drying, perhaps a 20% reduction in precipitation, accounts for all the records that show a Pleistocene expansion of savanna. No evidence is found to support the fragmentation of Amazonian forests during glacial times, and the hypothesis of forest refuges as an explanation of tropical speciation is rejected on empirical grounds.

  12. Late Pleistocene-early Holocene karst features, Laguna Madre, south Texas: A record of climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Prouty, J.S.

    1996-09-01

    A Pleistocene coquina bordering Laguna Madre, south Texas, contains well-developed late Pleistocene-early Holocene karst features (solution pipes and caliche crusts) unknown elsewhere from coastal Texas. The coquina accumulated in a localized zone of converging longshore Gulf currents along a Gulf beach. The crusts yield {sup 14}C dates of 16,660 to 7630 B.P., with dates of individual crust horizons becoming younger upwards. The karst features provide evidence of regional late Pleistocene-early Holocene climate changes. Following the latest Wisconsinan lowstand 18,000 B.P. the regional climate was more humid and promoted karst weathering. Partial dissolution and reprecipitation of the coquina formed initial caliche crust horizons; the crust later thickened through accretion of additional carbonate laminae. With the commencement of the Holocene approximately 11,000 B.P. the regional climate became more arid. This inhibited karstification of the coquina, and caliche crust formation finally ceased about 7000 B.P.

  13. Reconstructing Environmental Change Using Lake Varves as a Climate Proxy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dempsey, Christopher; Bodzin, Alec; Cirucci, Lori; Anastasio, David; Sahagian, Dork

    2012-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe an investigative activity in which their eighth-grade students reconstructed past environmental change in the New England area using data from lake varves in central Vermont to examine evidence of climate change. The investigation uses an authentic paleoclimate record (Ridge 2011) from the Pleistocene epoch,…

  14. Paleolimnological reconstruction of environmental variability during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in the south-east Baltic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kublitskiy, Iurii; Subetto, Dmitriy; Druzhinina, Olga; Kulkova, Marianna; Arslanov, Khikmatula

    2016-04-01

    The main goal of our research is the high-resolution reconstruction of environmental and climatic changes in SE Baltic region since the Last Glacial Maximum by palaeolimnological data. The 6 objects - lakes and peat-bogs, were studied since 2009 in the Kaliningrad region, Russian Federation. According to palaeolimnological studies of bottom sediments of the Kamyshovoe Lake (N 54°22,6`; E22°42,8`, 189 m a.s.l.), located in the Vishtynets Highland, the south-east part of Kaliningrad district, the environmental and climatic changes after the late glacial have been reconstructed. At that moment the radiocarbon and loss-on-ignition (LOI) data, geochemistry and diatom analysis for the whole sediment core, and pollen analyze for the bottom part of the core have been completed. According to the pollen data the Alleröd interstadial starts at 13 200 cal. yrs BP and is marked by the rising of birch and pine pollen. The transition to the Younger Dryas around 12 700 cal. yrs BP corresponds with the development of patches of shrublands in which light-demanding species, such as juniper, flourished and communities of steppe herbs. The late Preboreal is marked by the appearance of Populus and an increase of the role of grasses in the vegetation cover 11 300-11 100 cal. yrs BP (Druzinina et al., 2015). The Holocene climatic zones have been identified by LOI and geochemistry analyses. The Boreal period started about 10 200 cal. yrs BP, Atlantic around 9100 cal. yrs BP, Subboreal 5800 cal. yrs BP, and Subatlantic 3200 cal. yrs BP (Kublitskiy et al., 2015). During the conference the new palaeolimnological data of environmental variability during the late Pleistocene and Holocene in SE Baltic region will be presented. Acknowledgements The investigations have been granted by the Russian Fund for Basic Research (12-05-33013, 13-05-41457, 15-35-50721). References Druzhinina, O., Subetto, D., Stančikaitė, M., Vaikutienė, G., Kublitsky, J., Arslanov, Kh., 2015. Sediment record from the

  15. Differential resilience of ancient sister lakes Ohrid and Prespa to environmental disturbances during the Late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jovanovska, Elena; Cvetkoska, Aleksandra; Hauffe, Torsten; Levkov, Zlatko; Wagner, Bernd; Sulpizio, Roberto; Francke, Alexander; Albrecht, Christian; Wilke, Thomas

    2016-02-01

    Ancient lakes, such as lakes Ohrid and Prespa on the Balkan Peninsula, have become model systems for studying the link between geological and biotic evolution. Recently, the scientific deep-drilling project Scientific Collaboration on Past Speciation Conditions in Lake Ohrid (SCOPSCO) was initiated to better understand the environmental, climatic, and limnological evolution of the lake. It revealed that Lake Ohrid experienced a number of environmental disturbances during its ca. 2.0 million year long history. These are comprised of disturbances that lasted over longer periods of time ("press events") such as glacial-interglacial cycles and Heinrich events, as well as sudden and short disturbances ("pulse events") like the deposition of landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic ash depositions. The latter includes one of the most severe volcanic episodes during the Late Pleistocene: the eruption of the Campanian Ignimbrite (known as Y-5 marine tephra layer) from the Campi Flegrei caldera, dated to 39.6 ± 0.1 thousand years ago. The event is recorded by the deposition of a ca. 15 cm thick tephra layer in sediment cores of lakes Ohrid (DEEP-5045-1) and Prespa (Co1204). Coincidently, this pulse event is superimposed by the Heinrich H4 event, 40.4-38.4 thousand years ago. In the current paper, diatoms were used as proxies to compare the responses of these lakes to the Y-5 (pulse) and the H4 (press) disturbances. Based on stratigraphically constrained incremental sum of squares cluster (CONISS) and unconstrained Partitioning Around Medoids (PAM) analyses, we found little evidence that diatom community compositions in either lake responded to the H4 event. However, the Y-5 influx caused clear and rapid diatom community changes. After the initial response, community compositions in Lake Ohrid and, to a lesser extent, in Lake Prespa slowly returned to their quasi pre-disturbance state. Moreover, there is no evidence for disturbance-related extinction events. The combined

  16. Differential resilience of ancient sister lakes Ohrid and Prespa to environmental disturbances during the Late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jovanovska, E.; Cvetkoska, A.; Hauffe, T.; Levkov, Z.; Wagner, B.; Sulpizio, R.; Francke, A.; Albrecht, C.; Wilke, T.

    2015-09-01

    Ancient lakes, like lakes Ohrid and Prespa on the Balkan Peninsula, have become model systems for studying the link between geological and biotic evolution. Recently the scientific deep drilling program "Scientific Collaboration on Past Speciation Conditions in Lake Ohrid" (SCOPSCO) has been launched to better understand the environmental, climatic and limnological evolution of the lake. It revealed that Lake Ohrid experienced a number of environmental disturbances during its ca. 2.0 million year long history. They comprise disturbances that lasted over longer periods of times ("press events") such as Heinrich events as well as sudden and short disturbances ("pulse events") like the deposition of volcanic ashes. The latter include one of the most severe volcanic episodes during the Late Pleistocene, the eruption of the Campanian Ignimbrite (known as Y-5 marine tephra layer) from the Campi Flegrei caldera, dated at 39.6 ± 0.1 ka ago. The event is recorded by the deposition of a ca. 15 cm thick Y-5 tephra layer in sediment cores of lakes Ohrid (DEEP-5045-1) and Prespa (Co1204). This pulse event is overlain by the Heinrich event 4 (H4), 40.0-38.0 ka ago. In the current paper, diatoms were used as proxies to compare the responses of these lakes to the Y-5 (pulse) and the H4 (press) disturbances. Based on stratigraphically constrained incremental sum of squares cluster (CONISS) and unconstrained Partitioning Around Medoids (PAM) analyses, we found only little evidence that the diatom community compositions in either lake responded to the H4 event. However, the Y-5 influx caused clear and rapid diatom community changes. After the initial response, community composition in Lake Ohrid and, to a lesser extent, in Lake Prespa slowly returned to their quasi pre-disturbance state. Moreover, there is no evidence for disturbance-related extinction events. The combined evidence from these findings suggests that lakes Ohrid and Prespa likely did not experience regime shifts. It

  17. A lacustrine record from Lop Nur, Xinjiang, China: Implications for paleoclimate change during Late Pleistocene

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chao, L.; Zicheng, P.; Dong, Y.; Weiguo, L.; Zhaofeng, Z.; Jianfeng, H.; Chenlin, C.

    2009-01-01

    Climate variability during the Late Pleistocene is studied from the proxies in core CK-2 drilled from the Luobei Depression (91??03???E, 40??47???N), Lop Nur in the eastern Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, China. Geophysical and geochemical properties, including magnetic susceptibility, granularity, chroma, carbonate content, loss on ignition and trace elements, have been determined to reconstruct the environmental evolution of the area during 32-9 ka BP. The chronology is established by uranium-thorium disequilibrium dating techniques. Our data suggest four paleoclimate stages, indicating glacial variations between cold-humid and warm-arid environments. A period of extreme humidity occurred during 31,900-19,200 yr BP is attributed the last glacial maximum (LGM). The period was followed by a warm-arid episode during 19,200-13,500 yr BP. Then a cold-humid interval during 13,500-12,700 yr BP may correspond to another cooling phases at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The last stage from 12,700 to 9000 yr BP has a trend that the climate turned warm and arid. The Lop Nur region is characterized by particularly humid stadials and arid interstadials. The climate variability in Lop Nur was constrained by global climate change because it is correlated with Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events, which were observed at the northern high latitudes. The synchroneity of the palaeoclimatic events suggested that cold air activity at the northern high latitudes was the most important factor that influenced the climate evolution in the Lop Nur region. A probable mechanism that involves the migration of westerly winds is proposed to interpret this synchroneity. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Early hominid evolution and ecological change through the African Plio-Pleistocene.

    PubMed

    Reed, K E

    1997-01-01

    The habitats in which extinct hominids existed has been a key issue in addressing the origin and extinction of early hominids, as well as in understanding various morphological and behavioral adaptations. Many researchers postulated that early hominids lived in an open savanna (Dart, 1925; Robinson, 1963; Howell, 1978). However, Vrba (1985, 1988) has noted that a major global climatic and environmental shift from mesic, closed to xeric, open habitats occurred in the late African Pliocene (approximately 2.5 m.y.a.), thus implying that the earliest hominids existed in these mesic, wooded environs. This climatic shift is also suggested to have contributed to a pulse in speciation events with turnovers of many bovid and possibly hominid species. Previous environmental reconstructions of hominid localities have concentrated on taxonomic identities and taxonomic uniformitarianism to provide habitat reconstructions (e.g., Vrba, 1975; Shipman & Harris, 1988). In addition, relative abundances of species are often used to reconstruct a particular environment, when in fact taphonomic factors could be affecting the proportions of taxa. This study uses the morphological adaptations of mammalian assemblages found with early hominids to reconstruct the habitat based on each species' ecological adaptations, thus minimizing problems introduced by taxonomy and taphonomy. Research presented here compares east and south African Plio-Pleistocene mammalian fossil assemblages with 31 extant mammalian communities from eight different habitat types. All communities are analyzed through ecological diversity methods, that is, each species trophic and locomotor adaptations are used to reconstruct an ecological community and derive its vegetative habitat. Reconstructed habitats show that Australopithecus species existed in fairly wooded, well-watered regions. Paranthropus species lived in similar environs and also in more open regions, but always in habitats that include wetlands. Homo is the

  19. Pleistocene calcretes from eastern Tunisia: The stratigraphy, the microstructure and the environmental significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallala, Wissem; Gaied, Mohamed Essghaïer; Essefi, Elhoucine; Montacer, Mabrouk

    2010-10-01

    This paper is meant to study the stratigraphy, the mineralogy, the microstructure and the geochemistry of Pleistocene calcretes from eastern Tunisia in order to infer the environmental factors intervening in their formation. Samples of eight profiles of Pleistocene calcretes from eastern Tunisia were examined on the basis of a variety of techniques including Optical Microscopy (OM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), chemical analysis and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) techniques. Then, the obtained data underwent a statistical analysis on the basis of Factor Analysis (FA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). On the basis of field missions, five different horizons have been differentiated from bottom to top of all profiles: nodular, powdery, massive Brecciated and laminar horizon. The mineralogical study shows two minerals categories inversely proportional: calcite and (quartz and the clay). It shows also shows that Palygorskite is the dominant clay mineral. The escarpment edge is capped by a limestone containing fibrous palygorskite. Finally, superficial calcrete are described: a brecciated horizon which occurs in pockets on the plateau surface. This study about eastern Tunisia revealed the occurrence of successive cycles of calcretisation. Pedogenesis, water table oscillation, sedimentogenesis and stromatogenesis are the intervening factors in the calcretisation process. During the Pleistocene, they interfered with each other according to the climatic pulsations. From the studied case, it may be noticed that the formation of each calcrete horizon is the result of a dominating process that takes place during a distinguishable stage. In the first stage, the pedogenic process is developed by palygorskite formation including authigenic replacement or formation from a precursor mineral, neoformation from the breakdown products of such minerals or neoformation from suitable solutions. In the second stage, the powdery horizon is

  20. Were the Late Pleistocene climatic changes responsible for the disappearance of the European spotted hyena populations? Hindcasting a species geographic distribution across time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varela, Sara; Lobo, Jorge M.; Rodríguez, Jesús; Batra, Persaram

    2010-08-01

    This article examines the role of the Late Pleistocene climatic changes in the disappearance of the European populations of spotted hyenas. A species distribution model was built using both current and past environmental requirements of the species. Model projections were made with climatic scenarios provided by the GENESIS 2.0 General Circulation Model (126 ka, 42 ka, 30 ka and 21 ka). Those projections indicate (1) that during the Late Pleistocene warm scenarios spotted hyenas should have been widespread in Europe, and (2) that during the last glacial maximum their potential climatically suitable geographic distribution diminished in size. The decrease in the potential climatic distribution was strictly restricted to Northern Europe. Climatic conditions in Southern Europe during the Late Pleistocene remained within the spotted hyena climatic tolerance. Hence, climate changes could have directly affected the Northern distribution of the species during the last glaciations. However, climate change alone is not sufficient to have caused the disappearance of the spotted hyena populations in Southern Europe. That is, other factors, such as prey abundance or human ecological impacts, in addition to climatic change, are needed to completely account for extinction of the European spotted hyena.

  1. Global climate changes drive ecological specialization of mammal faunas: trends in rodent assemblages from the Iberian Plio-Pleistocene

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Several macroevolutionary hypotheses propose a synchrony between climatic changes and variations in the structure of faunal communities. Some of them focus on the importance of the species ecological specialization because of its effects on evolutionary processes and the resultant patterns. Particularly, Vrba’s turnover pulse hypothesis and resource-use hypothesis revolve around the importance of biome inhabitation. In order to test these hypotheses, we used the Biomic Specialization Index, which is based on the number of biomes occupied by each species, and evaluated the changes in the relative importance of generalist and specialist rodents in more than forty fossil sites from the Iberian Plio-Pleistocene. Results Our results indicate that there was a decrease in the specialization degree of rodent faunas during the Pliocene due to the global cooling that triggered the onset of the glacial events of the Cenozoic (around 2.75 Ma). The subsequent faunal transition after this critical paleoenvironmental event was characterized by an increase of specialization related to the adaptation to the new environmental conditions, which was mainly associated with the Pleistocene radiation of Arvicolinae (voles). Conclusions The pattern of faunal turnover is correlated with the development of the modern glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere around 2.75 Ma, and represents a reorganization of the rodent communities, as suggested by the turnover pulse hypothesis. Our data also support the resource-use hypothesis, which presumes the role of the degree of specialization in resources specifically related to particular biomes as a driver of differential speciation and extinction rates. These results stress the intimate connection between ecological and evolutionary changes. PMID:23627696

  2. Rodent burrows in late Pleistocene paleosols at Korean Palaeolithic sites and their implications for paleoclimate changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, H.; Park, S.; Lee, J.; Lee, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Rodent burrows are commonly found at many Paleolithic archaeological sites in Korea. They are nearly straight in horizontal view and gently inclined in lateral view. Burrow diameters are mostly 7 - 10cm, and burrow length may reach a few meters. Vertical penetration depths are generally about 1 m from the surface, and the thickness of the burrow-bearing layer is about 1-2 m. Although no remains (bones, teeth, claws, and coprolites) were found within burrows, they are interpreted to have been produced by rodent-like mammals (probably ground squirrels) based on the size and architecture. According to the previous study, the age of these burrows was constrained to be between ca. 40,000 and 25,000 yr BP by tephrochronology, radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating results (Lim et al., 2007). However, little is known about the reason why these burrows have disappeared after late Pleistocene time. For this question, two explanations can be considered: extinction or migration. Since same kinds of burrows are still found in the high-latitude regions, such as Mongolia and North America, the possibility of extinction can be ruled out. Therefore, migration seems to be the most likely explanation. Our results show that the destruction of habitat caused by climate change during this period is the main reason for the northward migration of burrowing animals. This study suggests that rodent burrows found in the late Pleistocene paleosols can provide useful information on paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental changes.

  3. Agulhas salt-leakage oscillations during abrupt climate changes of the Late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marino, Gianluca; Zahn, Rainer; Ziegler, Martin; Purcell, Conor; Knorr, Gregor; Hall, Ian R.; Ziveri, Patrizia; Elderfield, Henry

    2013-09-01

    An ensemble of new, high-resolution records of surface ocean hydrography from the Indian-Atlantic oceanic gateway, south of Africa, demonstrates recurrent and high-amplitude salinity oscillations in the Agulhas Leakage area during the penultimate glacial-interglacial cycle. A series of millennial-scale salinification events, indicating strengthened salt leakage into the South Atlantic, appear to correlate with abrupt changes in the North Atlantic climate and Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). This interhemispheric coupling, which plausibly involved changes in the Hadley Cell and midlatitude westerlies that impacted the interocean transport at the tip of Africa, suggests that the Agulhas Leakage acted as a source of negative buoyancy for the perturbed AMOC, possibly aiding its return to full strength. Our finding points to the Indian-to-Atlantic salt transport as a potentially important modulator of the AMOC during the abrupt climate changes of the Late Pleistocene.

  4. Late Pleistocene (MIS5-3) environmental reconstruction from north-eastern Iberia through microvertebrate and palaeobotanical records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allue, Ethel; Bennàssar, Maria; Biltekin, Demet; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Burjachs, Francesc; Euba, Itxaso; Expósito, Isabel; Fernández-García, Mónica; López-García, Juan Manuel

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this work is to analyze the environmental changes during the Late Pleistocene on the basis of a multi-approach study based on natural and archaeological deposits from NE Iberian Peninsula. The focussed area, although having a small extension (some 32.000 square kilometres), covers a large range of ecosystems and bioclimatic conditions from the Mediterranean seashore to the summit of the Pyrenean mountain ranges (up to 2000 masl). This synthetical approach includes materials from various contexts including 10 archaeological deposits and a single natural deposit. In this work, plant (pollen and charcoals) and animal (small mammals, amphibians and reptiles) records are being analysed and compared in order to present an overview of the environmental changes occurred from the MIS5 to MIS3. On the first hand, we are using the small-vertebrate records recovered from archaeological deposits. These proxies are mainly the product of pellets from birds of prey and are key ecological markers. On the second hand, palaeobotanical evidences, pollen and charcoal, have different formation processes. Charcoal remains are mostly from archaeological deposits and are due to human activities related to fire showing evidences of the local vegetation. Pollen evidences from archaeological and natural contexts are deposited through natural processes (wind, insects, etc.) and show regional scale vegetation record. Results indicate the presence of temperate elements during all these periods (especially at the seashore area), with a more important representation and extension southwards or changes in altitude from taxa with eurosiberian affinities during coldest periods. Forest coverage, plant and vertebrate distribution along the territory point out a mosaic landscape formed by open areas and forests. These landscapes have probably a more or less Mediterranean or Eurosiberian character depending on the climatic moment and their location with variations along the sequence.

  5. Climate change frames debate over the extinction of megafauna in Sahul (Pleistocene Australia-New Guinea).

    PubMed

    Wroe, Stephen; Field, Judith H; Archer, Michael; Grayson, Donald K; Price, Gilbert J; Louys, Julien; Faith, J Tyler; Webb, Gregory E; Davidson, Iain; Mooney, Scott D

    2013-05-28

    Around 88 large vertebrate taxa disappeared from Sahul sometime during the Pleistocene, with the majority of losses (54 taxa) clearly taking place within the last 400,000 years. The largest was the 2.8-ton browsing Diprotodon optatum, whereas the ∼100- to 130-kg marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, the world's most specialized mammalian carnivore, and Varanus priscus, the largest lizard known, were formidable predators. Explanations for these extinctions have centered on climatic change or human activities. Here, we review the evidence and arguments for both. Human involvement in the disappearance of some species remains possible but unproven. Mounting evidence points to the loss of most species before the peopling of Sahul (circa 50-45 ka) and a significant role for climate change in the disappearance of the continent's megafauna. PMID:23650401

  6. Climate change frames debate over the extinction of megafauna in Sahul (Pleistocene Australia-New Guinea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wroe, Stephen; Field, Judith H.; Archer, Michael; Grayson, Donald K.; Price, Gilbert J.; Louys, Julien; Faith, J. Tyler; Webb, Gregory E.; Davidson, Iain; Mooney, Scott D.

    2013-05-01

    Around 88 large vertebrate taxa disappeared from Sahul sometime during the Pleistocene, with the majority of losses (54 taxa) clearly taking place within the last 400,000 years. The largest was the 2.8-ton browsing Diprotodon optatum, whereas the ∼100- to 130-kg marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, the world's most specialized mammalian carnivore, and Varanus priscus, the largest lizard known, were formidable predators. Explanations for these extinctions have centered on climatic change or human activities. Here, we review the evidence and arguments for both. Human involvement in the disappearance of some species remains possible but unproven. Mounting evidence points to the loss of most species before the peopling of Sahul (circa 50-45 ka) and a significant role for climate change in the disappearance of the continent's megafauna.

  7. Climate change frames debate over the extinction of megafauna in Sahul (Pleistocene Australia-New Guinea)

    PubMed Central

    Wroe, Stephen; Field, Judith H.; Archer, Michael; Grayson, Donald K.; Price, Gilbert J.; Louys, Julien; Faith, J. Tyler; Webb, Gregory E.; Davidson, Iain; Mooney, Scott D.

    2013-01-01

    Around 88 large vertebrate taxa disappeared from Sahul sometime during the Pleistocene, with the majority of losses (54 taxa) clearly taking place within the last 400,000 years. The largest was the 2.8-ton browsing Diprotodon optatum, whereas the ∼100- to 130-kg marsupial lion, Thylacoleo carnifex, the world’s most specialized mammalian carnivore, and Varanus priscus, the largest lizard known, were formidable predators. Explanations for these extinctions have centered on climatic change or human activities. Here, we review the evidence and arguments for both. Human involvement in the disappearance of some species remains possible but unproven. Mounting evidence points to the loss of most species before the peopling of Sahul (circa 50–45 ka) and a significant role for climate change in the disappearance of the continent’s megafauna. PMID:23650401

  8. Plio-Pleistocene glacial-interglacial productivity changes in the eastern equatorial Pacific upwelling system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakob, Kim A.; Wilson, Paul A.; Bahr, André; Bolton, Clara T.; Pross, Jörg; Fiebig, Jens; Friedrich, Oliver

    2016-03-01

    The eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (EEP) upwelling system supports >10% of the present-day global ocean primary production, making it an important component in Earth's atmospheric and marine carbon budget. Traditionally, it has been argued that since intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation (iNHG, ~2.7 Ma), changes in EEP productivity have predominantly depended on trade wind strength-controlled upwelling intensity. An alternative hypothesis suggests that EEP productivity is primarily controlled by nutrient supply from the high southern latitudes via mode waters. Here we present new high-resolution data for the latest Pliocene/early Pleistocene from Ocean Drilling Program Site 849, located within the equatorial divergence system in the heart of the EEP upwelling regime. We use carbon isotopes in benthic and planktic foraminiferal calcite and sand accumulation rates to investigate glacial-interglacial (G-IG) productivity fluctuations between 2.65 and 2.4 Ma (marine isotope stages (MIS) G1 to 94). This interval includes MIS 100, 98, and 96, three large-amplitude glacials (~1‰ in benthic δ18O) representing the culmination of iNHG. Our results suggest that latest Pliocene/early Pleistocene G-IG productivity changes in the EEP were strongly controlled by nutrient supply from Southern Ocean-sourced mode waters. Our records show a clear G-IG cyclicity from MIS 100 onward with productivity levels increasing from full glacial conditions and peaking at glacial terminations. We conclude that enhanced nutrient delivery from high southern latitudes during full glacial conditions together with superimposed intensified regional upwelling toward glacial terminations strongly regulated primary productivity rates in the EEP from MIS 100 onward.

  9. Metagenomic analyses of the late Pleistocene permafrost - additional tools for reconstruction of environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivkina, Elizaveta; Petrovskaya, Lada; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana; Krivushin, Kirill; Shmakova, Lyubov; Tutukina, Maria; Meyers, Arthur; Kondrashov, Fyodor

    2016-04-01

    A comparative analysis of the metagenomes from two 30 000-year-old permafrost samples, one of lake-alluvial origin and the other from late Pleistocene Ice Complex sediments, revealed significant differences within microbial communities. The late Pleistocene Ice Complex sediments (which have been characterized by the absence of methane with lower values of redox potential and Fe2+ content) showed a low abundance of methanogenic archaea and enzymes from both the carbon and nitrogen cycles, but a higher abundance of enzymes associated with the sulfur cycle. The metagenomic and geochemical analyses described in the paper provide evidence that the formation of the sampled late Pleistocene Ice Complex sediments likely took place under much more aerobic conditions than lake-alluvial sediments.

  10. American mastodon extirpation in the Arctic and Subarctic predates human colonization and terminal Pleistocene climate change.

    PubMed

    Zazula, Grant D; MacPhee, Ross D E; Metcalfe, Jessica Z; Reyes, Alberto V; Brock, Fiona; Druckenmiller, Patrick S; Groves, Pamela; Harington, C Richard; Hodgins, Gregory W L; Kunz, Michael L; Longstaffe, Fred J; Mann, Daniel H; McDonald, H Gregory; Nalawade-Chavan, Shweta; Southon, John R

    2014-12-30

    Existing radiocarbon ((14)C) dates on American mastodon (Mammut americanum) fossils from eastern Beringia (Alaska and Yukon) have been interpreted as evidence they inhabited the Arctic and Subarctic during Pleistocene full-glacial times (∼ 18,000 (14)C years B.P.). However, this chronology is inconsistent with inferred habitat preferences of mastodons and correlative paleoecological evidence. To establish a last appearance date (LAD) for M. americanum regionally, we obtained 53 new (14)C dates on 36 fossils, including specimens with previously published dates. Using collagen ultrafiltration and single amino acid (hydroxyproline) methods, these specimens consistently date to beyond or near the ∼ 50,000 y B.P. limit of (14)C dating. Some erroneously "young" (14)C dates are due to contamination by exogenous carbon from natural sources and conservation treatments used in museums. We suggest mastodons inhabited the high latitudes only during warm intervals, particularly the Last Interglacial [Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5] when boreal forests existed regionally. Our (14)C dataset suggests that mastodons were extirpated from eastern Beringia during the MIS 4 glacial interval (∼ 75,000 y ago), following the ecological shift from boreal forest to steppe tundra. Mastodons thereafter became restricted to areas south of the continental ice sheets, where they suffered complete extinction ∼ 10,000 (14)C years B.P. Mastodons were already absent from eastern Beringia several tens of millennia before the first humans crossed the Bering Isthmus or the onset of climate changes during the terminal Pleistocene. Local extirpations of mastodons and other megafaunal populations in eastern Beringia were asynchrononous and independent of their final extinction south of the continental ice sheets. PMID:25453065

  11. American mastodon extirpation in the Arctic and Subarctic predates human colonization and terminal Pleistocene climate change

    PubMed Central

    Zazula, Grant D.; MacPhee, Ross D. E.; Metcalfe, Jessica Z.; Reyes, Alberto V.; Brock, Fiona; Druckenmiller, Patrick S.; Groves, Pamela; Harington, C. Richard; Hodgins, Gregory W. L.; Kunz, Michael L.; Longstaffe, Fred J.; Mann, Daniel H.; McDonald, H. Gregory; Nalawade-Chavan, Shweta; Southon, John R.

    2014-01-01

    Existing radiocarbon (14C) dates on American mastodon (Mammut americanum) fossils from eastern Beringia (Alaska and Yukon) have been interpreted as evidence they inhabited the Arctic and Subarctic during Pleistocene full-glacial times (∼18,000 14C years B.P.). However, this chronology is inconsistent with inferred habitat preferences of mastodons and correlative paleoecological evidence. To establish a last appearance date (LAD) for M. americanum regionally, we obtained 53 new 14C dates on 36 fossils, including specimens with previously published dates. Using collagen ultrafiltration and single amino acid (hydroxyproline) methods, these specimens consistently date to beyond or near the ∼50,000 y B.P. limit of 14C dating. Some erroneously “young” 14C dates are due to contamination by exogenous carbon from natural sources and conservation treatments used in museums. We suggest mastodons inhabited the high latitudes only during warm intervals, particularly the Last Interglacial [Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5] when boreal forests existed regionally. Our 14C dataset suggests that mastodons were extirpated from eastern Beringia during the MIS 4 glacial interval (∼75,000 y ago), following the ecological shift from boreal forest to steppe tundra. Mastodons thereafter became restricted to areas south of the continental ice sheets, where they suffered complete extinction ∼10,000 14C years B.P. Mastodons were already absent from eastern Beringia several tens of millennia before the first humans crossed the Bering Isthmus or the onset of climate changes during the terminal Pleistocene. Local extirpations of mastodons and other megafaunal populations in eastern Beringia were asynchrononous and independent of their final extinction south of the continental ice sheets. PMID:25453065

  12. Changing climatic response: a conceptual model for glacial cycles and the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daruka, I.; Ditlevsen, P. D.

    2014-03-01

    Milankovitch's astronomical theory of glacial cycles, attributing ice age climate oscillations to orbital changes in Northern Northern-Hemisphere insolation, is challenged by the paleoclimatic record. The climatic response to the variations in insolation is far from trivial. In general the glacial cycles are highly asymmetric in time, with slow cooling from the interglacials to the glacials (inceptions) and very rapid warming from the glacials to the interglacials (terminations). We shall refer to this fast-slow dynamics as the "saw-tooth" shape of the paleoclimatic record. This is non-linearly related to the time-symmetric variations in the orbital forcing. However, the most pronounced challenge to the Milankovitch theory is the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) occurring about one million years ago. During that event, the prevailing 41 kyr glacial cycles, corresponding to the almost harmonic obliquity cycle were replaced by longer saw-tooth shaped cycles with a time scale around 100 kyr. The MPT must have been driven by internal changes in climate response, since it does not correspond to any apparent changes in the orbital forcing. In order to identify possible mechanisms causing the observed changes in glacial dynamics, it is relevant to study simplified models with the capability of generating temporal behavior similar to the observed records. We present a simple oscillator type model approach, with two variables, a temperature anomaly and an ice volume analogous, climatic memory term. The generalization of the ice albedo feedback is included in terms of an effective multiplicative coupling between this latter climatic memory term (representing the internal degrees of freedom) and the external drive. The simple model reproduces the temporal asymmetry of the late Pleistocene glacial cycles and suggests that the MPT can be explained as a regime shift, aided by climatic noise, from a period 1 frequency locking to the obliquity cycle to a period 2-3 frequency

  13. Continuous evolutionary change in Plio-Pleistocene mammals of eastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Bibi, Faysal; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-08-25

    Much debate has revolved around the question of whether the mode of evolutionary and ecological turnover in the fossil record of African mammals was continuous or pulsed, and the degree to which faunal turnover tracked changes in global climate. Here, we assembled and analyzed large specimen databases of the fossil record of eastern African Bovidae (antelopes) and Turkana Basin large mammals. Our results indicate that speciation and extinction proceeded continuously throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene, as did increases in the relative abundance of arid-adapted bovids, and in bovid body mass. Species durations were similar among clades with different ecological attributes. Occupancy patterns were unimodal, with long and nearly symmetrical origination and extinction phases. A single origination pulse may be present at 2.0-1.75 Ma, but besides this, there is no evidence that evolutionary or ecological changes in the eastern African record tracked rapid, 100,000-y-scale changes in global climate. Rather, eastern African large mammal evolution tracked global or regional climatic trends at long (million year) time scales, while local, basin-scale changes (e.g., tectonic or hydrographic) and biotic interactions ruled at shorter timescales. PMID:26261300

  14. Parallel responses of bees to Pleistocene climate change in three isolated archipelagos of the southwestern Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Groom, Scott V. C.; Stevens, Mark I.; Schwarz, Michael P.

    2014-01-01

    The impacts of glacial cycles on the geographical distribution and size of populations have been explored for numerous terrestrial and marine taxa. However, most studies have focused on high latitudes, with only a few focused on the response of biota to the last glacial maximum (LGM) in equatorial regions. Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the Quaternary. We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM. Our data therefore suggest that Pleistocene climate change has had major impacts across a very broad tropical region. While other studies indicate widespread Holarctic effects of the LGM, our data suggest a much wider range of latitudes, extending to the tropics, where these climate change repercussions were important. As key pollinators, the inferred changes in these bee faunas may have been critical in the development of the diverse Pacific island flora. The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops. PMID:24807250

  15. Parallel responses of bees to Pleistocene climate change in three isolated archipelagos of the southwestern Pacific.

    PubMed

    Groom, Scott V C; Stevens, Mark I; Schwarz, Michael P

    2014-06-22

    The impacts of glacial cycles on the geographical distribution and size of populations have been explored for numerous terrestrial and marine taxa. However, most studies have focused on high latitudes, with only a few focused on the response of biota to the last glacial maximum (LGM) in equatorial regions. Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the Quaternary. We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM. Our data therefore suggest that Pleistocene climate change has had major impacts across a very broad tropical region. While other studies indicate widespread Holarctic effects of the LGM, our data suggest a much wider range of latitudes, extending to the tropics, where these climate change repercussions were important. As key pollinators, the inferred changes in these bee faunas may have been critical in the development of the diverse Pacific island flora. The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops. PMID:24807250

  16. Continuous evolutionary change in Plio-Pleistocene mammals of eastern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bibi, Faysal; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-08-01

    Much debate has revolved around the question of whether the mode of evolutionary and ecological turnover in the fossil record of African mammals was continuous or pulsed, and the degree to which faunal turnover tracked changes in global climate. Here, we assembled and analyzed large specimen databases of the fossil record of eastern African Bovidae (antelopes) and Turkana Basin large mammals. Our results indicate that speciation and extinction proceeded continuously throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene, as did increases in the relative abundance of arid-adapted bovids, and in bovid body mass. Species durations were similar among clades with different ecological attributes. Occupancy patterns were unimodal, with long and nearly symmetrical origination and extinction phases. A single origination pulse may be present at 2.0-1.75 Ma, but besides this, there is no evidence that evolutionary or ecological changes in the eastern African record tracked rapid, 100,000-y-scale changes in global climate. Rather, eastern African large mammal evolution tracked global or regional climatic trends at long (million year) time scales, while local, basin-scale changes (e.g., tectonic or hydrographic) and biotic interactions ruled at shorter timescales.

  17. Continuous evolutionary change in Plio-Pleistocene mammals of eastern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Bibi, Faysal; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Much debate has revolved around the question of whether the mode of evolutionary and ecological turnover in the fossil record of African mammals was continuous or pulsed, and the degree to which faunal turnover tracked changes in global climate. Here, we assembled and analyzed large specimen databases of the fossil record of eastern African Bovidae (antelopes) and Turkana Basin large mammals. Our results indicate that speciation and extinction proceeded continuously throughout the Pliocene and Pleistocene, as did increases in the relative abundance of arid-adapted bovids, and in bovid body mass. Species durations were similar among clades with different ecological attributes. Occupancy patterns were unimodal, with long and nearly symmetrical origination and extinction phases. A single origination pulse may be present at 2.0–1.75 Ma, but besides this, there is no evidence that evolutionary or ecological changes in the eastern African record tracked rapid, 100,000-y-scale changes in global climate. Rather, eastern African large mammal evolution tracked global or regional climatic trends at long (million year) time scales, while local, basin-scale changes (e.g., tectonic or hydrographic) and biotic interactions ruled at shorter timescales. PMID:26261300

  18. Global environmental change

    SciTech Connect

    Corell, R.W.; Anderson, P.A.

    1990-01-01

    Fifty years ago the buzz words in science were [open quotes]atomic energy,[close quotes] and the general mood of the public, in those more naive days, was that the earth is so large that it could take any kind of human abuse. The advance of science and technology since then has proved that this is not the case. It is now common sense, even to the layperson, that the earth's environment is delicate and needs careful protection if future generations are to enjoy it. The buzz words now are [open quotes]global change.[close quotes] This book is the outcome of the Workshop on the Science of Global Environmental Change sponsored by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and is one of the NATO's Advanced Science Institute Series books. It is essentially a collection of the lectures given in the workshop. The workshop was apparently not intended for in-depth scientific discussions but to review the overall current research situation and to identify future research needs. Accordingly, the papers collected in this volume are basically of this nature.

  19. Environmental Magnetism of mid-Pleistocene Lacustrine Sediments of the Valles Caldera, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurley, L. L.; Geissman, J. W.; Fawcett, P.; Tim, W.; Goff, F.

    2007-12-01

    Rock magnetic measurements are applied to almost 80 m of lacustrine sediment (VC-3) to augment independent means of interpreting the environmental conditions of a mid-Pleistocene lake in the Valle Grande of the Valles Caldera, northern New Mexico. An age model for the core is pinned to an Ar/Ar age determination of 552 ± 3 ka for a sanidine bearing ash layer at 78 m depth and major transitions in the organic carbon record at 53 m, 40 m, 27 m, and 17 m; these data suggest that deposition of VC-3 spans MIS 14 to MIS 10, including glacial terminations VI (531 ka) and V (426 ka). AF demagnetization resolves positive inclination magnetizations from most of the core, consistent with Brunhes normal polarity. Three thin (< 22 cm) intervals of shallow to negative inclination magnetizations may indicate poorly-recorded geomagnetic polarity events at ~406 ka (11α), ~536 ka (14α) and the Big Lost excursion (~580 ± 8 ka). Data from an array of rock magnetic investigations indicate magnetite, titanomagnetite, and pyrhotite characterize VC-3 sediments. Susceptibility and frequency dependent susceptibility experiments at low temperature reveal an abundance of paramagnetic and super-paramagnetic material. Scanning electron microscopy of magnetic separates show an array of Fe-oxide and Fe-sulfide grains, including titanomagnetites with trellis ilmenite intergrowths. NRM intensities of sediment deposited during glacial periods typically range from 0.04 mA/m to values as high as 1.6 mA/m; interglacial sediment NRM intensities range from 0.05 mA/m to 0.2 mA/m. NRM values increase to 3.3 mA/m, between 48 m to 43 m, where the sediment exhibits shallow mud crack, bioturbation, and oxidation. Overall, trends in susceptibility, ARM, and SIRM are similar to those in NRM intensity. Bivariate plot of susceptibility/ARM shows little variation in concentration of low coercivity minerals (i.e. magnetite) in VC-3 sediments. Also, the concentration of high coercivity minerals (i.e. hematite

  20. Lacustrine chronology links late Pleistocene climate change and mass movements in northern New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Dethier, D.P.; Reneau, S.L.

    1996-06-01

    Well-dated lacustrine deposits in northern White Rock Canyon, New Mexico, record damming of the Rio Grande by at least four separate failures of a slump complex between about 17.5 and 12.4 ka ({sup 14}C), linking mass movements to a period of rapid climate change in the western United States. Failure of metastable slumps probably resulted from removal of lateral support during down-cutting and erosion by the Rio Grande and from a decrease in resisting forces due to increased pore pressures. Our chronology suggests that the lake that formed between 17.5 and 15.0 ka may record effects of both glacial melt and pluvial activity (mainly enhanced rainfall); the youngest lake (neary 12.4 ka) may record pluvial runoff; and the intermediate lakes (13.7 to 13.1 ka) may record pluvial and minor melt-water activity. We have not found lacustrine deposits younger than about 12.4 ka. The record of geomorphic response along the Rio Grande suggests that late Pleistocene climatic changes may have triggered similar mass movements elsewhere in the southwest. 27 refs., 4 figs.

  1. Limited hydrologic response to Pleistocene climate change in deep vadose zones — Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paces, James B.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Whelan, Joseph F.; Wooden, Joseph L.; Lund, Steven P.; Marshall, Brian D.

    2010-12-01

    Understanding the movement of water through thick vadose zones, especially on time scales encompassing long-term climate change, is increasingly important as societies utilize semi-arid environments for both water resources and sites viewed as favorable for long-term disposal or storage of hazardous waste. Hydrologic responses to Pleistocene climate change within a deep vadose zone in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were evaluated by uranium-series dating of finely layered hyalitic opal using secondary ion mass spectrometry. Opal is present within cm-thick secondary hydrogenic mineral crusts coating floors of lithophysal cavities in fractured volcanic rocks at depths of 200 to 300 m below land surface. Uranium concentrations in opal fluctuate systematically between 5 and 550 μg/g. Age-calibrated profiles of uranium concentration correlate with regional climate records over the last 300,000 years and produce time-series spectral peaks that have distinct periodicities of 100- and 41-ka, consistent with planetary orbital parameters. These results indicate that the chemical compositions of percolating solutions varied in response to near-surface, climate-driven processes. However, slow (micrometers per thousand years), relatively uniform growth rates of secondary opal and calcite deposition spanning several glacial-interglacial climate cycles imply that water fluxes in the deep vadose zone remained low and generally buffered from the large fluctuations in available surface moisture during different climates.

  2. Limited hydrologic response to Pleistocene climate change in deep vadose zones - Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paces, J.B.; Neymark, L.A.; Whelan, J.F.; Wooden, J.L.; Lund, S.P.; Marshall, B.D.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the movement of water through thick vadose zones, especially on time scales encompassing long-term climate change, is increasingly important as societies utilize semi-arid environments for both water resources and sites viewed as favorable for long-term disposal or storage of hazardous waste. Hydrologic responses to Pleistocene climate change within a deep vadose zone in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were evaluated by uranium-series dating of finely layered hyalitic opal using secondary ion mass spectrometry. Opal is present within cm-thick secondary hydrogenic mineral crusts coating floors of lithophysal cavities in fractured volcanic rocks at depths of 200 to 300 m below land surface. Uranium concentrations in opal fluctuate systematically between 5 and 550 μg/g. Age-calibrated profiles of uranium concentration correlate with regional climate records over the last 300,000 years and produce time-series spectral peaks that have distinct periodicities of 100- and 41-ka, consistent with planetary orbital parameters. These results indicate that the chemical compositions of percolating solutions varied in response to near-surface, climate-driven processes. However, slow (micrometers per thousand years), relatively uniform growth rates of secondary opal and calcite deposition spanning several glacial–interglacial climate cycles imply that water fluxes in the deep vadose zone remained low and generally buffered from the large fluctuations in available surface moisture during different climates.

  3. The impact of climate change on the structure of Pleistocene food webs across the mammoth steppe

    PubMed Central

    Yeakel, Justin D.; Guimarães, Paulo R.; Bocherens, Hervé; Koch, Paul L.

    2013-01-01

    Species interactions form food webs, impacting community structure and, potentially, ecological dynamics. It is likely that global climatic perturbations that occur over long periods of time have a significant influence on species interaction patterns. Here, we integrate stable isotope analysis and network theory to reconstruct patterns of trophic interactions for six independent mammalian communities that inhabited mammoth steppe environments spanning western Europe to eastern Alaska (Beringia) during the Late Pleistocene. We use a Bayesian mixing model to quantify the contribution of prey to the diets of local predators, and assess how the structure of trophic interactions changed across space and the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), a global climatic event that severely impacted mammoth steppe communities. We find that large felids had diets that were more constrained than those of co-occurring predators, and largely influenced by an increase in Rangifer abundance after the LGM. Moreover, the structural organization of Beringian and European communities strongly differed: compared with Europe, species interactions in Beringian communities before—and possibly after—the LGM were highly modular. We suggest that this difference in modularity may have been driven by the geographical insularity of Beringian communities. PMID:23658198

  4. Macroevolutionary perspectives to environmental change.

    PubMed

    Condamine, Fabien L; Rolland, Jonathan; Morlon, Hélène

    2013-05-01

    Predicting how biodiversity will be affected and will respond to human-induced environmental changes is one of the most critical challenges facing ecologists today. Here, we put current environmental changes and their effects on biodiversity in a macroevolutionary perspective. We build on research in palaeontology and recent developments in phylogenetic approaches to ask how macroevolution can help us understand how environmental changes have affected biodiversity in the past, and how they will affect biodiversity in the future. More and more paleontological and phylogenetic data are accumulated, and we argue that much of the potential these data have for understanding environmental changes remains to be explored. PMID:23331627

  5. Pleistocene history of the subarctic pacific: periodic and step-wise changes in temperature and precipitation

    SciTech Connect

    Sancetta, C.

    1985-01-01

    Piston core V20-110 records the last 1.8 Ma of North Pacific conditions. Samples at 11 Ka intervals were analyzed for calcite, foraminifera, diatoms, and IRD. Data implies that precipitation varied on a 41-Ka cycle from latest Pliocene to 700 Ka. During the late Pleistocene precipitation, like temperature, has been dominated by a 100 Ka period. There are six distinct intervals, bounded by rapid, unidirectional changes: a) 1.8-1.6 Ma-mostly ice-free, warm (approx.15/sup 0/C), high precipitation, moderately well-mixed waters; b) 1.6-1.3 Ma-slightly cooler (approx.12/sup 0/C), precipitation increasing to maximum, waters well mixed; c) 1.3-1.1 Ma-change to winter precipitation, slightly colder, increased seasonal contrast. d) 1.1 Ma-700 Ka-beginning of glacial mode; periods of high annual precipitation and strong stratification alternate with lower precipitation and more mixing, temperatures cool (approx.10/sup 0/C); e) 700-300 Ka-strong 100-ka cycles, high winter precipitation and low temperatures (5-10/sup 0/C) during glacials; interglacials drier and warmer, more mixing; summer precipitation low throughout; f) 300-0 Ka-glacial maxima cold (<5/sup 0/C), dry, well-mixed; interglacial maxima cool (approx.10/sup 0/C), summer precipitation, well-mixed; transitions high winter precipitation and strong vertical stratification. CCD fluctuating close to 2700 m, being above during glacials and transitions, below only during peak interglacials.

  6. Peripatric speciation of an endemic species driven by Pleistocene climate change: The case of the Mexican prairie dog (Cynomys mexicanus).

    PubMed

    Castellanos-Morales, Gabriela; Gámez, Niza; Castillo-Gámez, Reyna A; Eguiarte, Luis E

    2016-01-01

    The hypothesis that endemic species could have originated by the isolation and divergence of peripheral populations of widespread species can be tested through the use of ecological niche models (ENMs) and statistical phylogeography. The joint use of these tools provides complementary perspectives on historical dynamics and allows testing hypotheses regarding the origin of endemic taxa. We used this approach to infer the historical processes that have influenced the origin of a species endemic to the Mexican Plateau (Cynomys mexicanus) and its divergence from a widespread ancestor (Cynomys ludovicianus), and to test whether this endemic species originated through peripatric speciation. We obtained genetic data for 295 individuals for two species of black-tailed prairie dogs (C. ludovicianus and C. mexicanus). Genetic data consisted of mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b and control region), and 10 nuclear microsatellite loci. We estimated dates of divergence between species and between lineages within each species and performed ecological niche modelling (Present, Last Glacial Maximum and Last Interglacial) to determine changes in the distribution range of both species during the Pleistocene. Finally, we used Bayesian inference methods (DIYABC) to test different hypotheses regarding the divergence and demographic history of these species. Data supported the hypothesis of the origin of C. mexicanus from a peripheral population isolated during the Pleistocene [∼230,000 years ago (0.1-0.43 Ma 95% HPD)], with a Pleistocene-Holocene (∼9,000-11,000 years ago) population expansion (∼10-fold increase in population size). We identified the presence of two possible refugia in the southern area of the distribution range of C. ludovicianus and another, consistent with the distribution range of C. mexicanus. Our analyses suggest that Pleistocene climate change had a strong impact in the distribution of these species, promoting peripatric speciation for the origin of

  7. Thermohaline Circulation Crisis and Changes Through the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldstein, S. L.; Pena, L.

    2013-12-01

    The Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) marked a fundamental change in glacial-interglacial periodicity, transitioning from ~41,000 to 100,000 year cycles, accompanied by higher amplitude climate variability. It occurred without a significant change in orbital forcing, and thus its causes are poorly understood. We report major changes in the pre- and post-MPT mode of the ocean thermohaline circulation (THC), and a THC crisis during the MPT, from Nd isotopes in ODP Sites 1088 (~42S, 2082m) and 1090 (~43S, 3702m). The core locations are at the transition between the South Atlantic and the Southern oceans, a major gateway for the exchange of northern- and southern-sourced water masses. The new data show that in the ';40-kyr world' prior to the MPT, NADW export was strong during both interglacials and glacials. At ~900 ka the THC system underwent a major crisis, with an unprecedented weakening in NADW export during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 22-24. The recovery of the THC system in the post-MPT ';100-kyr world' is characterized by strong THC during interglacials, similar to pre-MPT interglacials, but much weaker THC during glacials. The ';THC crisis' interval includes MIS 23, which is unique as an interglacial where the THC operated in the same weak mode as post-MPT glacials. The MIS 22-24 interval has been recognized as a time of abrupt atmospheric pCO2 drawdown (Hoenisch et al. 2009) and significant cooling of ocean deep water, and Antarctic ice sheet expansion (Elderfield et al. Science 2012). Our data indicate that THC changes played an important role as a primary driving force, and helped to generate a series of positive feedbacks. This drastic change in deep-ocean circulation had important implications for the coeval drawdown of atmospheric pCO2, and the absence of a strong THC system through a glacial-to-interglacial-to-glacial cycle had a major impact on high latitude ice sheet growth. We suggest that the weak NADW export during MIS 24-22 resulted in reduced

  8. Environmentalism and Social Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tiemann, Adrian R.

    A high level of individual concern with environmental issues characterizes the ecological crisis of the 1970s. In spite of this increased public involvement, however, many basic problems facing humans as they interact with the environment have remained constant throughout history. For example, the sometimes conflicting concepts of scarcity,…

  9. Abrupt Late Pleistocene Changes in Northern South American River Run-Off

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, J.; Bahr, A.; Voigt, S.; Schönfeld, J.; Nuernberg, D.

    2014-12-01

    Paleoenvironmental studies as well as climate models demonstrate that fluvial run-off and moisture availability in the hinterland of the Caribbean react highly sensitively to climatic variations. Deglacial (Late Pleistocene) records document pronounced dry and wet spells over tropical South America which are mainly caused by shifts of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) coupled with South American monsoonal activity. Here we present a high-resolution foraminiferal Ba/Ca and δ18Oseawater record from a core located within the Orinoco outflow area, that give insights into abrupt changes of the hydrology of the Orinoco catchment area and, furthermore, enables us to reconstruct circulation patterns within the Caribbean during deglacial times. Our data, obtained from the surface-dwelling foraminifera Globigerinoides ruber (pink variety), show a distinct increase in Ba/Ca ratios during the Heinrich 1 (H1) interval, as well as during the Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles up to 36 kyr. Based on the multi-proxy evidence we largely attribute the Ba/Ca increase during H1 to enhanced Amazon river run-off, while Orinoco river discharge appears not to be significantly elevated. During Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles, the causal mechanism for enhanced Ba/Ca ratios is an insolation-driven shift of the ITCZ and/or enhanced South American summer monsoon activity. Interestingly, the H1 Ba/Ca shows strong similarities in shape and timing to published Ba/Ca data from Florida Straits.This leads us to the assumption that the South American run-off signal is transported directly into the Atlantic Ocean via Yukatan Strait and Florida Strait and therefore alter the salinity budget in the North Atlantic. The results point to immediate high to low latitude feedbacks which might help to re-inforce the weakening of the overturning circulation during Heinrich Events and Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles.

  10. Middle to Late Pleistocene vegetation and climate change in subtropical southern East Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castañeda, Isla S.; Caley, Thibaut; Dupont, Lydie; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Malaizé, Bruno; Schouten, Stefan

    2016-09-01

    In this study we investigate Pleistocene vegetation and climate change in southern East Africa by examining plant leaf waxes in a marine sediment core that receives terrestrial runoff from the Limpopo River. The plant leaf wax records are compared to a multi-proxy sea surface temperature (SST) record and pollen assemblage data from the same site. We find that Indian Ocean SST variability, driven by high-latitude obliquity, exerted a strong control on the vegetation of southern East Africa during the past 800,000 yr. Interglacial periods were characterized by relatively wetter and warmer conditions, increased contributions of C3 vegetation, and higher SST, whereas glacial periods were marked by cooler and arid conditions, increased contributions of C4 vegetation, and lower SST. We find that Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5e, 11c, 15e and 7a-7c are strongly expressed in the plant leaf wax records but MIS 7e is absent while MIS 9 is rather weak. Our plant leaf wax records also record the climate transition associated with the Mid-Brunhes Event (MBE) suggesting that the pre-MBE interval (430-800 ka) was characterized by higher inputs from grasses in comparison to relatively higher inputs from trees in the post-MBE interval (430 to 0 ka). Differences in vegetation and SST of southern East Africa between the pre- and post-MBE intervals appear to be related to shifts in the location of the Subtropical Front. Comparison with vegetation records from tropical East Africa indicates that the vegetation of southern East Africa, while exhibiting glacial-interglacial variability and notable differences between the pre- and post-MBE portions of the record, likely did not experience such dramatic extremes as occurred to the north at Lake Malawi.

  11. South Equatorial Current (SEC) driven changes at DSDP Site 237, Central Indian Ocean, during the Plio-Pleistocene: Evidence from Benthic Foraminifera and Stable Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Anil K.; Das, Moumita; Bhaskar, K.

    2006-12-01

    This study attempts to analyse paleoceanographic changes in the Central Indian Ocean (Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 237), linked to monsoon variability as well as deep-sea circulation during the Plio-Pleistocene. We used factor and cluster analyses of census data of the 34 most dominant species of benthic foraminifera that enabled us to identify five biofacies: Astrononion umbilicatulum- Uvigerina proboscidea (Au-Up), Pullenia bulloides- Bulimina striata (Pb-Bs), Globocassidulina tumida- Nuttallides umbonifera (Gt-Nu), Gyroidinoides nitidula- Cibicides wuellerstorfi (Gn-Cw) and Cassidulina carinata- Cassidulina laevigata (Cc-Cl) biofacies. Knowledge of the environmental preferences of modern deep-sea benthic foraminifera helped to interpret the results of factor and cluster analyses in combination with oxygen and carbon isotope values. The biofacies indicative of high surface productivity, resulting from a stronger South Equatorial Current (Au-Up and Pb-Bs biofacies), dominate the early Pliocene interval (5.6-4.5 Ma) of global warmth. An intense Indo-Pacific 'biogenic bloom' and strong Oxygen Minimum Zone extended to intermediate depths (˜1000-2000 m) over large parts of the Indian Ocean in the early Pliocene. Since 4.5 Ma, the food supply in the Central Indian Ocean dropped and fluctuated while deep waters were corrosive (biofacies Gt-Nu, Gn-Cw). The Pleistocene interval is characterized by an intermediate flux of organic matter (Cc-Cl biofacies).

  12. Epigenetic variation and environmental change.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Peter

    2015-06-01

    Environmental conditions can change the activity of plant genes via epigenetic effects that alter the competence of genetic information to be expressed. This may provide a powerful strategy for plants to adapt to environmental change. However, as epigenetic changes do not modify DNA sequences and are therefore reversible, only those epi-mutations that are transmitted through the germline can be expected to contribute to a long-term adaptive response. The major challenge for the investigation of epigenetic adaptation theories is therefore to identify genomic loci that undergo epigenetic changes in response to environmental conditions, which alter their expression in a heritable way and which improve the plant's ability to adapt to the inducing conditions. This review focuses on the role of DNA methylation as a prominent epigenetic mark that controls chromatin conformation, and on its potential in mediating expression changes in response to environmental signals. PMID:25694547

  13. Environmental evolutions of the Alzette valley (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) since Late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naton, H.-G.; Ruffaldi, P.; Meyrick, R.; Maquil, R.; Colbach, R.; Kausch, B.; Baes, R.; Stead, A.; Le Brun-Ricalens, F.; Brou, L.; Schoellen, A.

    2009-04-01

    The Alzette River rises within France, approximately 4 km south of the French-Luxembourg border, and has a total length of 73 kilometres before joining the Sauer which is a left-bank tributary of the Moselle River. During the construction of the "Nordstrooss" motorway (going north from Luxembourg city towards Ettelbruck) a viaduct was built that crosses the wide alluvial plain (about 1 km) of the Alzette River valley near Lorentzweiler. A lot of drillings were also made for geotechnical purposes by the Geological survey of Luxembourg (SGL). The drillings were able to provide informations about the sediments preserved in the Alzette River valley floor. This information has allowed the construction of a cross-profile through the valley showing the stratigraphy of the quaternary deposits, and illustrating that it was the result of a rather complex evolution (aggradation and incision periods leading to terraces formation, input of slope deposits at the valley margins, possible eolian input, …). A multidisciplinary research project thus started, aiming to reconstruct the paleoenvironment of the Alzette region during the late Pleistocene and Holocene periods. The drilling results make it possible to reconstruct the geometry of the quaternary sedimentary units of the Alzette valley. Three stepped alluvial units are recognized along the cross profile: the lower one (Az0) corresponds with the maximal incision of the Alzette. It is preserved in the western part of the floodplain, with base being located at about 212 m a.s.l.. In the eastern part of the valley the contact between the fluvial deposits and the substratum is located at about 215 m a.s.l.: these deposits may also be allocated to a lower terrace Az1 (relative height : +3 m). A third alluvial unit Az2 was recognized in two drillings, with bedrock located at about 224 m a.s.l. (+12 m). The channel migration in the valley and the assumed meandering dynamics (suggested by the weakness of the longitudinal slope) led

  14. Multiple instabilities and modes of glacial rhythmicity in the Plio-Pleistocene: A general theory of late Cenozoic climatic change

    SciTech Connect

    Saltzman, B.; Verbitsky, M.Ya.

    1993-10-01

    Several distinct modes of glacial oscillation have existed during the past few million years, ranging from low-amplitude, high-frequency oscillations in the early Pliocene, through relatively high amplitude, predominantly near 40 ky period, oscillations in the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene, to the major near 100 ky period oscillations of the late Pleistocene. In addition to other plausible mechanisms, this study illustrates another possible contributor based on the hypothesis that the slow-response climatic system is bistable and that two kinds of internal instability may be operative along with externally imposed forcing due to earth-orbital (Milankovitch) radiation changes and slow, tectonically-induced changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Within the framework of a dynamical model containing the possibility for these two instabilities, as well as for stable modes, the study shows (1) how Milankovitch radiative changes or stochastic forcing influencing ice sheets can induce aperiodic (chaotic) transitions between the possible stable and unstable modes, and (2) how progressive, long-term, tectonically-induced, changes in carbon dioxide, acting in concert with earth-orbital radiative variations in high Northern Hemisphere latitudes, can force systematic transitions between the modes. This is a minimum dynamical model of the late Cenozoic climatic changes, containing the main physical factors determining these changes: ice mass, bedrock depression, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, deep ocean thermohaline state, Milankovitch radiation forcing, and slow tectonically-induced carbon dioxide forcing. 34 refs., 13 figs., 2 tabs.

  15. Late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental history of the Iguala Valley, Central Balsas Watershed of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Piperno, D. R.; Moreno, J. E.; Iriarte, J.; Holst, I.; Lachniet, M.; Jones, J. G.; Ranere, A. J.; Castanzo, R.

    2007-01-01

    The origin of agriculture was a signal development in human affairs and as such has occupied the attention of scholars from the natural and social sciences for well over a century. Historical studies of climate and vegetation are closely associated with crop plant evolution because they can reveal the ecological contexts of plant domestication together with the antiquity and effects of agricultural practices on the environment. In this article, we present paleoecological evidence from three lakes and a swamp located in the Central Balsas watershed of tropical southwestern Mexico that date from 14,000 B.P. to the modern era. [Dates expressed in B.P. years are radiocarbon ages. Calibrated (calendar) ages, expressed as cal B.P., are provided for dates in the text.] Previous molecular studies suggest that maize (Zea mays L.) and other important crops such as squashes (Cucurbita spp.) were domesticated in the region. Our combined pollen, phytolith, charcoal, and sedimentary studies indicate that during the late glacial period (14,000–10,000 B.P.), lake beds were dry, the climate was cooler and drier, and open vegetational communities were more widespread than after the Pleistocene ended. Zea was a continuous part of the vegetation since at least the terminal Pleistocene. During the Holocene, lakes became important foci of human activity, and cultural interference with a species-diverse tropical forest is indicated. Maize and squash were grown at lake edges starting between 10,000 and 5,000 B.P., most likely sometime during the first half of that period. Significant episodes of climatic drying evidenced between 1,800 B.P. and 900 B.P. appear to be coeval with those documented in the Classic Maya region and elsewhere, showing widespread instability in the late Holocene climate. PMID:17537917

  16. Late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental history of the Iguala Valley, Central Balsas Watershed of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Piperno, D R; Moreno, J E; Iriarte, J; Holst, I; Lachniet, M; Jones, J G; Ranere, A J; Castanzo, R

    2007-07-17

    The origin of agriculture was a signal development in human affairs and as such has occupied the attention of scholars from the natural and social sciences for well over a century. Historical studies of climate and vegetation are closely associated with crop plant evolution because they can reveal the ecological contexts of plant domestication together with the antiquity and effects of agricultural practices on the environment. In this article, we present paleoecological evidence from three lakes and a swamp located in the Central Balsas watershed of tropical southwestern Mexico that date from 14,000 B.P. to the modern era. [Dates expressed in B.P. years are radiocarbon ages. Calibrated (calendar) ages, expressed as cal B.P., are provided for dates in the text.] Previous molecular studies suggest that maize (Zea mays L.) and other important crops such as squashes (Cucurbita spp.) were domesticated in the region. Our combined pollen, phytolith, charcoal, and sedimentary studies indicate that during the late glacial period (14,000-10,000 B.P.), lake beds were dry, the climate was cooler and drier, and open vegetational communities were more widespread than after the Pleistocene ended. Zea was a continuous part of the vegetation since at least the terminal Pleistocene. During the Holocene, lakes became important foci of human activity, and cultural interference with a species-diverse tropical forest is indicated. Maize and squash were grown at lake edges starting between 10,000 and 5,000 B.P., most likely sometime during the first half of that period. Significant episodes of climatic drying evidenced between 1,800 B.P. and 900 B.P. appear to be coeval with those documented in the Classic Maya region and elsewhere, showing widespread instability in the late Holocene climate. PMID:17537917

  17. Quantifying the astronomical contribution to Pleistocene climate change: A non-linear, statistical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crucifix, Michel; Wilkinson, Richard; Carson, Jake; Preston, Simon; Alemeida, Carlos; Rougier, Jonathan

    2013-04-01

    The existence of an action of astronomical forcing on the Pleistocene climate is almost undisputed. However, quantifying this action is not straightforward. In particular, the phenomenon of deglaciation is generally interpreted as a manifestation of instability, which is typical of non-linear systems. As a consequence, explaining the Pleistocene climate record as the addition of an astronomical contribution and noise-as often done using harmonic analysis tools-is potentially deceptive. Rather, we advocate a methodology in which non-linear stochastic dynamical systems are calibrated on the Pleistocene climate record. The exercise, though, requires careful statistical reasoning and state-of-the-art techniques. In fact, the problem has been judged to be mathematically 'intractable and unsolved' and some pragmatism is justified. In order to illustrate the methodology we consider one dynamical system that potentially captures four dynamical features of the Pleistocene climate : the existence of a saddle-node bifurcation in at least one of its slow components, a time-scale separation between a slow and a fast component, the action of astronomical forcing, and the existence a stochastic contribution to the system dynamics. This model is obviously not the only possible representation of Pleistocene dynamics, but it encapsulates well enough both our theoretical and empirical knowledge into a very simple form to constitute a valid starting point. The purpose of this poster is to outline the practical challenges in calibrating such a model on paleoclimate observations. Just as in time series analysis, there is no one single and universal test or criteria that would demonstrate the validity of an approach. Several methods exist to calibrate the model and judgement develops by the confrontation of the results of the different methods. In particular, we consider here the Kalman filter variants, the Particle Monte-Carlo Markov Chain, and two other variants of Sequential Monte

  18. Late Pleistocene dune activity in the central Great Plains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mason, J.A.; Swinehart, J.B.; Hanson, P.R.; Loope, D.B.; Goble, R.J.; Miao, X.; Schmeisser, R.L.

    2011-01-01

    Stabilized dunes of the central Great Plains, especially the megabarchans and large barchanoid ridges of the Nebraska Sand Hills, provide dramatic evidence of late Quaternary environmental change. Episodic Holocene dune activity in this region is now well-documented, but Late Pleistocene dune mobility has remained poorly documented, despite early interpretations of the Sand Hills dunes as Pleistocene relicts. New optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages from drill cores and outcrops provide evidence of Late Pleistocene dune activity at sites distributed across the central Great Plains. In addition, Late Pleistocene eolian sands deposited at 20-25 ka are interbedded with loess south of the Sand Hills. Several of the large dunes sampled in the Sand Hills clearly contain a substantial core of Late Pleistocene sand; thus, they had developed by the Late Pleistocene and were fully mobile at that time, although substantial sand deposition and extensive longitudinal dune construction occurred during the Holocene. Many of the Late Pleistocene OSL ages fall between 17 and 14 ka, but it is likely that these ages represent only the later part of a longer period of dune construction and migration. At several sites, significant Late Pleistocene or Holocene large-dune migration also probably occurred after the time represented by the Pleistocene OSL ages. Sedimentary structures in Late Pleistocene eolian sand and the forms of large dunes potentially constructed in the Late Pleistocene both indicate sand transport dominated by northerly to westerly winds, consistent with Late Pleistocene loess transport directions. Numerical modeling of the climate of the Last Glacial Maximum has often yielded mean monthly surface winds southwest of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that are consistent with this geologic evidence, despite strengthened anticyclonic circulation over the ice sheet. Mobility of large dunes during the Late Pleistocene on the central Great Plains may have been the result of

  19. Late Pleistocene environmental fluctuations in Taiwan southwestern plain with constraints of the analyses on organic carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, H.; Chen, Y.

    2003-12-01

    Taiwan is located at the junction point between the Philippine Sea and Eurasian plate, where the Asian monsoon is supposed as the most important factor in controlling the regional climate. Due to the high subsidence rate caused by westerly moving thrust sheet, sedimentary sequences of late Quaternary overlying on the Tertiary basement in coastal plain are usually over 300 meters. The isotopic composition of organic carbon has been reported to preserve the syn-depositional signals for source identification derived from two major sources, the terrestrial plants and marine organisms. Except for the extreme region, the terrestrial plants can be roughly divided into C3 and C4 plants in modern world. Since they adopt different photosynthesis processes, each of them shows specific δ 13C values. As literatures the δ 13C values of organic matters in marine sediments are relatively constant in a local area. On the other hand, the concentrations of total organic carbon (TOC) preserved in sediments can also reflect the experienced paleo-environment. For instance, an anoxic environment, such as a lagoon or marsh will usually preserve high TOC. Consequently, the elemental abundance and corresponding isotopes of organic carbon are wildly used as proxies to retrieve sedimentary environment and vegetation changes. For the purpose of high resolution, i.e., every 3 to 4m, we sampled cores drilled in coastal plain of southwestern Taiwan and conducted carbon isotope analysis to diagnose the detailed environmental changes under the major framework-global change. As our results, TOC values remain in a relatively stable and low level when the corresponding δ 13C data indicate marine organic source, while the terrestrial source usually causes undulated TOC. On the other hand, based on the isotopic data measured in the lower part of the core, the study area was inundated by sea-water as a result of the high sea-stand of MIS (marine isotope stage) 5. Subsequently, the climate turned to

  20. Late Pleistocene-Holocene ground surface heat flux changes reconstructed from borehole temperature data (the Urals, Russia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demezhko, D. Y.; Gornostaeva, A. A.

    2015-04-01

    We use geothermal reconstruction of the ground surface temperature (GST) history early obtained in the Middle Urals to determine the surface heat flux (SHF) history over the past 35 kyr. A new algorithm of GST-SHF transformation was applied to solve this problem. The timescale of geothermal reconstructions has been corrected by comparing the estimated heat flux and annual insolation at the latitude of 60° N. The consistency of SHF and insolation changes on the interval 35-6 kyr BP with the linear correlation coefficient R = 0.99 points to orbital factors as the main cause of climatic changes during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. The amplitude of SHF variations is about 1.3% of the insolation change amplitude. The increase of carbon dioxide concentrations lagged by 2-3 kyr from the SHF increase and occurred synchronously with GST changes.

  1. Plio-Pleistocene changes in the vegetation of central North Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castaneda, I. S.; Phu, V.; Urann, B.

    2013-12-01

    The area of central North Africa (including the Sahara and the Sahel) is sensitive to migrations of the intertropical rainbelt and has experienced dramatic, and possibly abrupt, shifts between wet and arid conditions in the past. For example, during the humid period of the early Holocene, the region that is presently the Sahara desert was vegetated and contained permanent lakes, and was occupied by human populations (e.g. Kuper and Kröpelin, 2006). In this study, we investigate the hydrology of central North Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene (4-0.5 Ma), a period during which a number of key steps in hominin evolution occurred. ODP site 660 is located in the tropical NE Atlantic Ocean (offshore West Africa) and receives dust from central North Africa, which is transported offshore by the African Easterly Jet. Plant leaf waxes (n-alkanes) contained in this dust provide information on the type of vegetation present , which in turn, can be used to examine hydrological variability because in tropical Africa the large scale distribution of vegetation utilizing the C3 (mainly trees) vs. C4 (grasses and warm season sedges) photosynthetic pathways mainly depends on aridity (precipitation) (e.g. Schefuss et al., 2003). Here, we examine the carbon (δ13C) and deuterium (δD) isotopic composition of plant leaf waxes, proxies for vegetation type (C3 vs. C4 plants) and precipitation amount, respectively. We also examine sea surface temperature variability using the alkenone Uk'37 Index as several studies have demonstrated close ties between sea surface temperature variability and hydrological conditions in N Africa during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Results of this study further support a close link between SST and hydrological conditions in the Sahel during the past 4 Ma while also highlighting regional differences in aridity between Plio-Pleistocene records of western, eastern and southern Africa.

  2. A first calibration of nonmarine ostracod species for the quantitative estimation of Pleistocene climate change in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horne, D. J.; Martens, K.

    2009-04-01

    Although qualitative statements have been made about general climatic conditions in southern Africa during the Pleistocene, there are few quantifiable palaeoclimatic data based on field evidence, especially regarding whether the area was wetter or drier during the Last Glacial Maximum. Such information is critical in validating models of climate change, both in spatial and temporal dimensions. As an essential preliminary step towards palaeoclimate reconstructions using fossil ostracods from cored lake sediment sequences, we have calibrated a training set of living ostracod species' distributions against a modern climate dataset and other available environmental data. The modern ostracod dataset is based on the collections in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, which constitutes the most diverse and comprehensive collection of southern African nonmarine ostracods available anywhere in the world. To date, c. 150 nominal species have been described from southern Africa (Martens, 2001) out of c. 450 species in the total Afrotropical area (Martens et al., 2008). Here we discuss the potential value and limitations of the training set for the estimation of past climatic parameters including air temperature (July and January means, maxima and minima, Mean Annual Air Temperature), precipitation, water conductivity and pH. The next step will be to apply the Mutual Ostracod Temperature Range method (Horne, 2007; Horne & Mezquita, 2008) to the palaeoclimatic analysis of fossil ostracod assemblages from sequences recording the Last Glacial Maximum in southern Africa. Ultimately this work will contribute to the development of a glacier-climate modelling project based on evidence of former niche glaciation of the Drakensberg Escarpment. Horne, D. J. 2007. A Mutual Temperature Range method for Quaternary palaeoclimatic analysis using European nonmarine Ostracoda. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26, 1398-1415. Horne, D. J. & Mezquita, F. 2008. Palaeoclimatic

  3. Pleistocene Speciation in the Genus Populus (Salicaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Levsen, Nicholas D.; Tiffin, Peter; Olson, Matthew S.

    2012-01-01

    The macroevolutionary consequences of recent climate change remain controversial, and there is little paleobotanical or morphological evidence that Pleistocene (1.8–0.12 Ma) glacial cycles acted as drivers of speciation, especially among lineages with long generation times, such as trees. We combined genetic and ecogeographic data from 2 closely related North American tree species, Populus balsamifera and P. trichocarpa (Salicacaeae), to determine if their divergence coincided with and was possibly caused by Pleistocene climatic events. We analyzed 32 nuclear loci from individuals of P. balsamifera and P. trichocarpa to produce coalescent-based estimates of the divergence time between the 2 species. We coupled the coalescent analyses with paleodistribution models to assess the influence of climate change on species' range. Furthermore, measures of niche overlap were used to investigate patterns of ecological differentiation between species. We estimated the divergence date of P. balsamifera and P. trichocarpa at approximately 75 Ka, which corresponds closely with the onset of Marine Isotope Stage 4 (∼76 Ka) and a rapid increase in global ice volume. Significance tests of niche overlap, in conjunction with genetic estimates of migration, suggested that speciation occurred in allopatry, possibly resulting from the environmental effects of Pleistocene glacial cycles. Our results indicate that the divergence of keystone tree species, which have shaped community diversity in northern North American ecosystems, was recent and may have been a consequence of Pleistocene-era glaciation and climate change. PMID:22213709

  4. Deglaciation and latest Pleistocene and early Holocene glacier readvances on the Alaska Peninsula: Records of rapid climate change due to transient changes in solar intensity and atmospheric CO sub 2 content

    SciTech Connect

    Pinney, D.S.; Beget, J.E.

    1992-03-01

    Geologic mapping near Windy Creek, Katmai National Park, identified two sets of glacial deposits postdating late-Wisconsin Iliuk moraines and separated from them by volcaniclastic deposits laid down under ice-free conditions. Radiocarbon dating of organic material incorporated in the younger Katolinat till and in adjacent peat and lake sediments suggests that alpine glaciers on the northern Alaska Peninsula briefly expanded between ca. 8500 and 10,000 years B.P. Stratigraphic relationships and radiocarbon dates suggest an age for the older Ukak drift near the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary between ca. 10,000 and 12,000 years B.P. The authors suggest that rapid deglaciation following deposition of the Iliuk drift occurred ca. 13,000-12,000 years B.P. in response to large increases in global atmospheric greenhouse gas content, including C02. Short-term decreases in these concentrations, as recorded in polar ice cores, may be linked with brief periods of glacier expansion during the latest Pleistocene and early Holocene. A transient episode of low solar intensity may also have occurred during parts of the early Holocene. Rapid environmental changes and glacial fluctuations on the Alaska Peninsula may have been in response to transient changes in the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases and solar intensity.

  5. Paleoenvironments and climatic changes in the Italian Peninsula during the Early Pleistocene: evidence from dental wear patterns of the ungulate community of Coste San Giacomo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strani, Flavia; DeMiguel, Daniel; Sardella, Raffaele; Bellucci, Luca

    2015-08-01

    Quaternary glacial/interglacial alternations, influenced by orbital obliquity cycles with a 41-ka long periodicity, started in the northern hemisphere around 2.6 Ma ago. Such alternations affected the terrestrial ecosystems, especially those of the Mediterranean region, with changes in the floristic communities and the dispersal and radiation of a number of large mammal open dwellers. Analyses of tooth wear patterns of ungulates from the Early Pleistocene site of Coste San Giacomo allow for a more objective reconstruction on the paleoenvironments and the climate in the Italian Peninsula during this epoch. Our results show that this area was composed by a mosaic of biomes, in particular by steppe and woodlands/wetlands. Evidence of such heterogeneity is provided by the wide spectrum of feeding behaviours found among the numerous ungulate herbivores here recorded, with cervids (Axis cf. lyra, Croizetoceros cf. ramosus and Eucladoceros sp.) exhibiting browser diets, most of the bovids (Gazella borbonica and Leptobos sp. and Gallogoral meneghinii) being intermediate feeders and the equid Equus stenonis showing a strict grazer behaviour. These results provide new insights for a timing of changing ecosystems in Southern Europe and reveal the environmental legacy of this global climatic shift, which is essential for understanding the early occupation of Homo in Europe. Thus, our data provide new evidence that such an environmental heterogeneity and a wide spectrum of available food resources could have been the main factors favouring the settlement of early species of Homo in this area.

  6. Accelerating anthropogenic land surface change and the status of Pleistocene drumlins in New England.

    PubMed

    Woodcock, Deborah W; Rogan, John S; Blanchard, Samuel D

    2012-01-01

    Drumlins are glacially derived landforms that are prominent in the landscape over much of southern New England. We carried out a comprehensive ground-based survey in a three-town study area in eastern Massachusetts with the goals of establishing the extent to drumlins have been altered and assessing the associated environmental consequences and probable driving factors. Results show that many drumlins have been significantly altered through levelling and truncation (creation of steep cut and fill slopes), with projects involving movement of 1-1.5×10(6) m(3) of earth materials not now uncommon. Stormwater and wetlands infractions were documented at all the larger excavation sites and resulted in enforcement actions and fines in many cases; the broader environmental consequences of the loss/alteration of these forested uplands are harder to establish. The excavations are significant in terms of materials cycling: the movement of earth materials, when considered regionally, greatly exceeds natural denudation processes and is also greater than during other periods of high anthropogenic denudation. Our findings suggest that the region's glacial landscapes are at risk given current development patterns. The accelerating rate of land-surface change is undoubtedly also generalizable to other fast-developing regions of the United States. The landform alterations documented are part of a changing pattern of land use and vegetation cover since the Colonial era and are linked to shortages of land for development, current development and building practices, and lack of explicit rationales for preservation of the region's geoheritage. PMID:23056410

  7. Impact of suborbital climate changes in the North Atlantic on ice sheet dynamics at the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    HernáNdez-Almeida, I.; Sierro, F. J.; Cacho, I.; Flores, J. A.

    2012-09-01

    Early and Mid-Pleistocene climate, ocean hydrography and ice sheet dynamics have been reconstructed using a high-resolution data set (planktonic and benthicδ18O time series, faunal-based sea surface temperature (SST) reconstructions and ice-rafted debris (IRD)) record from a high-deposition-rate sedimentary succession recovered at the Gardar Drift formation in the subpolar North Atlantic (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Leg 306, Site U1314). Our sedimentary record spans from late in Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 31 to MIS 19 (1069-779 ka). Different trends of the benthic and planktonic oxygen isotopes, SST and IRD records before and after MIS 25 (˜940 ka) evidence the large increase in Northern Hemisphere ice-volume, linked to the cyclicity change from the 41-kyr to the 100-kyr that occurred during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT). Beside longer glacial-interglacial (G-IG) variability, millennial-scale fluctuations were a pervasive feature across our study. Negative excursions in the benthicδ18O time series observed at the times of IRD events may be related to glacio-eustatic changes due to ice sheets retreats and/or to changes in deep hydrography. Time series analysis on surface water proxies (IRD, SST and planktonicδ18O) of the interval between MIS 31 to MIS 26 shows that the timing of these millennial-scale climate changes are related to half-precessional (10 kyr) components of the insolation forcing, which are interpreted as cross-equatorial heat transport toward high latitudes during both equinox insolation maxima at the equator.

  8. Pleistocene climate change promoted rapid diversification of aquatic invertebrates in Southeast Australia

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The Pleistocene Ice Ages were the most recent geohistorical event of major global impact, but their consequences for most parts of the Southern hemisphere remain poorly known. We investigate a radiation of ten species of Sternopriscus, the most species-rich genus of epigean Australian diving beetles. These species are distinct based on genital morphology but cannot be distinguished readily by mtDNA and nDNA because of genotype sharing caused by incomplete lineage sorting. Their genetic similarity suggests a Pleistocene origin. Results We use a dataset of 3858 bp of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to reconstruct a phylogeny of Sternopriscus using gene and species trees. Diversification analyses support the finding of a recent rapid speciation event with estimated speciation rates of up to 2.40 species per MY, which is considerably higher than the proposed average rate of 0.16 species per MY for insects. Additionally, we use ecological niche modeling and analyze data on habitat preferences to test for niche divergence between species of the recent Sternopriscus radiation. These analyses show that the species can be characterized by a set of ecological variables referring to habitat, climate and altitude. Conclusions Our results suggest that the repeated isolation of populations in glacial refugia might have led to divergent ecological adaptations and the fixation of morphological traits supporting reproductive isolation and therefore may have promoted speciation. The recent Sternopriscus radiation fulfills many characteristics of a species flock and would be the first described example of an aquatic insect species flock. We argue that the species of this group may represent a stage in speciation past the species flock condition because of their mostly broad and often non-overlapping ranges and preferences for different habitat types. PMID:22873814

  9. A pollen-based environmental reconstruction in Lake Hazar (Eastern Turkey) during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene: Example for the Eastern Mediterranean Realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biltekin, Demet; Kadir Eris, Kürsad; Namik Cagatay, Memet; Nagihan Arslan, Tugce; Akcer On, Sena; Acar, Dursun

    2016-04-01

    Eastern Mediterranean realm historically is a melting area for ancient civilisations. This region has been therefore anthropogenically influenced since the Late Pleistocene. The understanding the processes between vegetation and climate, pollen analysis is a significant proxy in the investigation of past climate, vegetation records and the human influence on the environment. In this research, we carried out the environmental changes during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene using multi-proxy analysis (palynology, XRF core scanner, magnetic susceptibility and TOC) in the sediment core obtained from 54.39 m depth on the northern shelf of Lake Hazar using a percussion piston corer. Lake Hazar (38° 31' N-39° 25' E) is located at ca. 1255 m above sea level, 22 km south-east of Elazıǧ city in eastern Turkey in the south-east Taurus Mountains. It is an oligotrophic, alkaline soda and a tectonic lake being situated on East Anatolian Fault Zone (EAFZ). The chronology of the sediment core has been determined using AMS radiocarbon method. We present the first pollen record from the core sediments in Lake Hazar, providing insight into multi-millennial scale climatic changes over the last ~15 14C ka BP. In the piston core, the Bølling/Allerød period is associated by the presence of Pistacia reflecting milder winter conditions with high biological productivity. Onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) period is marked by increase in herbaceous plants and lake level lowering that can also be documented by high magnetic susceptibility and Ca/Ti ratio. The spread of deciduous Quercus at the beginning of Holocene can be attributed to significant forestation due to a high humidity that was presumably sufficient for the establishment of oak forest. An increase in Quercus continued in most of the early and middle Holocene. The 3rd millenium crisis is strongly characterized by an increase in herbal elements, and a decline in Quercus, pointing to dry climatic conditions. The most striking

  10. Paleoceanographic Change at the Eastern Margin of the Western Pacific Warm Pool during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Inah; Lee, Yong Il; Yoo, Chan Min; Hyeong, Kiseong; Kim, Wonnyon

    2015-04-01

    To investigate evolution of the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) during Pleistocene, a 560-cm-long sediment core was retrieved at the eastern margin of WPWP (PC090302, 5°53'N 177°26'W, 4136 m). The core sediment was analyzed for the stable isotope composition (δ18O and δ13C) of planktonic foraminifera G. sacculifer, CaCO3 and biogenic silica (BSi) contents, and the amount of coarse-size fraction (CSF; >63 μm, represented mostly by foraminifera). The depositional age was defined for the last ~1 Myr by two geomagnetic reversals; Matuyama and Jaramilo. The analyzed attributes show an abrupt change across the ~800 kyr boundary. The δ18O and δ13C compositions of G. sacculifer have shifted to the lighter values after 800 ka. Foraminiferal tests dominate the carbonate fraction in the younger interval with CSF of 15-35 wt%, while coccoliths are predominant in older intervals. The overall sedimentation rate and BSi content are also high in the lower interval, suggesting the permanent changes in primary production of the ocean surface across the ~800 kyr boundary. The enhanced production of BSi and coccoliths indicates fertile surface ocean condition at the study site for 800 ka to 1 Ma, coinciding with the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT) marked by a shift in the glacial-interglacial climatic variability from 41-kyr cycle to high-amplitude 100-kyr cycle. The possible explanation of the elevated surface production is the enhanced Hadley and Walker circulation during the MPT and subsequent intensification of equatorial upwelling. To support this interpretation, analyses for lipid biomarkers are on progress to delineate changes in sea surface temperature and the relative contribution of primary producers in the study site.

  11. Late Pleistocene-Holocene paleoclimate in southwestern Brazilian Amazonia with basis on floristic changes interpreted from isotope data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossetti, D. F.; Cohen, M. C. L.; Pessenda, L. C. R.

    2015-12-01

    Previous late Quaternary paleoclimatic interpretations in Amazonia have considered fluctuating dry to wet episodes with changes from savanna to forest, a view that concurs with other proposals of undisturbed rainforest despite global oscillations. Most of this debate is based on pollen data, but such elements are scarce in Amazonian sedimentary records. This work interprets vegetation in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in a southwestern Amazonia lowland using δ13C, δ15N, C/N integrated with geomorphology, sedimentology and radiocarbon dating. The goal was to reconstruct vegetation changes through time and analyze their relation to climate and sedimentary dynamics. Fluvial channel and floodplain deposits with phytoplankton, as well as C3 and C4 land plants, were recorded. Between 42,033-43,168 cal yr BP and 34,804-35,584 cal yr BP, C4 land plants increased as a result of a climate drier than todaýs. However, wet climate prevailed from this time-frame until the onset of the Last Glaciation Maximum. In the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, there was an increased contribution of C4 land plants potentially related to dry episodes. However, the increased contribution of this type of land plant is not synchronous with Holocene dry episodes previously documented for the Amazonian lowland. On the other hand, it is remarkable that the record of this plant type was verified only in sites with modern grassland confined to fluvial paleo-landforms. Thus, rather than due to a dry climatic episode, the recorded grassland expansion and its maintenance up to the present time in the studied sites is more likely associated with the evolution of depositional environments, being coincidental with the progressive abandonment of fluvial systems. An important conclusion derived from the present work is that great care must be placed when reconstructing late Quaternary paleoclimate in Amazonia based on changes in floristic patterns, as they may be also a response to sedimentary dynamics.

  12. Accelerating Anthropogenic Land Surface Change and the Status of Pleistocene Drumlins in New England

    PubMed Central

    Woodcock, Deborah W.; Rogan, John S.; Blanchard, Samuel D.

    2012-01-01

    Drumlins are glacially derived landforms that are prominent in the landscape over much of southern New England. We carried out a comprehensive ground-based survey in a three-town study area in eastern Massachusetts with the goals of establishing the extent to drumlins have been altered and assessing the associated environmental consequences and probable driving factors. Results show that many drumlins have been significantly altered through levelling and truncation (creation of steep cut and fill slopes), with projects involving movement of 1−1.5×106 m3 of earth materials not now uncommon. Stormwater and wetlands infractions were documented at all the larger excavation sites and resulted in enforcement actions and fines in many cases; the broader environmental consequences of the loss/alteration of these forested uplands are harder to establish. The excavations are significant in terms of materials cycling: the movement of earth materials, when considered regionally, greatly exceeds natural denudation processes and is also greater than during other periods of high anthropogenic denudation. Our findings suggest that the region’s glacial landscapes are at risk given current development patterns. The accelerating rate of land-surface change is undoubtedly also generalizable to other fast-developing regions of the United States. The landform alterations documented are part of a changing pattern of land use and vegetation cover since the Colonial era and are linked to shortages of land for development, current development and building practices, and lack of explicit rationales for preservation of the region’s geoheritage. PMID:23056410

  13. Environmental changes bridge evolutionary valleys

    PubMed Central

    Steinberg, Barrett; Ostermeier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    In the basic fitness landscape metaphor for molecular evolution, evolutionary pathways are presumed to follow uphill steps of increasing fitness. How evolution can cross fitness valleys is an open question. One possibility is that environmental changes alter the fitness landscape such that low-fitness sequences reside on a hill in alternate environments. We experimentally test this hypothesis on the antibiotic resistance gene TEM-15 β-lactamase by comparing four evolutionary strategies shaped by environmental changes. The strategy that included initial steps of selecting for low antibiotic resistance (negative selection) produced superior alleles compared with the other three strategies. We comprehensively examined possible evolutionary pathways leading to one such high-fitness allele and found that an initially deleterious mutation is key to the allele’s evolutionary history. This mutation is an initial gateway to an otherwise relatively inaccessible area of sequence space and participates in higher-order, positive epistasis with a number of neutral to slightly beneficial mutations. The ability of negative selection and environmental changes to provide access to novel fitness peaks has important implications for natural evolutionary mechanisms and applied directed evolution. PMID:26844293

  14. Environmental changes bridge evolutionary valleys.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, Barrett; Ostermeier, Marc

    2016-01-01

    In the basic fitness landscape metaphor for molecular evolution, evolutionary pathways are presumed to follow uphill steps of increasing fitness. How evolution can cross fitness valleys is an open question. One possibility is that environmental changes alter the fitness landscape such that low-fitness sequences reside on a hill in alternate environments. We experimentally test this hypothesis on the antibiotic resistance gene TEM-15 β-lactamase by comparing four evolutionary strategies shaped by environmental changes. The strategy that included initial steps of selecting for low antibiotic resistance (negative selection) produced superior alleles compared with the other three strategies. We comprehensively examined possible evolutionary pathways leading to one such high-fitness allele and found that an initially deleterious mutation is key to the allele's evolutionary history. This mutation is an initial gateway to an otherwise relatively inaccessible area of sequence space and participates in higher-order, positive epistasis with a number of neutral to slightly beneficial mutations. The ability of negative selection and environmental changes to provide access to novel fitness peaks has important implications for natural evolutionary mechanisms and applied directed evolution. PMID:26844293

  15. Environmental change in moorland landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, J.; Shotbolt, L.; Bonn, A.; Burt, T. P.; Chapman, P. J.; Dougill, A. J.; Fraser, E. D. G.; Hubacek, K.; Irvine, B.; Kirkby, M. J.; Reed, M. S.; Prell, C.; Stagl, S.; Stringer, L. C.; Turner, A.; Worrall, F.

    2007-05-01

    Moorlands are unique environments found in uplands of the temperate zone including in the UK, New Zealand and Ireland, and in some high altitude tropical zones such as the Andean páramos. Many have been managed through grazing, burning or drainage practices. However, there are a number of other environmental and social factors that are likely to drive changes in management practice over the next few decades. Some moorlands have been severely degraded and in some countries conservation and restoration schemes are being attempted, particularly to revegetate bare soils. Native or non-native woodland planting may increase in some moorland environments while atmospheric deposition of many pollutants may also vary. Moorland environments are very sensitive to changes in management, climate or pollution. This paper reviews how environmental management change, such as changes in grazing or burning practices, may impact upon moorland processes based on existing scientific understanding. It also reviews the impacts of changes in climate and atmospheric deposition chemistry. The paper focuses on the UK moorlands as a case study of moorland landscapes that are in different states of degradation. Future research that is required to improve our understanding of moorland processes is outlined. The paper shows that there is a need for more holistic and spatial approaches to understanding moorland processes and management. There is also a need to develop approaches that combine understanding of interlinked social and natural processes.

  16. Paleogeographic and paleodrainage changes during Pleistocene glaciations (Po Plain, Northern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garzanti, Eduardo; Vezzoli, Giovanni; Andò, Sergio

    2011-03-01

    The Po Basin, a Pliocene marine gulf between the Alps and the Apennines, was filled progressively from west to east and finally capped by fluvial sediments during the Pleistocene. By ~ 1.25 Ma, a meandering trunk river (paleoDora Baltea) reached westernmost Lombardia (Cilavegna); at ~ 1 Ma, the paleoAdda, entering the plain through the Como Valley, joined the paleoTicino in the Milano area. The coastline was directed NNE/SSW, and the open sea persisted east of ~ 10°E. Metamorphiclastic prodelta sediments of the Alpine trunk river reached central Lombardia (Pianengo) by MIS 36 and eastern Lombardia (Palosco) at MIS 31. Trunk-river delta foresets accumulated rapidly in easternmost Lombardia (Ghedi) during the Jaramillo. Fluvial sedimentation, continuous at Pianengo since MIS 28, eventually reached Ghedi at MIS 22. In this time interval, the embayment secluded between the prograding trunk-river delta and the Southalpine front was progressively filled by Southalpine fan deltas. With the onset of major Alpine glaciations in the late Matuyama, detrital supply increased markedly and fluvial deposits spread all over Lombardia. Because of outward growth of Alpine fans, the paleoDora Baltea was replaced at Cilavegna by the paleoSesia and paleoToce. Milano lay in the paleoAdda braidplain. Southalpine alluvial fans reached as far south as Pianengo. The paleoOglio glacier exited Lake Iseo at Cremignane. In the early Brunhes, accumulation rates markedly dropped in Lombardia; carbonaticlastic paleoPiave turbidites accumulated rapidly at Venezia, capped by the prograding paleoPo delta and finally by fluvial paleoBrenta-Bacchiglione deposits. Subsequently, accumulation rates decreased further, and paleosols developed during stages of prolonged exposure. The paleoTicino continued to flow southwest of Milano, where detritus from the paleoOlona is documented locally. PaleoAdda sediments were deposited at Milano and sedimentaclastic detritus at Trezzo up to a few meters from ground

  17. Sequence stratigraphy and environmental background of the late Pleistocene and Holocene occupation in the Southeast Primor'ye (the Russian Far East)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chlachula, Jiri; Krupyanko, Alexander A.

    2016-06-01

    The paper presents the results of Quaternary palaeoecology and geoarchaeology studies in the Zerkal'naya Basin, with new insights about sequenced natural shifts during the prehistoric occupation of this marginally explored NE Asian maritime territory. The Basin is part of the continental drainage system and the main physiographic and biotic corridor for peopling of the transitive coastal interior SE Primor'ye Region. The Final Pleistocene and Holocene environmental (biotic and abiotic) proxy records from the Upper/Final Palaeolithic to early historical sites document a dynamic climate change with vegetation cover transformations within riverine and mountain valley ecosystems of the Russian Far East. Most of the archaeological sites located on the low terraces and bedrock promontories along the main river channel and its tributary streams suggest traditional hunter gathered lifestyles based on seasonal salmon-fishing supplemented by pastoral economy. Tundra-forests with larch trees, dwarf birch thickets and polypod ferns from the basal stratigraphic units of the late Last Glacial occupation sites associated with the Upper Palaeolithic micro-blade and bifacial stone tool traditions (14C-dated to 19,000-12,000 cal yrs BP) indicate rather pronounced conditions and much lower MAT comparing today. Following a final Pleistocene cooling event, a major climate warming marked the onset of Holocene accompanied by a regional humidity increase promoting the formation of a mixed broadleaved-coniferous oak-dominant taiga, and culminating in the mid-Holocene Climatic Optimum. The appearance of mosaic parklands ca. 5,000-4,000 cal yrs BP. may be partly attributed to the expansion of the Far Eastern Neolithic cultures practicing forest clearance for pastures and dwellings. A progressing landscape opening indicated by the spread of light-demanding thickets and birch-dominated riverine biotopes with Artemisia suggests a further vegetation cover transformation during the late Neolithic

  18. Genetic Consequences of Pleistocene Sea-Level Change on Hawaiian Megalagrion Damselflies.

    PubMed

    Jones, Brandon R; Jordan, Steve

    2015-01-01

    The Hawaiian Islands have long been an important laboratory for evolutionary research because their geological histories offer many natural experiments. For example, the Maui Nui complex, 4 islands that have been repeatedly connected and separated by fluctuating sea levels, lie near Hawaii Island, which has never been connected to another island. Here, we examine the genetic consequences of fluctuating island areas and connectivity using microsatellite analysis of 2 widespread, endemic Hawaiian damselflies. We screened 152 Megalagrion xanthomelas individuals from 5 islands at 14 loci and 34 Megalagrion pacificum from 3 islands at 11 loci to explore dispersal patterns and genetic diversity. Our data suggest that Pleistocene fluctuations in sea level alternated between creating land bridges that facilitated gene flow between once and future islands, and ocean channels that inhibited dispersal. Furthermore, interglacial periods of high sea stands likely reduced suitable habitat availability, causing the loss of genetic diversity on Maui Nui due to bottlenecks and founder events. Finally, we propose that gene flow from Molokai to Lanai may be enhanced by assisted dispersal from the trade winds that are channeled between volcanoes on western Maui and eastern Molokai. Our results emphasize the importance of variable microevolutionary processes in Hawaiian biogeography. PMID:26093025

  19. Terminal Pleistocene change in mammal communities in southeastern Washington State, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyman, R. Lee

    2014-03-01

    Small mammal communities in western North America experienced declines in taxonomic richness across the late Pleistocene to Holocene transition (PHT), a recent natural global warming event. One community also experienced a decline in evenness and others replaced one species with a congener. Variability in response of small mammal communities to PHT warming is apparent. At the presently arid and xeric Marmes site in the Columbia Basin of southeastern Washington State, megafauna were absent by about 13,000 cal yr BP, evenness of small mammals declined about 11,700 cal yr BP and again about 11,400 cal yr BP whereas richness declined about 11,400 cal BP. Regional faunal turnover was, however, minimal among small-bodied taxa. Local mammal communities are depauperate as a result of megafaunal extinctions and subsequent decreases in small-mammal richness and evenness. The latter chronologically corresponds with a decrease in primary productivity driven by increasing warmth and aridity. More faunas must be studied in order to fully document the range of variability in the responses of mammalian communities to PHT warming. Documentation of patterns in those responses will facilitate understanding and enhance predictive accuracy with respect to responses of mammalian communities to modern global warming.

  20. The fluvial system response to abrupt climate change during the last cold stage: the Upper Pleistocene River Thames fluvial succession at Ashton Keynes, UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, S. G.; Maddy, D.; Scaife, R. G.

    2001-02-01

    The last interglacial-glacial cycle (125-10 ka BP) is characterised by numerous rapid shifts in global climate on sub-Milankovitch timescales, recorded in the ocean and ice core records. These climatic fluctuations are clearly recorded in those European terrestrial sedimentary sequences that span this time period without interruption. In the UK, only fragmentary Upper Pleistocene sequences exist, mainly within the fluvial archive of the major river systems such as the Thames. The response of the upper River Thames to abrupt fluctuations in climate is documented in the fluvial sediments beneath the Floodplain Terrace (Northmoor Member of the Upper Thames Formation) at Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire. A number of criteria are set out by which significant changes in the fluvial system may be established from the sedimentological, palaeoecological and geochronological information contained within the succession. The sedimentary succession is divisible into four facies associations, on the basis of their sedimentology and bounding surface characteristics. These represent distinct phases of fluvial activity at the site and allow changes in fluvial style to be inferred. Palaeoecological reconstructions from pollen analysis of peats within the sequence provides an indication of the nature and direction of Late Glacial environmental change and optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon dating methods provide chronological control on the sequence. These data suggest that major changes in fluvial style are recorded within the succession, which can be related to the climatic fluctuations that took place on the oxygen isotope stage 5a/4 transition (approximately 70 ka BP) and the Devensian Late Glacial climatic warm-cold-warm oscillation (13-11 ka BP). The changes in fluvial style are a result of variations in sediment supply to the river resulting from changes in slope stability, vegetation cover and cold-climate mass movement processes and variations in discharge regime

  1. Millennial-scale climate variability in response to changing glacial and orbital boundary conditions during the Mid-Pleistocene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferretti, Patrizia; Crowhurst, Simon; Drysdale, Russell; Bajo, Petra; Barbante, Carlo

    2016-04-01

    The Mid-Pleistocene transition represents perhaps the most important climate transition in the Quaternary period, yet it is one of the most poorly understood. Although the exact timing and mechanism of the onset of the "100 kyr" regime remain a matter of debate, it is well established that the overall periodicity of the glacial-interglacial cycles changed from a dominant 41 kyr obliquity periodicity prior to ~0.9 Ma to a dominant late Pleistocene 100 kyr variance. This change in the frequency domain was associated with an increase in the amplitude of global ice volume variations that, superimposed on a long-term climatic trend towards more glacial conditions over millions of years, produced some of the most extreme glaciations recorded. This interval of time has often been considered to be important in relation to long-term Milankovitch-scale climate variability. In contrast, here, special emphasis will be placed on assessing the presence and the characteristics of the suborbital-scale variability, and reconstructing the evolution of millennial-scale climate variability as the average climate state evolve toward generally colder conditions with larger ice sheets, and the spectral character of climate variability shifted from dominantly 41 kyr to 100 kyr. Appealing evidence suggests that millennial-scale climate variability is amplified during times of intense forcing changes, but this rapid variability has not been thoroughly explored yet at the time when the major changes in climate periodicity occurred. To address these questions, we have examined the record of climatic conditions from Marine Isotope Stages 25 to 16 (~970-650 ka) using high-resolution stable isotope records from benthic and planktonic foraminifera from a sedimentary sequence in the North Atlantic (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 306, Site U1313) in order to assess millennial-scale changes in sea-surface and deep-water conditions, the dynamics of thermohaline deep-water circulation

  2. Microbial Community Dynamics from Permafrost Across the Pleistocene-Holocene Boundary and Response to Abrupt Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammad, A.; Mahony, M.; Froese, D. G.; Lanoil, B. D.

    2014-12-01

    Earth is currently undergoing rapid warming similar to that observed about 10,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene. We know a considerable amount about the adaptations and extinctions of mammals and plants at the Pleistocene/Holocene (P/H) boundary, but relatively little about changes at the microbial level. Due to permafrost soils' freezing anoxic conditions, they act as microbial diversity archives allowing us to determine how microbial communities adapted to the abrupt warming at the end of P. Since microbial community composition only helps differentiate viable and extant microorganisms in frozen permafrost, microbial activity in thawing permafrost must be investigated to provide a clear understanding of microbial response to climate change. Current increased temperatures will result in warming and potential thaw of permafrost and release of stored organic carbon, freeing it for microbial utilization; turning permafrost into a carbon source. Studying permafrost viable microbial communities' diversity and activity will provide a better understanding of how these microorganisms respond to soil edaphic variability due to climate change across the P/H boundary, providing insight into the changes that the soil community is currently undergoing in this modern era of rapid climate change. Modern soil, H and P permafrost cores were collected from Lucky Lady II site outside Dawson City, Yukon. 16S rRNA high throughput sequencing of permafrost DNA showed the same trends for total and viable community richness and diversity with both decreasing with permafrost depth and only the richness increasing in mid and early P. The modern, H and P soils had 50.9, 33.9, and 27.3% unique viable species and only 14% of the total number of viable species were shared by all soils. Gas flux measurements of thawed permafrost showed metabolic activity in modern and permafrost soils, aerobic CH­­4 consumption in modern, some H and P soils, and anaerobic CH­­4 production in one H

  3. Late Pleistocene paleosols in the lower Mississippi River Valley: Documentation of regional base level change

    SciTech Connect

    Autin, W.J. ); Aslan, A. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    Late Pleistocene alluvial paleosols of the Mississippi River are developed in constructional fluvial deposits of ancestral meander belt, overbank, and flood basin deposits. At the type section of the Mt. Pleasant Bluff Alloformation of the Prairie Complex, the upper paleosol developed between 27 and 22 ka as part of a sequence of stacked paleosols that reflect cycles of an abandoned channel fill draped by proximal overbank deposits. Peoria Loess and mixed loess accumulated between 22 and 12 ka to bury the alluvial sequence. Base level lowering coincided with Late Wisconsinan glaciation and a minimum sea level at about 20 to 18 ka. Subsequent Holocene alluvial aggradation and valley wall plantation produced the present terrace escarpment. Soil morphology of the Mt. Pleasant Bluff Alloformation reflects two stages of soil development related to the removal of soils from an active flood plain environment to a terraced landscape position. Based on comparison with Holocene analogs, the first stage of pedogenesis in an active flood plain environment produced a hydromorphic soil as evidenced by color mottles, iron and carbonate nodules, and moderately developed B and C horizons. The second stage of development produced a more oxidized and leached soil profile as evidenced by an increase in soil color brightness, kaolinite content, and a decrease in smectite content and soil pH. In addition, pedogenic mixing by biogenic processes probably incorporated the A and E horizons into the overlying loess. A stratigraphic succession of alluvial paleosols may contain a record of regional base level rise and fall. However, an evaluation of eustatic, climatic, and/or tectonic influences on regional base level must first take into account local factors that control flood plain sedimentation and erosion.

  4. New Tooth Enamel Isotopic Data from the West Coast of South Africa and a Comparison of Terrestrial and Marine Records of Plio-Pleistocene Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehmann, S. B.; Levin, N. E.; Stynder, D. D.; Bishop, L. C.; Forrest, F.; Braun, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    The Plio-Pleistocene transition marks a change in the Earth's climate from relative global warmth to colder temperatures with the initiation of glacial-interglacial cycles. Proxy records from marine cores off SW Africa archive changes in ocean upwelling and terrestrial vegetation that suggest increased aridity across the Plio-Pleistocene transition. Today, the SW African coast has a Winter Rainfall Zone (WRZ) and is dominated by C3 vegetation, which results from the regional high-pressure system and upwelling in the Benguela Current. While marine records provide an integrated perspective on regional responses to global climate change, terrestrial paleoclimate records are needed to assess the effects of these changes in a heterogeneous environment like southern Africa. Archeological and paleontological sites can provide useful proxies of paleoclimate, but many southern African sites are poorly dated or postdate the Plio-Pleistocene transition. Langebaanweg (LBW, ~5 Ma) and Elandsfontein (EFT, ~1.0-0.6 Ma) are sites on the SW coast of South Africa that are rich in fossil mammals and represent landscapes where surface water was more prevalent than it is in today's dry coastal environment. Fossil teeth of large herbivores (e.g. hippopotamids, giraffids, bovids, rhinocerotids, suids and equids) are preserved at both sites and enable isotopic studies of vegetation and climate across the Plio-Pleistocene transition. In this study, carbon and oxygen isotopic data are reported for 100 fossil teeth (11 herbivore taxa) at EFT and are compared to published isotopic data from early Pliocene teeth from LBW for many of the same genera. δ13C values of the EFT tooth enamel range from 13 to 8‰ (VPDB) and δ18O values range from -2 to +3‰ (VPDB). Among the EFT data, there are consistent differences in the distribution of both δ13C and δ18O values among the sampled taxa. When the EFT and LBW isotopic results are compared, δ13C values from the two sites are similar within each

  5. Identifying signals of Late Pleistocene climate change from cosmogenic 10Be chronologies of moraines in the western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laabs, B. J. C.; Licciardi, J. M.; Leonard, E. M.; Munroe, J. S.

    2015-12-01

    Cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating has become the most widely applied method of developing ages of terminal moraines in the western U.S. Advances in the precision of analytical measurements along with a more accurate understanding of spatial and temporal variations in the production of in situ 10Be have improved the accuracy of cosmogenic exposure dating of moraines. Such improvements afford more accurate assessment of the impact of regional and global-scale climate changes of the Late Pleistocene on glaciation in the western U.S. A great number of new and recalculated cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages of moraines are considered here to identify the most probable drivers of changes in ice extent at the end of the last glacial period. The last Pleistocene glaciation culminated in the western U.S. during marine oxygen isotope stage 2, before or during the onset of the global Last Glacial Maximum at ca. 26.5 ka. Terminal moraine abandonment in several ranges corresponds to the end of the Last Glacial Maximum at ca. 19.0 ka. This observation indicates that most mountain glaciers started retreating in step with the decline of global ice volume, and possibly in response to rising insolation at northern middle latitudes. In some regions, such as the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin, mountain glaciers apparently advanced to or persisted near their maximum terminus positions well after the start of global deglaciation, during the interval of the Oldest Dryas/Heinrich Stadial 1 (ca. 19.0-14.6 ka). Although changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation patterns during this time likely affected mountain glacier extent, rapid ice retreat commenced in nearly all settings by 17.0-16.0 ka. This indication of warming prior to the onset of the Bølling-Allerød interval at ca. 14.6 ka is consistent with records from elsewhere at northern middle latitudes, and supports the hypothesis that warming of the region was in phase with a global rise in atmospheric CO2. This

  6. Pleistocene Climate, Phylogeny, and Climate Envelope Models: An Integrative Approach to Better Understand Species' Response to Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Lawing, A. Michelle; Polly, P. David

    2011-01-01

    Mean annual temperature reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change increases at least 1.1°C to 6.4°C over the next 90 years. In context, a change in climate of 6°C is approximately the difference between the mean annual temperature of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and our current warm interglacial. Species have been responding to changing climate throughout Earth's history and their previous biological responses can inform our expectations for future climate change. Here we synthesize geological evidence in the form of stable oxygen isotopes, general circulation paleoclimate models, species' evolutionary relatedness, and species' geographic distributions. We use the stable oxygen isotope record to develop a series of temporally high-resolution paleoclimate reconstructions spanning the Middle Pleistocene to Recent, which we use to map ancestral climatic envelope reconstructions for North American rattlesnakes. A simple linear interpolation between current climate and a general circulation paleoclimate model of the LGM using stable oxygen isotope ratios provides good estimates of paleoclimate at other time periods. We use geologically informed rates of change derived from these reconstructions to predict magnitudes and rates of change in species' suitable habitat over the next century. Our approach to modeling the past suitable habitat of species is general and can be adopted by others. We use multiple lines of evidence of past climate (isotopes and climate models), phylogenetic topology (to correct the models for long-term changes in the suitable habitat of a species), and the fossil record, however sparse, to cross check the models. Our models indicate the annual rate of displacement in a clade of rattlesnakes over the next century will be 2 to 3 orders of magnitude greater (430-2,420 m/yr) than it has been on average for the past 320 ky (2.3 m/yr). PMID:22164305

  7. Mineral-magnetic Record of Pleistocene Climatic Changes In The Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinarès-Turell, J.; Hoogakker, B. A. A.; Roberts, A. P.; Rohling, E. J.; Sagnotti, L.

    High resolution magnetic measurements on u-channels from Mediterranean piston cores LC07 (3808.72N/1004.73E, length 23.66 m, water depth 488 m) and LC10 (3512.77 N/1634.88E, 19.86 m, 1322 m) are evaluated. The age model for these cores is derived by a two-step approach: firstly, the magnetostratigraphic results which document the upper Jaramillo (990 ka) and the Matuyama/Brunhes (778 ka) transi- tions in both cores and possibly the Punaruu (~1122 ka) and Cobb Mountain (~1.19 ka) in core LC10 permit to derive a preliminary age model by assuming constant sedimentation rates between the astronomically calibrated reversal boundaries (mean sedimentation rates are 1.9 and 2.3 cm/kyr in cores LC10 and LC07, respectively). In a second step, rock magnetic parameters which appear to be climatically controlled are used to derive a precise astronomically tuned age model for the studied interval by cor- relation to a global ice volume model derived from summer insolation at 65N. The final age model is further corroborated by oxygen isotope data from the Tyrrhenian core LC07, which is apparently homogeneous in lithology, and the presence of some sapropel/sapropelitic layers in the Ionian core LC10 that correlate with pronounced insolation maxima peaks. Warm interglacial periods are characterized by relatively small ferrimagnetic grain sizes and cold glacial intervals are dominated by a relatively coarser fraction as indicated by the kARM/k values and by the hysteresis parameters. Also, the relatively lower values of the S-ratio within the glacial periods are indica- tive of an increased high coercivity contribution, that may reflect an enhanced eolian input. High kARM/k values for core LC07 are compatible with stable single-domain (SD) particles of probable bacterial origin. On the other hand, the Pleistocene climatic variability in core LC10 seems to be better expressed by the HIRM parameter which is a measure of the concentration of the high-coercivity magnetic fraction. The

  8. Calibrating a new proxy for Pleistocene climate change in southern Africa: the Mutual Ostracod Temperature Range method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horne, David; Martens, Koen

    2010-05-01

    The Mutual Ostracod Temperature Range (MOTR) method has so far been applied only in the European Pleistocene, where it is proving effective in producing past air temperature range estimates that compare well with those obtained by other proxy methods (Horne, 2007; Horne & Mezquita, 2008; Holmes et al., in press). As an essential preliminary step towards applying the method in southern Africa, we have calibrated a training set of living ostracod species' distributions against a modern climate dataset and other available environmental data. The modern ostracod dataset is based on material held by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, which constitutes the most diverse and comprehensive collection of southern African nonmarine ostracods available anywhere in the world. To date, c. 150 nominal species have been described from southern Africa (Martens, 2001) out of c. 450 species in the total Afrotropical area (Martens et al., 2008). We used an edited dataset comprising a total of 2,118 records of ostracod species from 748 localities in southern Africa, ranging in latitude from approximately 17 degrees S to 35 degrees S. We have explored the potential value and limitations of this training set for the estimation of past climatic parameters including mean July, January and annual air temperatures, precipitation, water conductivity and pH. Holmes, J. A., Atkinson, T., Darbyshire, D. P. F., Horne, D. J., Joordens, J., Roberts, M. B., Sinka, K. J. & Whittaker, J. E. (accepted, in press). Middle Pleistocene climate and hydrological environment at the Boxgrove hominin site (West Sussex, UK) from ostracod records. Quaternary Science Reviews, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.02.024, 1-13. Horne, D. J. 2007. A Mutual Temperature Range method for Quaternary palaeoclimatic analysis using European nonmarine Ostracoda. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26, 1398-1415. Horne, D. J. & Mezquita, F. 2008. Palaeoclimatic applications of large databases: developing and testing

  9. Conference on Continental margin mass wasting and Pleistocene sea-level changes, August 13-15, 1980

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Folger, David W., (Edited By); Hathaway, J.C.

    1987-01-01

    A conference on Continental Margin Mass Wasting and Pleistocene Sea-Level Changes was held in Woods Hole, Mass., August 13-15, 1980. Forty-seven participants, representing many government, academic, and industrial organizations, discussed the current state of knowledge of the features of marine mass wasting and of the interrelations of factors influencing them. These factors include sediment source, composition, textures, sedimentation rates, climatic and sea-level changes, gas and gas hydrate (clathrate) contents of sediments, geotechnical characteristics, oceanographic and morphological factors, ground-water processes, and seismic events. The part played by these factors in the processes and features of mass movement and the engineering considerations imposed by the emplacement of manmade structures on the sea floor were considered vital to the evaluation of hazards involved in offshore exploration and development. The conference concluded with a call for bold programs to establish the probability of occurrence and the quantitative importance of these factors and to devise more reliable means of measurement, particularly in place, of the characteristics of the sediment and features involved.

  10. Late Pleistocene to Holocene paleoceanographic and paleo-climatic changes in Gulf of Gemlik, Sea of Marmara, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filikci, Betül; Kadir Eriş, K.; Namık Çaǧatay, M.; Gasperini, Luca; Sabuncu, Asen; Acar, Dursun; Yalamaz, Burak

    2016-04-01

    Gulf of Gemlik is an east-west oriented marine inlet with a maximum depth of 113 m in the south-eastern part of the Sea of Marmara. It is located on the middle branch of the North Anatolian Fault Zone. While the Gulf of Gemlik is separated from the SoM by a bedrock sill at -50 m, there were presumably several disconnections during the Late Pleistocene to Holocene, but the timing of the youngest connection around the onset of the Holocene is still controversial. Here, we attempt to elucidate the paleoceanographic and paleoenvironmental changes during the late glacial-Holocene using the multi-proxy analysis of a core extending back to 13 ka BP. The multi-proxy data include physical and geochemical properties together with AMS 14C ages. The core sediments covering the time period of the last 13 ka BP consists of two main lithostratigraphic units. The lower Unit L2 represents the lacustrine phase of the gulf prior to 10.6 ka BP, while the upper Unit L1 is an overlying transgressive mud drape deposited during the main part of the Holocene. Unit L2 deposited prior 10.6 ka BP represents Bølling-Allerød and Younger Dryas climatic periods, when prograding shelf edge sediments were deposited in the form of well sorted medium sands with brackish water bivalve shells (Dreissenapolymorpha). At the beginning of the Holocene, the rising sea level in the Sea of Marmara breached the -50 m sill at 10.6 ka BP, and therefore the Gulf of Gemlik was converted into a marine realm. Soon after, the water stratifications allowed to the formation of the previously studied two sapropels in the gulf, as shown by increased TOC contents. μ-XRF Ca/Ti and Sr/Ca profiles of Unit L1 provide evidence of rapid climatic changes at 8.2 ka BP and 4.2 ka BP, representing cold and dry short climatic periods which are well correlated with previous marine and lake studies in İznik Lake south of the Sea of Marmara. Keywords: Gemlik Gulf, core, paleoclimate, Late Pleistocene to Holocene

  11. Landscape response to late Pleistocene climate change in NW Argentina: Sediment flux modulated by basin geometry and connectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schildgen, Taylor F.; Robinson, Ruth A. J.; Savi, Sara; Phillips, William M.; Spencer, Joel Q. G.; Bookhagen, Bodo; Scherler, Dirk; Tofelde, Stefanie; Alonso, Ricardo N.; Kubik, Peter W.; Binnie, Steven A.; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2016-02-01

    Fluvial fill terraces preserve sedimentary archives of landscape responses to climate change, typically over millennial timescales. In the Humahuaca Basin of NW Argentina (Eastern Cordillera, southern Central Andes), our 29 new optically stimulated luminescence ages of late Pleistocene fill terrace sediments demonstrate that the timing of past river aggradation occurred over different intervals on the western and eastern sides of the valley, despite their similar bedrock lithology, mean slopes, and precipitation. In the west, aggradation coincided with periods of increasing precipitation, while in the east, aggradation coincided with decreasing precipitation or more variable conditions. Erosion rates and grain size dependencies in our cosmogenic 10Be analyses of modern and fill terrace sediments reveal an increased importance of landsliding compared to today on the west side during aggradation, but of similar importance during aggradation on the east side. Differences in the timing of aggradation and the 10Be data likely result from differences in valley geometry, which causes sediment to be temporarily stored in perched basins on the east side. It appears as if periods of increasing precipitation triggered landslides throughout the region, which induced aggradation in the west, but blockage of the narrow bedrock gorges downstream from the perched basins in the east. As such, basin geometry and fluvial connectivity appear to strongly influence the timing of sediment movement through the system. For larger basins that integrate subbasins with differing geometries or degrees of connectivity (like Humahuaca), sedimentary responses to climate forcing are likely attenuated.

  12. The recovery of ancient DNA from Dasypus bellus provides new possibilities for investigating late Pleistocene mammal response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Letts, Brandon; Shapiro, Beth

    2010-05-01

    Dasypus bellus, the 'beautiful armadillo,' is well known as a casualty of the Pleistocene megafaunal mass extinction event. Appearing in the fossil record about 2.5 Mya, D. bellus was widespread throughout the mid to southern United States and Mexico until it went extinct by about 10 kya. It was replaced by D. novemcinctus, the nine-banded armadillo, which is morphologically identical but smaller. The exact taxonomic status of D. bellus and its phylogenetic relationship with D. novemcinctus has been a subject of debate. In particular, it remains unresolved whether D. bellus was more closely related to North American than South American D. novemcinctus. To address this, we extracted and sequenced fragments of ancient mitochondrial DNA from surprisingly well-preserved remains of D. bellus recovered from Mefford Cave in Florida. Our results reveal a surprisingly close relationship between the extinct D. bellus and North American D. novemcinctus. Although southern climates have been considered inhospitable for the preservation of ancient DNA, thousands of bones per individual and the propensity of the armadillo to seek out shelter in caves makes preservation more likely than for other organisms. The armadillo may therefore make an excellent proxy organism for investigating the influence of climate change on animal populations south of the cold permafrost regions.

  13. Exploring Environmental Change: An Environmental Education Kit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funk, Jean; And Others

    This educational resource kit consists of five illustrated panels and the Teacher/Leader Guide. The five illustrations show a camp setting over a time sequence from the 1940s or 1950s through 1986. Each panel illustrates the speed and the causes of change, showing the addition of factories across the camp lake; alteration, razing, and building of…

  14. Late Pleistocene variations in Antarctica sea ice. I - Effect of orbital isolation changes. II - Effect of interhemispheric deep-ocean heat exchange

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crowley, Thomas J.; Parkinson, Claire L.

    1988-01-01

    A dynamic-thermodynamic sea-ice model is presently used to ascertain the effects of orbitally-induced insolation changes on Antarctic sea-ice cover; the results thus obtained are compared with modified CLIMAP reconstructions of sea-ice 18,000 years ago. The minor influence exerted by insolation on Pleistocene sea-ice distributions is attributable to a number of factors. In the second part of this investigation, variations in the production of warm North Atlantic Deep Water are proposed as a mechanism constituting the linkage between climate fluctuations in the Northern and Southern hemispheres during the Pleistocene; this hypothesis is tested by examining the sensitivity of the dynamic-thermodynamic model for Antarctic sea-ice changes in vertical ocean heat flux, and comparing the simulations with modified CLIMAP sea-ice maps for 18,000 years ago.

  15. A ~600 kyr duration Early Pleistocene record from the West Turkana (Kenya) HSPDP drill site: elemental XRF variability to reconstruct climate change in Turkana Boy's backyard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockhecke, M.; Beck, C. C.; Brown, E. T.; Cohen, A.; Deino, A. L.; Feibel, C. S.; Sier, M.

    2015-12-01

    Outcrops in the Kenyan and Ethiopian rift valleys document repeated occurrences of freshwater lakes and wooded landscapes over the past 4 million years at locations that are currently seasonally-dry savanna. Studies of the rich fossil records, in combination with outcropping lacustrine sequences, led to major breakthroughs in our knowledge of driving factors in human evolution. However, study of continuous drill core from ancient lake basins provides a basis for to unravel East African climate dynamics in an unseen fashion. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP), and the related Olorgesailie Drilling Project, recovered ~2 km of drill core since 2012. A major project goal is characterization of East African paleoclimate in order to evaluate its impact on hominin evolution. XRF core scanning data provide a means of evaluating records of past environmental conditions continuously and at high resolution. However, the HSPDP records contain complex lithologies reflecting repeated episodes of inundation and desiccation of the lake basins. Nevertheless, careful data evaluation based on detailed lithostratigraphy, which includes smear-slide microscopic analyses and X-radiographic images, allows disentanglement of complex signals and robust identification of continuous sequences for any cyclostratigraphic and statistical analysis. At the HSPDP Turkana Basin site a 175.6 m-long core the covers the Early Pleistocene time window during which hominids first expanded out of Africa and marine records document reorganization of tropical climate and the development of the strong Walker circulation. This drill site carries particular interest as it is located in only 2.5 km from the location of one of the most complete hominin skeletons ever recovered (Turkana Boy). Here we present a methodological approach to address the highly variable lithostratigraphy of the East African records to establish comprehensive and environmentally meaningful paleoclimate timeseries

  16. The intensification of deep-water mass changes in the deep Atlantic Ocean throughout the Mid-Pleistocene climate transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poirier, R. K.; Billups, K.

    2012-12-01

    We examine the deep-water hydrography at Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) Site 1063 (subtropical North Atlantic, ~4600 meter water depth) using high-resolution benthic stable isotope (δ18O, δ13C) and grain size (% coarse, % Sortable Silt - SS, SS mean diameter) analyses from ~490 to 740 ka. The benthic foraminiferal δ13C record from Site 1063 provides a proxy for changes in the relative flux of lower North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) through time. This record will refine the timing of increases in the formation of the densest components of NADW on the orbital and millennial-scale. We explore whether or not grain size analyses provide a proxy for changes in the relative velocity of the deep current. The new stable isotope data from Site 1063, when combined with the records of Poli et al. (2000), Ferretti et al. (2005), and Billups et al. (2011), tuned to the global benthic isotope stack (LR05) of Liesicki and Raymo (2004), provides a complete deep water record spanning Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 25 to MIS 8 (~1020 to ~240 ka). Compiling published records from 16 additional sites, we use the Ocean Data View (ODV) program (Schlitzer, 2012) to map deep-water mass distributions through time. Results reveal an increasing distribution and influence of the NADW in relation to the Antarctic Bottom Water mass within interglacial periods beginning at MIS 15 continuing though the end of the Site 1063 record within MIS 9. Preliminary grain size analyses over a short interval of time reveal regular high frequency variations on the millennial scale. We anticipate having complete, high-resolution stable isotope and grain size records to discuss the hydrographic changes within the MIS 16/15 glacial/interglacial transition, as well as throughout the Mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT).

  17. Is there a component of Pleistocene CO2 change associated with carbonate dissolution cycles?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keir, Robin S.

    1995-10-01

    The only processes which could have decreased atmospheric CO2 during glacial climates without appreciably changing the carbon isotope distribution in the sea appear to be (1) dissolved calcium carbonate input to the ocean, e.g., coral reef buildup and erosion, (2) the ocean solubility pump, due to changes in surface temperature or air-sea exchange, or (3) decreased biological production of calcium carbonate. It is assumed here that one of these mechanisms caused part of the atmospheric CO2 changes recorded in the 200-kyr-long Vostok ice core. Two residual CO2 records are generated by scaling the δ13C difference between planktonic and benthic foraminifera in marine sediment cores to -82 ppm CO2 per 1‰ increase in Δδ13C and subtracting from this the measured CO2 concentration in the ice core. Both residual CO2 records exhibit two broad maximums between about 20-50 ka and 140-200 ka, indicating that during these times, about 40 ppm of the CO2 decrease from interglacial levels cannot be explained by the interaction of the ocean's biological and vertical mixing cycles. The shape of the residual CO2 curve is similar qualitatively to the variation of calcium carbonate in central equatorial Pacific sediments during this time period, which would imply that changes in dissolved carbonate input to the ocean contributed the added component of CO2 change. However, recent models of atmospheric CO2 change in response to changing alkaline input to the ocean exhibit about a 25 to 35 ppm decrease per 1013 mol yr-1 increase in dissolved CaCO3 input. If compensation for the changing input is occurring mostly within an area of about 40 × 106 km² below the lysocline in the Indo-Pacific, the change in carbonate accumulation rate corresponding to a -40 ppm CO2 change would be a minimum of 3 mg cm-2 yr-1. This can be compared to glacial increases of 0.5 to 1.0 mg cm-2 yr-1 during the last 200 kyr in central equatorial Pacific sediments. Thus, the added glacial accumulation of

  18. Ecological change on California's Channel Islands from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rick, Torben C.; Sillett, T. Scott; Ghalambor, Cameron K.; Hofman, Courtney A.; Ralls, Katherine; Anderson, R. Scott; Boser, Christina L.; Braje, Todd J.; Cayan, Daniel R.; Chesser, R. Terry; Collins, Paul W.; Erlandson, Jon M.; Faulkner, Kate R.; Fleischer, Robert; Funk, W. Chris; Galipeau, Russell; Huston, Ann; King, Julie; Laughrin, Lyndal L.; Maldonado, Jesus; McEachern, Kathryn; Muhs, Daniel R.; Newsome, Seth D.; Reeder-Myers, Leslie; Still, Christopher; Morrison, Scott A.

    2014-01-01

    Historical ecology is becoming an important focus in conservation biology and offers a promising tool to help guide ecosystem management. Here, we integrate data from multiple disciplines to illuminate the past, present, and future of biodiversity on California's Channel Islands, an archipelago that has undergone a wide range of land-use and ecological changes. Our analysis spans approximately 20,000 years, from before human occupation and through Native American hunter–gatherers, commercial ranchers and fishers, the US military, and other land managers. We demonstrate how long-term, interdisciplinary research provides insight into conservation decisions, such as setting ecosystem restoration goals, preserving rare and endemic taxa, and reducing the impacts of climate change on natural and cultural resources. We illustrate the importance of historical perspectives for understanding modern patterns and ecological change and present an approach that can be applied generally in conservation management planning.

  19. Pliocene-Pleistocene paleo-productivity changes in the Bering Sea: results from IODP Expedition 323 (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, K.; Ravelo, A. C.; Alvarez Zarikian, C. A.; Nagashima, T.; Kanematsu, Y.; Hioki, Y.; Ikehara, M.; Kim, S.; Khim, B.; Aiello, I. W.; Onodera, J.; Radi, T.; Sakamoto, T.; Stroynowski, Z. N.; Asahi, H.; Chen, M.; Colmenero-Hidalgo, E.; Husum, K.; Ijiri, A.; Kender, S.; Lund, S.; Okada, M.; Okazaki, Y.; Horikawa, K.; Seki, O.; Iodp Expedition 323 Shipboard Scientists

    2010-12-01

    IODP Exp 323 drilled 7 sites to study Bering Sea paleoceanography, and recovered 5741 m of high quality sediments with high sedimentation rates covering the last 5 myrs. The sites included hemipelagic Bowers Ridge and a N-S transect of slope sites proximal to the Bering shelf, covering water depths from 818 to 3174 m. The bulk of the cores were obtained with APC and thus the disturbance was minimal so that detailed high resolution paleoceanographic studies are feasible for the first time in this high latitude climate sensitive Pacific marginal sea setting. Objectives include the characterization of changes that occurred in the Bering Sea around the times of (1) onset of the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation (NHG, 2.7 Ma); (2) Mid Pleistocene Transition (MPT, ca. 1 Ma); and (3) glacial-interglacial cycles (<1 Ma). Changes in biological productivity can be depicted by studying diatom assemblages together with biogenic opal concentrations. Extent of sea-ice cover can be monitored by examining sea-ice related diatoms, dinoflagellates and Cycladophora davisiana, an intermediate water dwelling radiolarian taxon whose %values increase when sea-ice cover becomes extensive. Biogenic opal values typically range from 10 to 60% at Bowers Ridge, whereas those at slope sites typically range from 5 to 25% because of dilution by siliciclastics despite high productivity underneath the Green Belt (with the exception of site U1339 which has ca. 50% biogenic opal due to its isolated location on a topographic high beyond the shelf break). Sea-ice cover, illustrated by sea-ice related Thalassiosira antarctica spores and others, occurred more extensively at the slope sites and further north than Bowers Ridge, reflecting an anticyclonic circulation pattern in both the Pliocene and Pleistocene. Since the main entry points of the relatively warm Pacific waters of the Alanskan Stream were located at the central to the western end of the Aleutians, Bowers Ridge sites are influenced by Pacific

  20. Late Pleistocene Environments of the Central Ukraine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rousseau, Denis-Didier; Gerasimenko, Natalia; Matviischina, Zhanna; Kukla, George

    2001-11-01

    The Vyazivok loess sequence from the Dnieper Plain, Ukraine, documents regional environmental changes during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Pedological and palynological analyses and low-field magnetic susceptibility document changes from dense temperate forest during the last interglacial maximum to open, harsh, loess-steppe during the latest Pleistocene. The Vyazivok section overlies hillwash derived from a lower Pleistocene terrace and consists of two stratified soil complexes (Kaydaky and Pryluky; marine isotope stage [MIS] 5 equivalent) separated by a layer of eolian dust (Tyasmyn silt). The lower soils in both complexes formed within forest. These soils are overlain by the Uday (MIS4) and Bug (MIS2) loess units, which are separated by boreal soils of the Vytachiv (MIS3) complex. The coldest conditions within the record occurred in the youngest loess. Holocene soils cap the Bug loess. The Vyazivok section shows remarkable similarities with other classical loess sequences in western Europe, the Czech Republic, and Austria. The Kaydaky, Pryluky, and Vytachiv deposits, correlate with the PKIII, PKII, and PKI soil complexes, respectively, of the Czech Republic. The Tyasmyn and Prylyky silt layers correspond to marker horizons from central Europe.

  1. Climate change, adaptive cycles, and the persistence of foraging economies during the late Pleistocene/Holocene transition in the Levant

    PubMed Central

    Rosen, Arlene M.; Rivera-Collazo, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    Climatic forcing during the Younger Dryas (∼12.9–11.5 ky B.P.) event has become the theoretical basis to explain the origins of agricultural lifestyles in the Levant by suggesting a failure of foraging societies to adjust. This explanation however, does not fit the scarcity of data for predomestication cultivation in the Natufian Period. The resilience of Younger Dryas foragers is better illustrated by a concept of adaptive cycles within a theory of adaptive change (resilience theory). Such cycles consist of four phases: release/collapse (Ω); reorganization (α), when the system restructures itself after a catastrophic stimulus through innovation and social memory—a period of greater resilience and less vulnerability; exploitation (r); and conservation (K), representing an increasingly rigid system that loses flexibility to change. The Kebarans and Late Natufians had similar responses to cold and dry conditions vs. Early Natufians and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A responses to warm and wet climates. Kebarans and Late Natufians (α-phase) shifted to a broader-based diet and increased their mobility. Early Natufian and Pre-Pottery Neolithic A populations (r- and K-phases) had a growing investment in more narrowly focused, high-yield plant resources, but they maintained the broad range of hunted animals because of increased sedentism. These human adaptive cycles interlocked with plant and animal cycles. Forest and grassland vegetation responded to late Pleistocene and early Holocene climatic fluctuations, but prey animal cycles reflected the impact of human hunting pressure. The combination of these three adaptive cycles results in a model of human adaptation, showing potential for great sustainability of Levantine foraging systems even under adverse climatic conditions. PMID:22371591

  2. Pliocene-Pleistocene climate change, sea level and uplift history recorded by the Horingbaai fan-delta, NW Namibia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stollhofen, Harald; Stanistreet, Ian G.; von Hagke, Christoph; Nguno, Anna

    2014-07-01

    Its location on a tectonically relatively stable passive margin and its degree of interaction with the sea make the Horingbaai fan-delta, NW Namibia, an exceptional record of coastal activity, providing insights into the response of ephemeral fluvial systems to changes in climate, sea level and continent-scale uplift. The fan comprises upper, middle and lower segments. The upper fan and middle fan are dominated by a braided river system; only in the upper fan are fluvial sediments interleaved with hyperconcentrated flow deposits. Plio-Pleistocene sea level highstands have left marine terraces on the fan surface which enable correlation with the offshore marine record and provide timelines to constrain fan growth. The bulk of fan-delta progradation took place at ∼ 2.7-2.4 Ma, between the formation of a widespread erosional surface incising the middle Pliocene Karpfenkliff and Kamberg Formations, but prior to the emplacement of the warm-water fauna-bearing late Pliocene "Oyster Terrace" (∼ 2.4-2.2 Ma), an equivalent of the + 30 mP (marine terrace package) in coastal southwestern Africa. Major fan progradation is contemporaneous with widespread regional uplift (~ 12 ± 5 m/Ma) and climate change in southwestern Africa, the latter associated with intensification of northern hemisphere glaciations. Younger fan growth phases are weaker and constrained by < 10 m asl marine terrace bodies that yield mostly cold-water fauna, corresponding to the onset of strong glacial/interglacial climatic fluctuations superimposed on a general aridification trend and the introduction of colder sea-surface temperatures after 2.2 Ma.

  3. Late Pleistocene Climatic Changes in the Western Mediterranean Inferred from Temperature, Productivity and Eolian Input Records: Implications for Human Dispersal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hambach, B.; Rosell Mele, A.; Martinez-Garcia, A.

    2009-12-01

    The relation between climate and hominid dispersal has yet a number of unsettled issues, largely due to the lack of regional climate records in areas with significant hominid remains. Scientific evidence from the Mediterranean region indicates that humans evolved into their present form during key climatic intervals as indicated by the records of the earliest Europeans from Atapuerca (Spain) and Dmanisi (Georgia). However, it remains unclear which route was used by the early hominids to populate Europe (via the strait of Gibraltar or the Levantine Corridor). In this sense, it is still not clear if the climatic conditions during this period were favorable for hominid crossing via the strait of Gibraltar or not. To gain a better insight into the Iberian peninsular climate during the late Pleistocene, a marine sediment core from the Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean, is used to reconstruct climate relevant variables related to surface ocean and atmospheric circulation by applying a set of organic geochemical proxies (biomarkers). In a first approach we present high resolution data (2 ky) for the interval from 0 to 500 ky. The results of this multi-biomarker analysis give new insights into past ocean climate conditions as well as into the processes that occurred onshore during this period. The reconstruction of sea surface temperatures is done by the analysis of alkenones (UK37-index). Total chlorins concentration is used as proxy for paleoproductivity. Terrestrial eolian inputs and vegetation changes are determined by the analysis of n-alkyl compounds (long chain n-alkanes, n-alkenols and n-alkanoic acids) which are major components of leaf waxes from terrestrial higher plants. Like mineral aerosols, these compounds are wind-transported from local vegetation sources to adjacent oceans where the particles settle and are preserved in ocean sediments with very little diagenetic alteration. These biomarkers offer a promising tool for reconstructing terrestrial vegetation

  4. Climate change, adaptive cycles, and the persistence of foraging economies during the late Pleistocene/Holocene transition in the Levant.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Arlene M; Rivera-Collazo, Isabel

    2012-03-01

    Climatic forcing during the Younger Dryas (∼12.9-11.5 ky B.P.) event has become the theoretical basis to explain the origins of agricultural lifestyles in the Levant by suggesting a failure of foraging societies to adjust. This explanation however, does not fit the scarcity of data for predomestication cultivation in the Natufian Period. The resilience of Younger Dryas foragers is better illustrated by a concept of adaptive cycles within a theory of adaptive change (resilience theory). Such cycles consist of four phases: release/collapse (Ω); reorganization (α), when the system restructures itself after a catastrophic stimulus through innovation and social memory--a period of greater resilience and less vulnerability; exploitation (r); and conservation (K), representing an increasingly rigid system that loses flexibility to change. The Kebarans and Late Natufians had similar responses to cold and dry conditions vs. Early Natufians and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A responses to warm and wet climates. Kebarans and Late Natufians (α-phase) shifted to a broader-based diet and increased their mobility. Early Natufian and Pre-Pottery Neolithic A populations (r- and K-phases) had a growing investment in more narrowly focused, high-yield plant resources, but they maintained the broad range of hunted animals because of increased sedentism. These human adaptive cycles interlocked with plant and animal cycles. Forest and grassland vegetation responded to late Pleistocene and early Holocene climatic fluctuations, but prey animal cycles reflected the impact of human hunting pressure. The combination of these three adaptive cycles results in a model of human adaptation, showing potential for great sustainability of Levantine foraging systems even under adverse climatic conditions. PMID:22371591

  5. The impact of subsistence changes on humeral bilateral asymmetry in Terminal Pleistocene and Holocene Europe.

    PubMed

    Sládek, Vladimír; Ruff, Christopher B; Berner, Margit; Holt, Brigitte; Niskanen, Markku; Schuplerová, Eliška; Hora, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Analyses of upper limb bone bilateral asymmetry can shed light on manipulative behavior, sexual division of labor, and the effects of economic transitions on skeletal morphology. We compared the maximum (absolute) and directional asymmetry in humeral length, articular breadth, and cross-sectional diaphyseal geometry (CSG) in a large (n > 1200) European sample distributed among 11 archaeological periods from the Early Upper Paleolithic through the 20(th) century. Asymmetry in length and articular breadth is right-biased, but relatively small and fairly constant between temporal periods. Females show more asymmetry in length than males. This suggests a low impact of behavioral changes on asymmetry in length and breadth, but strong genetic control with probable sex linkage of asymmetry in length. Asymmetry in CSG properties is much more marked than in length and articular breadth, with sex-specific variation. In males, a major decline in asymmetry occurs between the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic. There is no further decline in asymmetry between the Mesolithic and Neolithic in males and only limited variation during the Holocene. In females, a major decline occurs between the Mesolithic and Neolithic, with resulting average directional asymmetry close to zero. Asymmetry among females continues to be very low in the subsequent Copper and Bronze Ages, but increases again in the Iron Age. Changes in female asymmetry result in an increase of sexual dimorphism during the early agricultural periods, followed by a decrease in the Iron Age. Sexual dimorphism again slightly declines after the Late Medieval. Our results indicate that changes in manipulative behavior were sex-specific with a probable higher impact of changes in hunting behavior on male asymmetry (e.g., shift from unimanual throwing to use of the bow-and-arrow) and food grain processing in females, specifically, use of two-handed saddle querns in the early agricultural periods and one-handed rotary querns in

  6. Phylogeographic Structure of a Tethyan Relict Capparis spinosa (Capparaceae) Traces Pleistocene Geologic and Climatic Changes in the Western Himalayas, Tianshan Mountains, and Adjacent Desert Regions

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qian; Zhang, Ming-Li; Yin, Lin-Ke

    2016-01-01

    Complex geological movements more or less affected or changed floristic structures, while the alternation of glacials and interglacials is presumed to have further shaped the present discontinuous genetic pattern of temperate plants. Here we consider Capparis spinosa, a xeromorphic Tethyan relict, to discuss its divergence pattern and explore how it responded in a stepwise fashion to Pleistocene geologic and climatic changes. 267 individuals from 31 populations were sampled and 24 haplotypes were identified, based on three cpDNA fragments (trnL-trnF, rps12-rpl20, and ndhF). SAMOVA clustered the 31 populations into 5 major clades. AMOVA suggests that gene flow between them might be restricted by vicariance. Molecular clock dating indicates that intraspecific divergence began in early Pleistocene, consistent with a time of intense uplift of the Himalaya and Tianshan Mountains, and intensified in mid-Pleistocene. Species distribution modeling suggests range reduction in the high mountains during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) as a result of cold climates when glacier advanced, while gorges at midelevations in Tianshan appear to have served as refugia. Populations of low-altitude desert regions, on the other hand, probably experienced only marginal impacts from glaciation, according to the high levels of genetic diversity. PMID:27314028

  7. Phylogeographic Structure of a Tethyan Relict Capparis spinosa (Capparaceae) Traces Pleistocene Geologic and Climatic Changes in the Western Himalayas, Tianshan Mountains, and Adjacent Desert Regions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qian; Zhang, Ming-Li; Yin, Lin-Ke

    2016-01-01

    Complex geological movements more or less affected or changed floristic structures, while the alternation of glacials and interglacials is presumed to have further shaped the present discontinuous genetic pattern of temperate plants. Here we consider Capparis spinosa, a xeromorphic Tethyan relict, to discuss its divergence pattern and explore how it responded in a stepwise fashion to Pleistocene geologic and climatic changes. 267 individuals from 31 populations were sampled and 24 haplotypes were identified, based on three cpDNA fragments (trnL-trnF, rps12-rpl20, and ndhF). SAMOVA clustered the 31 populations into 5 major clades. AMOVA suggests that gene flow between them might be restricted by vicariance. Molecular clock dating indicates that intraspecific divergence began in early Pleistocene, consistent with a time of intense uplift of the Himalaya and Tianshan Mountains, and intensified in mid-Pleistocene. Species distribution modeling suggests range reduction in the high mountains during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) as a result of cold climates when glacier advanced, while gorges at midelevations in Tianshan appear to have served as refugia. Populations of low-altitude desert regions, on the other hand, probably experienced only marginal impacts from glaciation, according to the high levels of genetic diversity. PMID:27314028

  8. Temporal Change in Functional Richness and Evenness in the Eastern African Plio-Pleistocene Carnivoran Guild

    PubMed Central

    Werdelin, Lars; Lewis, Margaret E.

    2013-01-01

    We analyze functional richness and functional evenness of the carnivoran guild in eastern Africa from 3.5 Ma to 1.5 Ma, and compare them to the present day. The data consist of characters of the craniodental apparatus of 76 species of fossil and extant carnivorans, divided into four 0.5 Ma time slices from 3.5 to 1.5 Ma, together with the modern fauna. Focus is on large (>21.5 kg) carnivores. Results show that the large carnivore guild has lost nearly 99% of its functional richness since 3.5 Ma, in a process starting prior to 2 Ma. Measurement of functional evenness shows the modern large carnivore guild to be unique in being randomly distributed in morphospace while in all past time slices there is significant clustering of species. The results are analyzed in the light of known changes to climate and environment in eastern Africa. We conclude that climate change is unlikely to explain all of the changes found and suggest that the evolution of early hominins into carnivore niche space, especially the evolution of derived dietary strategies after 2 Ma, played a significant part in the reduction of carnivore functional richness. PMID:23483948

  9. Changes in northeast African hydrology and vegetation associated with Pliocene-Pleistocene sapropel cycles.

    PubMed

    Rose, Cassaundra; Polissar, Pratigya J; Tierney, Jessica E; Filley, Timothy; deMenocal, Peter B

    2016-07-01

    East African climate change since the Late Miocene consisted of persistent shorter-term, orbital-scale wet-dry cycles superimposed upon a long-term trend towards more open, grassy landscapes. Either or both of these modes of palaeoclimate variability may have influenced East African mammalian evolution, yet the interrelationship between these secular and orbital palaeoclimate signals remains poorly understood. Here, we explore whether the long-term secular climate change was also accompanied by significant changes at the orbital-scale. We develop northeast African hydroclimate and vegetation proxy data for two 100 kyr-duration windows near 3.05 and 1.75 Ma at ODP Site 967 in the eastern Mediterranean basin, where sedimentation is dominated by eastern Sahara dust input and Nile River run-off. These two windows were selected because they have comparable orbital configurations and bracket an important increase in East African C4 grasslands. We conducted high-resolution (2.5 kyr sampling) multiproxy biomarker, H- and C-isotopic analyses of plant waxes and lignin phenols to document orbital-scale changes in hydrology, vegetation and woody cover for these two intervals. Both intervals are dominated by large-amplitude, precession-scale (approx. 20 kyr) changes in northeast African vegetation and rainfall/run-off. The δ(13)Cwax values and lignin phenol composition record a variable but consistently C4 grass-dominated ecosystem for both intervals (50-80% C4). Precessional δDwax cycles were approximately 20-30‰ in peak-to-peak amplitude, comparable with other δDwax records of the Early Holocene African Humid Period. There were no significant differences in the means or variances of the δDwax or δ(13)Cwax data for the 3.05 and 1.75 Ma intervals studied, suggesting that the palaeohydrology and palaeovegetation responses to precessional forcing were similar for these two periods. Data for these two windows suggest that the eastern Sahara did not experience the

  10. Changes in the inhabitation of the Biśnik Cave during the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cyrek, Krzysztof; Sudoł, Magdalena

    2010-01-01

    The Biśnik Cave lies on the left western slope of the Wodąca Valley, which is part of the Niegownice-Smoleń hills, situated in the central part of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. The cave consists of several chambers joined by corridors, and a number of entrances. Interdisciplinary research (archaeology, sedimentology, geomorphology and paleozoology) carried out since 1992 has dealt with the exploration of the following elements of the cave system: the main chamber, side shelter, side chamber and the area underneath the overhang. The Biśnik Cave is currently the oldest cave site in Poland with a well-preserved cross-section of sediments formed in separate stages of climatic changes, starting with the period preceding the Odra Glaciation to the Holocene. The oldest traces of settlement of Palaeolithic man go as far back as over 400,000 years ago. The most interesting mid-Palaeolithic sequence of the cave inhabitation comprises 17 cultural levels preserved in the form of stone and bone artefacts' concentrations, hearth remains and fragments of animal bones of post-consumption character. The attempts to date separate levels using the uranium-thorium dating method, electronic paramagnetic resonance and thermoluminescence method are very relevant. Scientific value of the Biśnik Cave turns it into a sample mid-Palaeolithic site in this part of Europe. A three-dimensional localisation of all finds made it possible to prepare a detailed map of the artefacts' distribution in the consecutive sedimentary layers. This, in turn, enabled the reconstruction of changes of the cave inhabitation by man. The correlation of those changes with the description of climatic conditions in the period of formation of sedimentary layers helped link the cave inhabitation methods with natural conditions dominating the area of the Biśnik Cave at that time.

  11. The Possible Role of Climatic Changes In Later Pleistocene Human Evolution and Extinctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stringer, C.

    Problems of chronological resolution greatly restrict our ability to match the Pleis- tocene fossil human succession to detailed palaeoclimatic records. This talk will ad- dress two relevant research areas. The first concerns the ancient human occupation of Britain, now the focus of a specific project (AHOB). Human occupation of Britain was influenced by two main factors, palaeogeography (particularly in relation to the periodic absence of a land bridge, largely controlled by climate) and palaeoclimate (particularly influenced by conditions in the North Atlantic). The second area con- cerns the European extinction of the Neanderthals and their replacement by modern humans. Particularly in the latter case, if we can move beyond reliance on uncalibrated radiocarbon chronologies, we may eventually be able to correlate human demographic changes, including Neanderthal extinction, with rapid climatic fluctuations.

  12. Biomarker based reconstruction of Pleistocene climate and environmental conditions in the Gulf of Alaska: Preliminary results obtained from IODP Expedition 341 sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Juliane; Sanchez Montes, Maria Luisa; McClymont, Erin; Stein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten; Mangelsdorf, Kai; Wilkes, Heinz; 341 Scientists, Expedition

    2014-05-01

    A remarkable sedimentary record that extends from the Miocene to the late Pleistocene/Holocene has been drilled during IODP Expedition 341 (May - July 2013) in the Gulf of Alaska. The recovery and examination of sediments along a transect of five drill sites (U1417 - U1421) from the deep ocean towards the continental slope and shelf offshore the St. Elias Mountains enables the reconstruction of the palaeoceanographic and environmental development in the NE Pacific during a period of significant global cooling and directly addresses the overall research objectives of the IODP programme. The knowledge about palaeo sea surface conditions and their relation to climate changes in the subpolar NE Pacific is relatively scarce and mainly confined to the past 17 ka BP (Barron et al., 2009; Davies et al., 2011; Addison et al., 2012). Biomarker based reconstructions of the sea surface conditions (i.e. sea surface temperature (SST), sea ice coverage, marine primary productivity) that characterised the subpolar NE Pacific during critical time intervals of Plio- and Pleistocene climate change may provide new information on oceanic and atmospheric feedback mechanisms and further enable the identification of teleconnections between the palaeoceanographic evolution in the North Pacific and the North Atlantic. Here we present preliminary biomarker data obtained from sediments from the distal deepwater site U1417 and the proximal site U1419 located at the Gulf of Alaska continental slope. Variability in the distribution and abundance of short- and long-chain n-alkanes, sterols, and C25-highly branched isoprenoids (HBIs) is interpreted to reflect changes in the environmental setting. These data provide insight in marine primary productivity changes (in response to cooling and warming intervals) and the variable input of terrigenous organic matter via meltwater and/or iceberg discharge events. The C25-HBI diene/triene ratio - hitherto used as a sea ice proxy in the Southern Ocean

  13. Orbital- and Millennial-Scale Changes in the Australasian Monsoon Through the Late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gagan, M. K.; Ayliffe, L. K.; Scroxton, N. G.; Krause, C. E.; Kimbrough, A. K.; Hantoro, W. S.; Drysdale, R.; Hellstrom, J.; Cheng, H.; Edwards, R.; Zhao, J.; Griffiths, M. L.

    2012-12-01

    Speleothem 18O/16O records from China and Borneo have revealed changes in Asian monsoon rainfall over the last ~570,000 years (e.g. Wang et al. 2008, Cheng et al. 2010, Meckler et al. 2012), yet little is known about orbital- and millennial-scale climate change in the 'southern half' of the Australasian monsoon domain. To fill this gap, we aim to build speleothem 18O/16O records for the seasonal monsoon rainfall belt of south-central Indonesia. Between 2006 and 2011, we sampled speleothems in Flores and southwest Sulawesi (latitudes 5-9oS) with U-series ages extending to 92,000 yBP and ~470,000 yBP, respectively. Development of the 18O/16O records for Sulawesi is in progress, but the basal ages of the speleothems (onset of stalagmite growth) are intriguing because they cluster around glacial terminations, when the East Asian monsoon is known to have been weak (Cheng et al. 2010). There is clear antiphasing of the Flores and China speleothem 18O/16O records on precession time-scales over the last ~90,000 years. A distinct maximum in monsoon rainfall in Flores occurred ~21,000 yBP, suggesting the ITCZ moved south during the Last Glacial Maximum in response to the southern hemisphere summer insolation maximum. This finding indicates that ITCZ positioning in tropical Australasia, through its influence on large-scale oceanic-atmospheric circulation, could have played a key role in the rapid rise of atmospheric CO2 and global warming that ultimately led to the demise of the last ice age, as summarised by Denton et al. (2010) and others. The new Flores speleothem 18O/16O records also show that climate change in the North Atlantic region and Australasian monsoon rainfall are inextricably linked on millennial timescales (Griffiths et al. 2009, Lewis et al. 2011). For example, rapid warming in the North Atlantic region during Dansgaard-Oeschger Event 21 (~86,000 yBP) was linked to a synchronous northward shift of the Australasian ITCZ, marking the final demise of MIS 5b. In

  14. Modes of interglacial sea-level change: evidence from a late Pleistocene highstand in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saher, Margot; Barlow, Natasha; Long, Antony; Gehrels, Roland; Sparkes, Amy; Riley, Rachel; Penkman, Kirsty

    2014-05-01

    Interglacial sea-level extremes provide a useful analogue for future sea-level behaviour. The Holocene has been characterized by an overall stable sea level, but earlier interglacials, especially the Last Interglacial, are reported to have experienced meter-scale fluctuations (e.g. Rohling et al. 2008). Whether interglacial sea-level maxima are reached gradually or in 'steps' has serious societal implications, as the latter mechanism is associated with much higher rates of sea-level rise. Furthermore, the fluctuating Red Sea model of Last Interglacial sea-level change (Rohling et al. 2008) now underpins the high-end sea-level scenario ("High ++") adopted by the UK Climate Impact Programme. To better constrain interglacial sea-level behaviour, the iGlass consortium, funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council, aims to constrain interglacial sea-level fluctuations from a variety of archives, e.g. corals, speleothems, marine isotopes and estuarine sediments. In this paper we investigate estuarine sediments and apply microfossil analyses, used widely to constrain Holocene sea-level changes, to sediments from interglacial deposits recovered from the Nar Valley, Norfolk, United Kingdom. A coring transect, comprised of 8 cores in 6 locations, traces an interglacial transgressive sequence inland. The litho- and biostratigraphy (mainly foraminifera) record the nature of this transgression. Sediments are either MIS 9 or 11 in age and include freshwater peats and marine clays, buried by glacial sands and gravels. Previous palynological work (Ventris, 1996) has indicates the sediments represent the entire interglacial period. The top of the marine clays has been tracked laterally for ~15 km and was found to have (at least) a 18 m vertical range, up to ~18 m above present mean sea level. Foraminiferal assemblages are dominated by the shallow water dweller Ammonia spp, and suggest only one sequence of deepening and shallowing. We further constrain the chronology using

  15. Diagenesis and sea level change in a Pleistocene Coral Reef, San Salvador, Bahamas

    SciTech Connect

    White, B.; Kurkjy, K.A.; Curran, H.A.

    1985-02-01

    Near the Cockburn Town reef (dated 125,000 yr B.P.), precisely surveyed bench marks are related to accurately measured mean sea level, and they provide a convenient datum plane. This coral reef developed during a sea level highstand of no more than 10,000 yr, which was insufficient time for significant subsidence; however, subsidence of approximately 3 m may have occurred since the formation of the reef. Sea level changes were caused by fluctuations in glacial-ice volume. The upper beach to dune transition, which is in the calcarenites overlying the reef, is at +4 m. A minimum highstand of +7 m is indicated when corrected for subsidence. Below +2.5 m, marine aragonite cement occurs within the intragranular pore space of the following: Halimeda plates, benthic foraminifera, Favreina (Callianassid fecal pellets), gastropods, and corals. Marine aragonite cement also occurs as intergranular isopachous rims on matrix grains of coral rubblestone. Remaining pore space was partly to completely occluded by freshwater vadose calcite cements, which occur without marine cements in the overlying shallow subtidal, beach, and dune calcarenites. No unequivocal freshwater phreatic cements, which occur without marine cements in the overlying shallow subtidal, beach, and dune calcarenites. No unequivocal freshwater phreatic cements have been found, although syntaxial overgrowths and irregular calcite rims about grains do occur in finer grained sediments where local patches of freshwater saturation occurred within the vadose zone. Later calchification, which affected all facies, is characterized by alveolar texture, whisker calcite, microsparite, rare bladed calcite spar, Microcodium, and rhizocretions.

  16. Late Pleistocene climate change and the global expansion of anatomically modern humans

    PubMed Central

    Eriksson, Anders; Betti, Lia; Friend, Andrew D.; Lycett, Stephen J.; Singarayer, Joy S.; von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen; Valdes, Paul J.; Balloux, Francois; Manica, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    The extent to which past climate change has dictated the pattern and timing of the out-of-Africa expansion by anatomically modern humans is currently unclear [Stewart JR, Stringer CB (2012) Science 335:1317–1321]. In particular, the incompleteness of the fossil record makes it difficult to quantify the effect of climate. Here, we take a different approach to this problem; rather than relying on the appearance of fossils or archaeological evidence to determine arrival times in different parts of the world, we use patterns of genetic variation in modern human populations to determine the plausibility of past demographic parameters. We develop a spatially explicit model of the expansion of anatomically modern humans and use climate reconstructions over the past 120 ky based on the Hadley Centre global climate model HadCM3 to quantify the possible effects of climate on human demography. The combinations of demographic parameters compatible with the current genetic makeup of worldwide populations indicate a clear effect of climate on past population densities. Our estimates of this effect, based on population genetics, capture the observed relationship between current climate and population density in modern hunter–gatherers worldwide, providing supporting evidence for the realism of our approach. Furthermore, although we did not use any archaeological and anthropological data to inform the model, the arrival times in different continents predicted by our model are also broadly consistent with the fossil and archaeological records. Our framework provides the most accurate spatiotemporal reconstruction of human demographic history available at present and will allow for a greater integration of genetic and archaeological evidence. PMID:22988099

  17. Environmental, ecological, and paleoanthropological implications of the late Pleistocene mammalian fauna from Equus Cave, northern Cape Province, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Richard G.; Cruz-Uribe, Kathryn; Beaumont, Peter B.

    1991-07-01

    The late Pleistocene deposits of Equus Cave, northern Cape Province, South Africa, have provided more than 30,000 taxonomically identifiable mammal bones from 48 species. Context, associations, and features of the bone assemblage implicate brown hyenas as the main accumulators. The fauna is significant mainly because (1) it supplements previous evidence that regional climate was cooler and possibly also somewhat moister during part(s) of the late Pleistocene, but deviated less from the historic norm than in areas farther south; (2) it shows that Bond's springbok, which became extinct in the early Holocene, differed from the surviving common springbok not only in important morphological respects but also in reproductive pattern; and (3) it sustains earlier suggestions that an abundance of carnivores, a paucity of small hard bones, and increase in the cranial/postcranial ratio with species size, and exclusively attritional mortality profiles are features that tend to differentiate assemblages accumulated by brown hyenas from those accumulated by people. In addition, pending firmer dating, the fragmentary human fossils from Equus Cave may support an exclusively African origin for anatomically modern humans.

  18. Mid-Pleistocene Orbital and Millennial Scale Climate Change in a 200 ky lacustrine sediment core from SW North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fawcett, P. J.; Werne, J. P.; Anderson, R. S.; Heikoop, J. M.; Brown, E. T.; Berke, M. A.; Smith, S.; Goff, F. E.; Hurley, L. L.; Cisneros Dozal, L. M.; Schouten, S.; Sinninghe Damsté, J. S.; Huang, Y.; Toney, J. L.; Fessenden, J. E.; Woldegabriel, G. W.; Geissman, J. W.; Allen, C. D.

    2009-12-01

    How anthropogenic climate change will affect hydroclimate of the arid regions of SW North America over the next century is a concern. Model projections suggest permanent “dust bowl-like” conditions; however, any anthropogenic change will be superimposed on long-term natural climate variability. We use the paleoclimatic record from an 82-m deep lacustrine sediment core (VC-3) from the Valles Caldera, New Mexico to examine continental climate variations spanning two glacial cycles through the middle Pleistocene from MIS 14 to MIS 10 (552 ka to ~360 ka). Both orbital and millennial-scale variations are evident in multiple proxies, and a strong relationship occurs between the warmest temperatures in the record and periods of extended aridity. We suggest that these periods of aridity are characterized by decreased winter as well as summer precipitation amounts. A new group of organic geochemical proxies (MBT and CBT) allow us to reconstruct the annual mean air temperature (MAT) of the Valles Caldera watershed as well as the watershed soil pH down the length of the core. We compare these proxies to climatically sensitive pollen taxa and other core properties. The MAT record of VC-3 shows considerable glacial-interglacial variation and significant variability within individual glacial and interglacial periods. The warmest interglacial MATs (5 to 7°C) compare favorably with modern MATs of ~5°C in the Valle Grande. MIS 11 has three warm substages, based on MAT estimates (2°C warmer than the cool substages), warm (Juniperus, Quercus, Rosaceae) vs. cool (Abies, Picea, Artemisia) pollen taxa and variation in aquatic productivity proxies (TOC, Si:Ti). The three warm substages of MIS 11 appear to correspond to the three precessional peaks that occur during this interval. Glacial MATs range from -5 to +2°C, with multiple millennial-scale temperature oscillations evident. Several of the interstadials show a distinct pattern of relatively slower temperature increases and

  19. Late Pleistocene-Holocene Climate Change Inferred from Fossil Fauna in the Marmara Sea, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurung, D.; McHugh, C. M.; Ryan, W. B.; Giosan, L.; Mart, Y.; Cagatau, N.

    2006-12-01

    Paleoenvironmental changes that document the reconnection of the Marmara Sea to the world's oceans were investigated from sediment cores and high-resolution CHIRP subbottom profiles acquired by the R/V Mediterranean Explorer in 2005. The transition from a glacial fresh/brackish water lake to a sea took place after global sea-level reached the Dardanelles outlet sill depth of -85m. We surveyed the continental shelf-slope boundary along the northern margin at Cekmece and the eastern margin at the Prince Islands in water depths extending from 80 to 135 m. Mollusk, ostracod, and foraminiferal faunal assemblages calibrated to radiocarbon chronology and sediment analyses reveal the mixing of marine and lake sediments, and very high sedimentation rates, 50 cm per 1000 years, from ~12 to 10.5 cal ka BP. Very high sedimentation rates (70 cm/1000 years) and an abrupt transition from lake stage to marine were documented along the southern shelf at Imrali from ~12.5 to 11.5 cal ka BP. This older age was derived from foraminifers. Marine mollusks Corbula sp., Lucinella sp., and Gouldia sp. are found in sand beds contained within stiff clays. The sands are rich in spherical, calcium carbonate, oolites commonly associated with shallow environments, agitated waters, and warm evaporative climates. The stiff clays contain low salinity 1-5 per mil bivalve Dreissena rostriformis, gastropod, Theodoxus fluviatilis, and fresh brackish ostracods and are interpreted as lake sediments. Paleoshorelines along the northern, eastern, and southern shelves were below the Dardanelles outlet sill of -85m at the time of marine reconnection. The drawdown of Marmara Lake prior to marine intrusion is also consistent with regional aridity. After 10.5 cal ka BP sediments and faunal assemblages are fully marine with mollusks (Corbula sp., Lucinella sp., Turritela sp., and Gouldia sp) and ostracods. Even though benthic foraminifers are rich after the marine conditions were established, planktonic

  20. Environmental insurance adapts to changing needs

    SciTech Connect

    Vuono, M. )

    1995-03-01

    No longer simply a specialty service niche, environmental insurance has become an increasingly important asset to businesses worldwide. Companies of all sizes are using insurance as a proactive tool for prudent environmental risk management. During the last five years, the environmental insurance industry has matured to meet the ever-changing environmental insurance needs of business. A broad range of policies and programs offers coverage against damages caused by chemical spills, hazardous material and related environmental contaminants. Securing environmental insurance coverage has become as customary for many businesses as acquiring general liability and automobile insurance.

  1. Environmental Education: A Time of Change, a Time for Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keene, Matt; Blumstein, Daniel T.

    2010-01-01

    We join the authors in this special issue in their call to embrace a culture of evaluation. Obstacles to change are formidable. Educators debate their purpose--provide knowledge or achieve environmental goals--and we have limited evidence of the effectiveness of environmental programs and policies. Change requires collaboration across…

  2. European wildcat populations are subdivided into five main biogeographic groups: consequences of Pleistocene climate changes or recent anthropogenic fragmentation?

    PubMed

    Mattucci, Federica; Oliveira, Rita; Lyons, Leslie A; Alves, Paulo C; Randi, Ettore

    2016-01-01

    Extant populations of the European wildcat are fragmented across the continent, the likely consequence of recent extirpations due to habitat loss and over-hunting. However, their underlying phylogeographic history has never been reconstructed. For testing the hypothesis that the European wildcat survived the Ice Age fragmented in Mediterranean refuges, we assayed the genetic variation at 31 microsatellites in 668 presumptive European wildcats sampled in 15 European countries. Moreover, to evaluate the extent of subspecies/population divergence and identify eventual wild × domestic cat hybrids, we genotyped 26 African wildcats from Sardinia and North Africa and 294 random-bred domestic cats. Results of multivariate analyses and Bayesian clustering confirmed that the European wild and the domestic cats (plus the African wildcats) belong to two well-differentiated clusters (average Ф ST = 0.159, r st = 0.392, P > 0.001; Analysis of molecular variance [AMOVA]). We identified from c. 5% to 10% cryptic hybrids in southern and central European populations. In contrast, wild-living cats in Hungary and Scotland showed deep signatures of genetic admixture and introgression with domestic cats. The European wildcats are subdivided into five main genetic clusters (average Ф ST = 0.103, r st = 0.143, P > 0.001; AMOVA) corresponding to five biogeographic groups, respectively, distributed in the Iberian Peninsula, central Europe, central Germany, Italian Peninsula and the island of Sicily, and in north-eastern Italy and northern Balkan regions (Dinaric Alps). Approximate Bayesian Computation simulations supported late Pleistocene-early Holocene population splittings (from c. 60 k to 10 k years ago), contemporary to the last Ice Age climatic changes. These results provide evidences for wildcat Mediterranean refuges in southwestern Europe, but the evolution history of eastern wildcat populations remains to be clarified. Historical genetic subdivisions suggest

  3. Middle Pleistocene climate and habitat change at Zhoukoudian, China, from the carbon and oxygen isotopic record from herbivore tooth enamel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaboardi, Mabry; Deng, Tao; Wang, Yang

    2005-05-01

    The Pleistocene deposits at Zhoukoudian, often referred to as the "Peking Man" site, contain dental remains from a diverse group of herbivores, including Equus sanmeniensis, Cervus elaphus, Cervus nippon, Megaloceros pachyosteus, Sus lydekkeri, and Dicerorhinus choukoutienensis. The carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions of structural carbonate within the enamel of these teeth are used to reconstruct the paleodiet and paleoenvironment of the mammals. The δ13C values of enamel from Zhoukoudian range from -2.3‰ to -13.0‰, indicating that these mammals consumed between ˜25% and 100% C 3 plants. The presence of significant amounts of C 4 plants in the diets of some herbivore species indicates that at the onset of the Middle Pleistocene local habitats included mixed C 3/C 4 vegetation. By approximately 470,000 yr ago, C 3 plants dominated the diets of herbivores studied, suggesting that the abundance of C 4 flora had decreased in the area. For all deer analyzed in this study, the values of δ13C and δ18O decrease substantially from about 720,000 to 470,000 yr ago. This trend may be due to a strengthening of the winter monsoon during the Middle Pleistocene.

  4. Climate change in the four corners and adjacent regions: Implications for environmental restoration and land-use planning

    SciTech Connect

    Waugh, W.J.

    1995-09-01

    This document contains the workshop proceedings on Climate Change in the Four Corners and Adjacent Regions: Implications for Environmental Restoration and Land-Use Planning which took place September 12-14, 1994 in Grand Junction, Colorado. The workshop addressed three ways we can use paleoenvironmental data to gain a better understanding of climate change and its effects. (1) To serve as a retrospective baseline for interpreting past and projecting future climate-induced environmental change, (2) To differentiate the influences of climate and humans on past environmental change, and (3) To improve ecosystem management and restoration practices in the future. The papers presented at this workshop contained information on the following subjects: Paleoclimatic data from the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs, climate change and past cultures, and ecological resources and environmental restoration. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  5. Late-Quaternary Dynamics of Temperate Forests: Applications of Paleoecology to Issues of Global Environmental Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delcourt, Paul A.; Delcourt, Hazel R.

    Paleoecological evidence recently summarized from 162 fossil-pollen sites in eastern North America provides new insights concerning the nature and rate of response of temperate forest ecosystems to late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental changes. Across this subcontinental region (25°N to 60°N; 50°W to 100°W), temperate forests have changed in composition, location and area occupied in adjustment to major episodes of climatic cooling and warming during glacial-interglacial cycles of the Quaternary. Forest taxa have migrated differentially, reflecting their individualistic life-history characteristics, dispersal and competitive abilities, and tolerance thresholds to environmental changes, as well as the geographic distribution of corridors and barriers to plant migration. Gradient analysis and ecological ordination of paleovegetational data illustrate that: (1) both positions and breadth of major vegetational ecotones have shifted latitudinally over the past 20 ka; (2) good modern analogues exist for certain full-glacial warm-temperate and boreal forests; (3) during the transition from Pleistocene to Holocene conditions, mixed conifer-northern hardwoods forests, spreading across newly deglaciated terrain, lacked good analogues within the modern vegetation; and (4) most cool-temperate deciduous forest communities north of 35°N developed in the Holocene. Forest clearance and cultivation by Native Americans along principal riverways resulted in a transformation from natural to cultural landscapes during the mid- and late Holocene intervals. Fragmentation of temperate forests accelerated with the onset of EuroAmerican settlement and technologic developments after the Industrial Revolution.

  6. Environmental Changes, Microbiota, and Allergic Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Byoung-Ju; Lee, So-Yeon; Kim, Hyo-Bin; Lee, Eun

    2014-01-01

    During the last few decades, the prevalence of allergic disease has increased dramatically. The development of allergic diseases has been attributed to complex interactions between environmental factors and genetic factors. Of the many possible environmental factors, most research has focused on the most commonly encountered environmental factors, such as air pollution and environmental microbiota in combination with climate change. There is increasing evidence that such environmental factors play a critical role in the regulation of the immune response that is associated with allergic diseases, especially in genetically susceptible individuals. This review deals with not only these environmental factors and genetic factors but also their interactions in the development of allergic diseases. It will also emphasize the need for early interventions that can prevent the development of allergic diseases in susceptible populations and how these interventions can be identified. PMID:25228995

  7. Carbon isotopes in charcoal and soils in studies of paleovegetation and climate changes during the late Pleistocene and the Holocene in the southeast and centerwest regions of Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouveia, S. E. M.; Pessenda, L. C. R.; Aravena, R.; Boulet, R.; Scheel-Ybert, R.; Bendassoli, J. A.; Ribeiro, A. S.; Freitas, H. A.

    2002-06-01

    This paper attempts to reconstruct vegetation changes and to infer climate changes during the late Pleistocene and the Holocene in the southeast (Botucatu, Anhembi and Jaguariúna, São Paulo State) and centerwest of Brazil (Pontes e Lacerda, Mato Grosso State). The research approach included the use of carbon isotopes ( 13C and 14C) in soil organic matter (SOM) and the evaluation of charcoal distribution and its identification at the species level. Soils sampled in this study were located under natural vegetation, along the slopes of small hills. Charcoal was found predominantly between 150 and 50-cm depth, indicating a period of greater frequency of fires in the study areas, between 6000 and 3000 years BP. For the Botucatu, Anhembi and Pontes e Lacerda sites, the δ13C profiles suggest the predominance of C 3 plants during the entire Holocene. The 13C patterns obtained at the Jaguariúna site that show a more significant presence of C 4 plants compared to the other regions, suggest that this region has been drier than the others during the Holocene. These patterns also indicate the presence of a drier climate compared with present-day conditions at the Jaguariúna region during late Pleistocene until the middle Holocene. This study shows the complexity of vegetation dynamics in the southeast of Brazil during the Holocene. It also shows that the analyses of multiple soil cores representative of the main vegetation communities are necessary for paleovegetation studies.

  8. The Bonneville Estates Rockshelter rodent fauna and changes in Late Pleistocene-Middle Holocene climates and biogeography in the Northern Bonneville Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Dave N.; Lupo, Karen D.

    2012-07-01

    Excavations at Bonneville Estates Rockshelter, Nevada recovered rodent remains from stratified deposits spanning the past ca. 12,500 14C yr BP (14,800 cal yr BP). Specimens from horizons dating to the late Pleistocene and early Holocene include species adapted to montane and moist and cool habitats, including yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) and bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea). Shortly after 9000 14C BP (10,200 cal yr BP) these mammals became locally extinct, or nearly so, taxonomic diversity declined, and the region became dominated by desert woodrats (Neotoma lepida) and other species well-adapted to xeric, low-elevation settings. The timing and nature of changes in the Bonneville Estates rodent fauna are similar to records reported from nearby Homestead and Camels Back caves and provide corroborative data on terminal Pleistocene-early Holocene environments and mammalian responses to middle Holocene desertification. Moreover, the presence of northern pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides) at Bonneville Estates adds to a sparse regional record for that species and, similar to Homestead Cave, it appears that the ca. 9500 14C yr BP (10,800 cal yr BP) replacement of the northern pocket gopher by Botta's pocket gopher in the Great Salt Lake Desert vicinity was also in response to climate change.

  9. Adequation between environmental shifts and human speciations during the Plio-PleistoceneAdéquation entre changements environnementaux et spéciations humaines au Plio-Pléistocène

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeitoun, Valery

    2000-01-01

    Several synthetic studies provide evidence of faunistic and floristic shifts as consequences of global climatic events around 2.5 and 1.8 Ma. Some authors are more confident in the role played by local tectonic events to explain such a change in terms of vicariance. It is possible that astronomic, tectonic and climatic variations are linked, as the lithosphere is a catalyst for biosphere more or less strong according to the period. The purpose of this paper is to confront independent environmental and anatomical data to try to understand the evolutionary process in hominids, with particular emphasis on species of the genus Homo in East Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene period. Thus the result of a cladistic analysis based on 35 Otus and 468 features of the calvaria is showing the onset of at least four species to describe the grade of Homo habilis, living in East Africa. The radiation is congruent with the contemporaneous environmental shifts around 2.5 Ma, as is also the case for bovids or cercopithecids. Some Homo erectus left Africa when another climatic pulse happened around 1.8 Ma.

  10. Faunal turnover in Neogene to Recent Caribbean reef corals and region environmental change

    SciTech Connect

    Budd, A.F. . Geology Dept.); Johnson, K.G. . Palaeontology Dept.); Stemann, T.A. . Geologisches Inst.)

    1993-03-01

    Quantitative analyses of species richness and species extinction and origination rates in the Neogene to Recent Caribbean reef coral fauna show that a major episode of turnover occurred during middle to late Pliocene time (4--1 Ma). The data for the authors analyses consist of a new compilation of occurrences of 175 species and 49 genera in reef sequences in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica and in 21 scattered sites ranging in age from 22 Ma to present. The results show that: (1) during turnover, more than 75% of all species living between 6--4 Ma (n = 82) became extinct; (2) during turnover, extinction and origination rates were equally and simultaneously high, and a relatively constant number of species was maintained in the fauna; (3) the taxonomic composition of Caribbean reefs remained relatively constant before (10--4 Ma) and after (1--0 Ma) turnover. Turnover therefore preceded the high frequency sea level oscillations of late Pleistocene time, and appears related to long-term, unidirectional changes in climate and/or ocean circulation across the Caribbean region in association with closure of the Isthmus of Panama. The observed correspondence between high origination and extinction rates indicates that the same environmental factors may have been associated with increases in both rates, and that local habitat differentiation and fragmentation may have been involved. Stability persisted in the region despite the severe environmental stresses associated with Pleistocene climate change.

  11. Paleoceanographic changes and population dynamics in two left-coiling events of Pulleniatina during early Pleistocene, ODP 1115B, western equatorial Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, M.; Wei, K.; Chuang, C.; Lo, L.

    2013-12-01

    The alternately left-coiling (LC) and right-coiling (RC) dominance in the populations of planktonic foraminifera Pulleniatina genus defined a series L events during the past 4 Ma. These L events have been used as useful biostratigraphic markers for the Indo-Pacific region, especially the L5 event, which marks the top of Gelasian stage in Early Pleistocene. However, previous studies emphasized on the stratigraphic application of the L events and have little attention on the L events itself. This study focuses on the population dynamics of Pu. during L events and tries to examine the mechanism triggering the L events by studying Core ODP 1115 B (9°11' S, 151°34' E, water depth 1149 m) in Solomon Sea, western equatorial Pacific. Owing to the variance in morphology, we lumped all species of Pu. genus into a 'Pulleniatina complex' rather than subdividing them into different species. Specimens larger than 250 μm in each sample were sieved into six size-fractions. The Pu. complex as well as their coiling direction were identified under a stereomicroscope. To avoid biased sampling, we examined all Pu. complex specimens larger than 250 μm. LC and RC relative percentages as well as absolute abundances of Pu. complex in each size-fraction were counted, respectively. In setting LC relative percentage >50% as a threshold, we recognized a distinctive L6 event (~ 2.202 - 2.175 Ma, began between MIS 85 - 84 and ended between MIS 83 - 82), a prominent L5 event (~ 2.147 - 1.875 Ma, began between MIS 82 - 81 and ended between MIS 71 - 70), and could not find a clear L4 event as reported by Saito (1976). The onset of the L5 event was marked by a dramatic reduction of absolute abundance of RC forms that give observers an impression of LC forms dominance. During the L5 event, the LC relative percentages fluctuated by 20 to 40%. The ending of the L5event was characterized by a slow recovery of RC forms in absolute abundance. L6 event was the result of two sudden significant changes

  12. Environmental Change in Icy Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, R. T.; Vance, S.

    2014-12-01

    There is strong evidence that subsurface oceans could exist within several of the outer solar system's ice-rich moons, at Jupiter (Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto), Saturn (Enceladus and Titan), and Neptune (Triton). If liquid water is indeed available in these subsurface environments, then the availability of chemical energy becomes the greatest limitation on whether icy worlds could harbor life. Of these moons, the largest (Ganymede, Callisto, and Titan) are expected to harbor oceans deep within, and high-pressure H2O ice phases are expected farther beneath those deep oceans. In contrast, the oceans of smaller icy worlds—Europa, Enceladus, and Triton—are plausibly in direct contact with rock below. Given that serpentinization or other water-rock geochemical activity could supply reductants directly to their oceans, these icy worlds have the greatest chance to support present-day microbial life. Each of these three icy worlds displays spectacular resurfaced terrains that are very young (crater retention ages ~10s Myr and younger), with their internal activity linked to extremes in tidal heating today and/or in the geologically recent past. However, the degree of their tidal heating may have changed greatly over time. Europa is believed to experience cyclical tidal heating and activity; Enceladus may have experienced cyclical activity or a geologically recent pulse of activity; Triton may have experienced extreme tidal heating upon its capture and orbital circularization. Such dynamic pasts would pose challenges for any life within. We consider the possible effects of severe swings in the activity level of icy worlds, specifically the implications for delivery of chemical energy to their subsurface oceans.

  13. Holocene-Pleistocene Environmental Changes in Eastern Mediterranean Sediments: Foraminiferal and Geochemical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinoussy Mohamed, K. S., Jr.; Ibrahim, M. I. A.; Moustafa, A. R.; Abd Elkarim, M. R.; Shreadah, M. M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The present study is based on gravity core sediment samples from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea located in 32° 20' 55" N and 31° 47' 79" E, in front of the Nile Delta Fan taken during METEOR cruise M70b (October 2006). The core is gravity one (St#822), 4.5 m long, and in 1089 m water depth. The study of benthic and planktic foraminifera is used to determine the microhabitat of the bottom sediments during warm and cold periods. Sapropels S1, S3 and S4 are encountered in the studied gravity core sample from the eastern Mediterranean. The sapropel layers S1, S3 and S4 were deposited during interglacial periods, characterized by a low foraminiferal numbers, reflecting eutrophic conditions. Glacial periods are characterized by high foraminiferal numbers due probably to an enhanced glacial productivity. Sapropel layers are distinguished by increase of Fe, TOC% (TOC%≥ 1.2%) and decrease of Ca concentrations as a result of the Blue Nile suspended particulate matter discharge during summer monsoon. Clay content increases at the sapropel depths that indicate an increase in the terrigenous input derived from the weathering of Ethiopian basalts. Temporal distribution of planktic and benthic foraminifera in the Nile deep sea fan sediments besides geochemical charcterization, palaeohydrological fluctuations, palaeoenvironment and microhabitat of foraminifera were reconstructed for the last 100000 years including glacial and interglacial periods. Formation of the Sapropel layers are synchronized with the decreasing of δ18O which means that the Mediterranean Sea received high amount of fresh water from the Nile river discharge. Clay content, TOC%, Ca-Fe cycles, oxygen and carbon isotopes and planktic foraminifera document the pluvial and arid periods throughout the 100000 years and define clearly the contributions of terrigenous and TOC% in the sapropel layers. Infauna/epifauna ratio and benthic foraminifera assemblages were used to reconstruct the microhabitat of the sea bottom during sapropel and cold periods.

  14. Modeling crop responses to environmental change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia

    1993-01-01

    Potential biophysical responses of crops to climate change are studied focusing on the primary environmental variables which define the limits to agricultural crop growth and production, and the principal methods for predicting climate change impacts on crop geography and production. It is concluded that the principal uncertainties in the prediction of the impacts of climate change on agriculture reside in the contribution of the direct effects of increasing CO2, in potential changes inclimate variability, and the effects of adjustments mechanisms in the context of climatic changes.

  15. Late Pleistocene climate change promoted divergence between Picea asperata and P. crassifolia on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau through recent bottlenecks.

    PubMed

    Bi, Hao; Yue, Wei; Wang, Xi; Zou, Jiabin; Li, Lili; Liu, Jianquan; Sun, Yongshuai

    2016-07-01

    Divergence during the early stage of speciation can be driven by a population bottleneck via reduced gene flow and enhanced lineage sorting. In this study, we aimed to examine whether such bottlenecks occurred during the initial speciation of two closely related spruce species Picea asperata and P. crassifolia occurring on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). We analyzed sequences of three chloroplast, two mitochondrial DNA fragments and a further 13 nuclear loci from 216 individuals of the two species. Both species showed a low level of genetic diversity in contrast to other congeners occurring in the QTP and adjacent regions. The estimated population sizes of P. asperata and P. crassifolia are less than the ancestral population size before splitting. These results together with multiple statistical tests (Tajima's D, Fu and Li's D* and F*) suggest that these two species underwent recent bottlenecks. Based on approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), we also determined that the period of the population shrinkage was consistent with the interspecific divergence during the late Pleistocene. The reduced population sizes and the divergent selection may together have triggered the initial divergence under high gene flow between these two species. Our results therefore highlight the importance of climatic oscillations during the late Pleistocene in promoting speciation through changing demographic sizes of the ancestral species on the QTP and in adjacent regions. PMID:27386086

  16. Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability

    PubMed Central

    Brace, Selina; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Dalén, Love; Lister, Adrian M.; Miller, Rebecca; Otte, Marcel; Germonpré, Mietje; Blockley, Simon P. E.; Stewart, John R.; Barnes, Ian

    2012-01-01

    The Late Pleistocene global extinction of many terrestrial mammal species has been a subject of intensive scientific study for over a century, yet the relative contributions of environmental changes and the global expansion of humans remain unresolved. A defining component of these extinctions is a bias toward large species, with the majority of small-mammal taxa apparently surviving into the present. Here, we investigate the population-level history of a key tundra-specialist small mammal, the collared lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus), to explore whether events during the Late Pleistocene had a discernible effect beyond the large mammal fauna. Using ancient DNA techniques to sample across three sites in North-West Europe, we observe a dramatic reduction in genetic diversity in this species over the last 50,000 y. We further identify a series of extinction-recolonization events, indicating a previously unrecognized instability in Late Pleistocene small-mammal populations, which we link with climatic fluctuations. Our results reveal climate-associated, repeated regional extinctions in a keystone prey species across the Late Pleistocene, a pattern likely to have had an impact on the wider steppe-tundra community, and one that is concordant with environmental change as a major force in structuring Late Pleistocene biodiversity. PMID:23185018

  17. Plant-plant interactions and environmental change.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Rob W

    2006-01-01

    Natural systems are being subjected to unprecedented rates of change and unique pressures from a combination of anthropogenic environmental change drivers. Plant-plant interactions are an important part of the mechanisms governing the response of plant species and communities to these drivers. For example, competition plays a central role in mediating the impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, climate change and invasive nonnative species. Other plant-plant interaction processes are also being recognized as important factors in determining the impacts of environmental change, including facilitation and evolutionary processes associated with plant-plant interactions. However, plant-plant interactions are not the only factors determining the response of species and communities to environmental change drivers - their activity must be placed within the context of the wide range of factors that regulate species, communities and ecosystems. A major research challenge is to understand when plant-plant interactions play a key role in regulating the impact of environmental change drivers, and the type of role that plant-plant interactions play. Although this is a considerable challenge, some areas of current research may provide the starting point to achieving these goals, and should be pursued through large-scale, integrated, multisite experiments. PMID:16866935

  18. Environmental Change, the Stress Response, and Neurogenesis.

    PubMed

    LaDage, Lara D

    2015-09-01

    Previous to the 1980's, the prevailing neuroscience dogma held that no new neurons were produced in the brains of adult mammals. Now, we understand that the production of new neurons, or neurogenesis, is a common and plastic process in the adult brain. To date, however, researchers have not come to a unified understanding of the functional significance of neurogenesis. Several factors have been shown to modulate hippocampal neurogenesis including spatial learning, stress, and aspects of environmental change, but questions still remain. How do these modulating factors overlap? Which aspects of environmental change induce a stress response? Is there a relationship between hippocampal neurogenesis, the stress response, and environmental change? Can this relationship be altered when taking into consideration other factors such as perception and predictability of the environment? Finally, do results from neurobiological research on laboratory rodents translate to wild systems? This review attempts to address these questions and synthesize research from the fields of ecology, psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. PMID:25980567

  19. Modelling land use change and environmental impact.

    PubMed

    Veldkamp, A; Verburg, P H

    2004-08-01

    Land use change models are tools for understanding and explaining the causes and consequences of land use dynamics. Recently, new models, combining knowledge and tools from biophysical and socio-economic sciences, have become available. This has resulted in spatially explicit models focussed on patterns of change as well as agent-based models focused on the underlying decision processes. These developments improve the use of land use change models in environmental impact studies. This special issue documents these developments: (i) analysing the system properties in a biophysical and socio-economic context at multiple scales; (ii) integrating spatially explicit land use change models in integrated assessment models; (iii) visualising and quantifying the potential effects of land use change in trade-off curves, to support land users and policy makers in their decisions; and (iv) modelling of the actual decision making process with agent-based modelling. A new promising future development is the incorporation of dynamic feedbacks between changing land use and changing environmental conditions and vice versa. Unfortunately such dynamic feedbacks between the socio-economic and biophysical model components are still not or only partially operational in current models and are therefore the most important challenge for land use and environmental modellers. PMID:15246569

  20. Eolianites and Paleosols as indicators of Sea Level Changes in the Elba Island (Central Italy) during Late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trombino, Luca; Ern, Stephania Irmgard Elena

    2010-05-01

    Late Pleistocene Calcareous eolianites exist along the coasts and islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea (Central Mediterranean), particularly on Sardinia Island (western coast), on the Tuscany coast and on the islands of Toscano and Pontino Archipelagos. In the second half of the last century, some authors interpreted Italian eolianites as hanging beach sediments, as shown in the geological maps of that time: in fact, studied eolianites often show hard interpreting facies and uncertain dating. The aim of this work is focused on nature and paleoclimatic significance of the eolianites of Elba Island, which is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, at about 10 Km from the coast of the Tuscany (Central Italy); the Elba Island is the greater of Toscano Archipelago. The work is based on: field survey, with sedimentological, pedological and geomorphological description; laboratory methods, mainly grain size analyses; micromorphology, with observation and description of thin sections of eolianites and related paleosols and soils.

  1. Modeling environmental changes from measures of spatial environmental structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoran, Maria A.; Ciobanu, Mircea; Nicolae, Doina N.; Talianu, Camelia

    2004-10-01

    Change is intrinsic to ecosystems, but is also the essence of instability and the outgrowth of situations that lack sustainability. It must also be recognized that change can be associated with either restoration or degradation. Compressed multiband image data provides increased flexibility and practicality for systematic change detection on a regional basis. Combining such capability with conceptual extensions of spatial pattern analysis represents a methodology for systematically monitoring spatial structure of spectral change across landscapes in order to profile characteristic broad scale regimes of change and to indicate trends in those regimes. Sustainability and ecosystem health are watchwords of contemporary ecosystem management. To solve urgent needs in application of remote sensing data, environmental change must be detected based on monitoring spatial and temporal regimes across landscapes. Environmental landscape level indices are used to examine land cover transitions. Based on classified TM images for North-Western Black Sea, Constantza urban area, Romania, conditional probability matrices of land cover transition are compared to measures of landscape structure. Based on proper algorithms for structural composition modeling were defined landscape elements being estimated the probabilistic behavior of pixels. This approach suggests a means of linking the probabilistic behavior of the fine scale dynamics to the pattern observed at larger spatial scales.

  2. Methods for environmental change; an exploratory study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background While the interest of health promotion researchers in change methods directed at the target population has a long tradition, interest in change methods directed at the environment is still developing. In this survey, the focus is on methods for environmental change; especially about how these are composed of methods for individual change (‘Bundling’) and how within one environmental level, organizations, methods differ when directed at the management (‘At’) or applied by the management (‘From’). Methods The first part of this online survey dealt with examining the ‘bundling’ of individual level methods to methods at the environmental level. The question asked was to what extent the use of an environmental level method would involve the use of certain individual level methods. In the second part of the survey the question was whether there are differences between applying methods directed ‘at’ an organization (for instance, by a health promoter) versus ‘from’ within an organization itself. All of the 20 respondents are experts in the field of health promotion. Results Methods at the individual level are frequently bundled together as part of a method at a higher ecological level. A number of individual level methods are popular as part of most of the environmental level methods, while others are not chosen very often. Interventions directed at environmental agents often have a strong focus on the motivational part of behavior change. There are different approaches targeting a level or being targeted from a level. The health promoter will use combinations of motivation and facilitation. The manager will use individual level change methods focusing on self-efficacy and skills. Respondents think that any method may be used under the right circumstances, although few endorsed coercive methods. Conclusions Taxonomies of theoretical change methods for environmental change should include combinations of individual level methods that may

  3. Mid-Miocene to Pleistocene Radiolarian fossil record from IODP Expedition 346: Faunal response to the global climatic changes and local/regional tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itaki, T.; Motoyama, I.; Kamikuri, S.; Tada, R.; Murray, R. W.; Alvarez Zarikian, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    It is well known that radiolarian fossils can be used as a geological tool for the age assignment and paleoceanographic reconstruction. In this study, we analyzed radiolarian fossils for seven drilled sites of IODP Exp. 346 from the Japan, Yamato and Ulleung (JYU) basins in a marginal sea of the mid-latitude NW Pacific. Significant variations of the well-preserved fossil assemblage imply that the unique oceanic circulation changes in the basins through Mid-Miocene to Pleistocene might be controlled by global climatic changes and topographic changes with local/regional tectonics. Warm water radiolarians Dictyocoryne spp. and Tetrapyle spp. characterized in the Tsushima Current water occurred commonly since 1.7 Ma suggesting a beginning of the warm water inflow from the southern strait of the basins. It might be coincident with an opening of the Okinawa Trough in the East China Sea. On the other hand, during the Pliocene period, sporadic occurrence of the warm water species was recognized in southern part of the examined area. This implies that a minor influence of the warm water was present in the southern coastal area of the Yamato Basin. Typical deep dwelling species such as Cornutella profunda and Peripyramis circumtexta is absent in the present JYU basins, however they occurred frequently during Pliocene and Miocene. This suggests the deep-water exchange between the JYU basins and the North Pacific via the deeper strait, which might be present in the northern part of the sea. These deep-water radiolarians disappeared from the JYU basins at the early Pleistocene (~2.7 Ma to 1.7 Ma), which is almost coincident with the Northern Hemisphere Glaciation.

  4. The potential of Pleistocene volcanism for constraining the palaeo-environmental history of the Arabian peninsula: 40Ar/39Ar dating of Al Wahbah maar crater, Harrat Kishb, Saudi Arabia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdel Wahab, Antar; Stuart, Finlay M.; Abul Maaty, Mostafa; Awad, Hesham; Kafafy, Aziz

    2013-04-01

    The Arabian peninsula is a critical region for early human migration out of Africa. Pleistocene climatic conditions have fluctuated between wet and dry extremes several times and have had a profound effect on environment and, likely, the development of human populations in the region. However, absolute chronological constraints on regional environmental and climatic changes are poor. The western margin of the Arabian peninsula is covered by 180,000 km2 of Cenozoic to Recent lava flows and related volcanic rocks that record palaeo-climatic conditions. Precise dating of these volcanic rocks has the potential to refine the climatic- environmental evolution of the region. We report a detailed geological and geochronological study of Al Wahbah maar crater (~2.2 km diameter, ~250 m deep) in Harrat Kishb, Saudi Arabia. It formed during a phreatomagmatic explosion that dissected a scoria cone on the northern wall of the crater that exposes a dolerite plug that was intruded immediately prior to crater formation. Pillow lavas at the base of the cone demonstrate that the phreatomagmatic eruption occurred during interaction between magma and a shallow lake or river, rather than groundwater. The 40Ar/39Ar age of dolerite plug (1.147 ± 0.004 Ma) reflects the time that Al Wahbah maar crater formed. More importantly it puts a firm date on the presence of abundant surface water. This study provides constraints on the timing of humid climatic conditions in the region and suggests that the Quaternary basaltic volcanism that stretches the length of the western side of the Arabian peninsula may prove to be useful for establishing the timing of palaeoclimatic changes.

  5. Environmental change makes robust ecological networks fragile

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Strona, Giovanni; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2016-01-01

    Complex ecological networks appear robust to primary extinctions, possibly due to consumers’ tendency to specialize on dependable (available and persistent) resources. However, modifications to the conditions under which the network has evolved might alter resource dependability. Here, we ask whether adaptation to historical conditions can increase community robustness, and whether such robustness can protect communities from collapse when conditions change. Using artificial life simulations, we first evolved digital consumer-resource networks that we subsequently subjected to rapid environmental change. We then investigated how empirical host–parasite networks would respond to historical, random and expected extinction sequences. In both the cases, networks were far more robust to historical conditions than new ones, suggesting that new environmental challenges, as expected under global change, might collapse otherwise robust natural ecosystems.

  6. Human impact: man's role in environmental change

    SciTech Connect

    Goudie, A.

    1982-01-01

    Drawing upon worldwide examples, the author traces mankind's interaction with nature and examines human interference with environmental systems at various stages of social development. Succeeding chapters take up man's specific impact on vegetation, animals, the soil, the waters, landforms, climate, and the atmosphere. With the aid of maps, diagrams, and graphs, the book analyzes the causes and consequences of environmental changes associated with such large-scale events as agricultural expansion, domestication, deforestation, and urbanization, including the spread of salination, extinction, erosion, and pollution. Interrelations, often dynamic and unpredictable, between these phenomena make it difficult to isolate the causes of changes and to determine the resiliency of natural systems to change. 505 references, 82 figures, 97 tables.

  7. Environmental change makes robust ecological networks fragile

    PubMed Central

    Strona, Giovanni; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2016-01-01

    Complex ecological networks appear robust to primary extinctions, possibly due to consumers' tendency to specialize on dependable (available and persistent) resources. However, modifications to the conditions under which the network has evolved might alter resource dependability. Here, we ask whether adaptation to historical conditions can increase community robustness, and whether such robustness can protect communities from collapse when conditions change. Using artificial life simulations, we first evolved digital consumer-resource networks that we subsequently subjected to rapid environmental change. We then investigated how empirical host–parasite networks would respond to historical, random and expected extinction sequences. In both the cases, networks were far more robust to historical conditions than new ones, suggesting that new environmental challenges, as expected under global change, might collapse otherwise robust natural ecosystems. PMID:27511722

  8. Environmental change makes robust ecological networks fragile.

    PubMed

    Strona, Giovanni; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2016-01-01

    Complex ecological networks appear robust to primary extinctions, possibly due to consumers' tendency to specialize on dependable (available and persistent) resources. However, modifications to the conditions under which the network has evolved might alter resource dependability. Here, we ask whether adaptation to historical conditions can increase community robustness, and whether such robustness can protect communities from collapse when conditions change. Using artificial life simulations, we first evolved digital consumer-resource networks that we subsequently subjected to rapid environmental change. We then investigated how empirical host-parasite networks would respond to historical, random and expected extinction sequences. In both the cases, networks were far more robust to historical conditions than new ones, suggesting that new environmental challenges, as expected under global change, might collapse otherwise robust natural ecosystems. PMID:27511722

  9. What Happened to Gray Whales during the Pleistocene? The Ecological Impact of Sea-Level Change on Benthic Feeding Areas in the North Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Pyenson, Nicholas D.; Lindberg, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Background Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) undertake long migrations, from Baja California to Alaska, to feed on seasonally productive benthos of the Bering and Chukchi seas. The invertebrates that form their primary prey are restricted to shallow water environments, but global sea-level changes during the Pleistocene eliminated or reduced this critical habitat multiple times. Because the fossil record of gray whales is coincident with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation, gray whales survived these massive changes to their feeding habitat, but it is unclear how. Methodology/Principal Findings We reconstructed gray whale carrying capacity fluctuations during the past 120,000 years by quantifying gray whale feeding habitat availability using bathymetric data for the North Pacific Ocean, constrained by their maximum diving depth. We calculated carrying capacity based on modern estimates of metabolic demand, prey availability, and feeding duration; we also constrained our estimates to reflect current population size and account for glaciated and non-glaciated areas in the North Pacific. Our results show that key feeding areas eliminated by sea-level lowstands were not replaced by commensurate areas. Our reconstructions show that such reductions affected carrying capacity, and harmonic means of these fluctuations do not differ dramatically from genetic estimates of carrying capacity. Conclusions/Significance Assuming current carrying capacity estimates, Pleistocene glacial maxima may have created multiple, weak genetic bottlenecks, although the current temporal resolution of genetic datasets does not test for such signals. Our results do not, however, falsify molecular estimates of pre-whaling population size because those abundances would have been sufficient to survive the loss of major benthic feeding areas (i.e., the majority of the Bering Shelf) during glacial maxima. We propose that gray whales survived the disappearance of their primary feeding ground

  10. Reconstruction of pliocene-pleistocene ecological conditions of Western Transbaicalia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vashukevich, N. V.

    2009-04-01

    The aim of this study is to examine paleoenvironmental conditions and soil evolution during the Late Pliocene and the Early -Middle Pleistocene in the Western Transbaikalia (Eastern Siberia, Russia). The basic objects of study are the palaeontologycal sites Udunga and Tologoy. Our researches based on pedohumic method (Dergacheva, 1997), when the pedogenic humus properties of site sediments analysed and used as the basis for reconstructing soil-forming processes. On the basis study of pliocene sediments of the Udunga site has revealed three different pedogenetic cycles, depending on water regime and duration of pedogenesis in subtropical environment. The stratigraphic section of the early -middle pleistocene part of the Tologoy site has 4 zones of pedogenesis that are distinguishable by pedogenic humus and other features, and consequently by the character of ancient soil forming processes. Climatic change trends both to humidity and to aridity, the landscape was similar to today, an environmental сombination of dry steppes, wetlands and alkaline areas.

  11. The complex behavior of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet and mountain glaciers to abrupt climate change during the latest Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menounos, Brian; Goehring, Brent; Osborn, Gerald; Clarke, Garry K. C.; Ward, Brent; Margold, Martin; Bond, Jeff; Clague, John J.; Lakeman, Tom; Schaefer, Joerg; Koch, Joe; Gosse, John; Stroeven, Arjen P.; Seguinot, Julien; Heyman, Jakob; Fulton, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Surficial mapping and more than 70 radiometric ages 10Be, 14C] constrain the evolution of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet (CIS) and associated mountain glaciers in western Canada during the latest Pleistocene. Our data suggest that: i) there is widespread evidence for the Younger Dryas (YD) throughout the mountains of western Canada; ii) late Pleistocene climate reconstructions based solely on alpine moraines may be misleading in regions with decaying ice sheets; iii) extensive interfluves in some mountain regions were ice-free between 16 ka and 13 ka (kilo calibrated yrs BP). Initial decay of the CIS from its maximum extent around 16 ka was likely due to a combination of climatic (surface melting) and dynamical factors. Climate amelioration during the Bølling-Allerød Warm Period [14.7-12.9 ka], likely the cause for the major phase of CIS decay, resulted in ice sheet equilibrium line altitudes (ELAs) ranging from 2500 m asl in southern BC to around 2000 m asl along the BC-Yukon border. Hence, before the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) Cold Period [12.9-11.7 ka], the ice sheet shrank and became a labyrinth of individual and coalescing valley glaciers fed by major accumulation zones centered on the Coast Mountains and other high ranges of NW Canada. The response of remnant ice and cirque glaciers to the YD climate deterioration was highly variable. In some cases, small glaciers (0.5-2 km2) built YD moraines that were only hundreds of meters beyond those constructed during the Little Ice Age (LIA) [0.30-0.15 ka]. Our dating also reveals that much larger glaciers persisted in nearby valleys that lie hundreds of meters below the cirques. Hence, we infer that many cirques were completely deglaciated prior the YD, in contrast to low-lying valleys where ice sheet remnants persisted. Glaciers also advanced in north-central British Columbia during the YD, but here glaciers constructed large terminal and lateral moraines. In the Cassiar and northern Coast mountains, for example

  12. Pleistocene geomorphological and sedimentary development of the Akaki River catchment (northeastern Troodos Massif) in relation to tectonic uplift versus climatic change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Main, Charlotte E.; Robertson, Alastair H. F.; Palamakumbura, Romesh N.

    2016-01-01

    The uplift of the Troodos ophiolite is reflected in the development of the Akaki River catchment in the northeast Troodos Massif. Four main stages (F1-F4) of geomorphological terrace development and related deposits are recognised using satellite imagery and field observations. The geomorphological terraces have been tectonically uplifted during the Pleistocene so that they dip northwards from the Troodos Mountains until they merge with the Mesaoria Plain. Lithology (e.g. hard diabase versus soft extrusive rock) has exerted an important control on the geomorphology of the Akaki River channel. The F1 terraces and related deposits are well preserved in the lower reaches of the catchment. The F2 terraces are more widely preserved but with few preserved deposits. The F3 erosional surfaces (e.g. strath terraces) and related deposits are widespread up into the higher reaches of the catchment. The F4 to recent geomorphological surfaces and deposits are confined to near the modern river channel. The F1- to F3-aged deposits each include very high-energy mass-flow deposits and somewhat lower-energy traction-flow deposits, with minimal sand preservation. Stages of fluvial aggradation were followed by soil development (e.g. terra rossa). The F1- to F4-aged terraces and related deposits mainly formed in response to a combination of very long-term tectonic uplift and climatic-related change (long term and short term). Tectonic uplift was the dominant driver related to the updoming of the Troodos ophiolite, especially during the earlier time period (F1 and F2), whereas climate-related effects appear to have dominated more recently (F3 and F4). Sedimentary aggradation is likely to have predominated during interglacial periods, while interglacial-glacial transitions (when climate fluctuated) are seen as times of increased incision. Previous correlations of the F1-F4 fluvial deposits with similar deposits elsewhere in Cyprus, including coastal marine carbonate deposits, suggest that

  13. NOVELTY DETECTION UNDER CHANGING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

    SciTech Connect

    H. SOHN; K. WORDER; C. R. FARRAR

    2001-04-01

    The primary objective of novelty detection is to examine a system's dynamic response to determine if the system significantly deviates from an initial baseline condition. In reality, the system is often subject to changing environmental and operation conditions that affect its dynamic characteristics. Such variations include changes in loading, boundary conditions, temperature, and moisture. Most damage diagnosis techniques, however, generally neglect the effects of these changing ambient conditions. Here, a novelty detection technique is developed explicitly taking into account these natural variations of the system in order to minimize false positive indications of true system changes. Auto-associative neural networks are employed to discriminate system changes of interest such as structural deterioration and damage from the natural variations of the system.

  14. Future generations, environmental ethics, and global environmental change

    SciTech Connect

    Tonn, B.E.

    1994-12-31

    The elements of a methodology to be employed by the global community to investigate the consequences of global environmental change upon future generations and global ecosystems are outlined in this paper. The methodology is comprised of two major components: A possible future worlds model; and a formal, citizen-oriented process to judge whether the possible future worlds potentially inheritable by future generations meet obligational standards. A broad array of descriptors of future worlds can be encompassed within this framework, including survival of ecosystems and other species and satisfaction of human concerns. The methodology expresses fundamental psychological motivations and human myths journey, renewal, mother earth, and being-in-nature-and incorporates several viewpoints on obligations to future generations-maintaining options, fairness, humility, and the cause of humanity. The methodology overcomes several severe drawbacks of the economic-based methods most commonly used for global environmental policy analysis.

  15. (40)Ar/(39)Ar dating of Bed I, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and the chronology of early Pleistocene climate change.

    PubMed

    Deino, Alan L

    2012-08-01

    (40)Ar/(39)Ar dating of tuffs and lavas of the late Pleistocene volcanic and sedimentary sequence of Olduvai Gorge, north-central Tanzania, provides the basis for a revision of Bed I chronostratigraphy. Bed I extends from immediately above the Naabi Ignimbrite at 2.038 ± 0.005 Ma to Tuff IF at 1.803 ± 0.002 Ma. Tuff IB, a prominent widespread marker tuff in the basin and a key to understanding hominin evolutionary chronologies and paleoclimate histories, has an age of 1.848 ± 0.003 Ma. The largest lake expansion event in the closed Olduvai lake basin during Bed I times encompassed the episode of eruption and emplacement of this tuff. This lake event is nearly coincident with the maximum precessional insolation peak of the entire Bed I/Lower Bed II interval, calculated from an astronomical model of the boreal summer orbital insolation time-series. The succeeding precessional peak also apparently coincides with the next youngest expansion of paleo-Lake Olduvai. The extreme wet/dry climate shifts seen in the upper part of Bed I occur during an Earth-orbital eccentricity maximum, similar to episodic lake expansions documented elsewhere in the East African Rift during the Neogene. PMID:22809744

  16. Development of coral reefs of the Ryukyu Islands (southwest Japan, East China Sea) during Pleistocene sea-level change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamori, T.; Iryu, Y.; Yamada, T.

    1995-11-01

    The Pleistocene coral reef deposits called the Ryukyu Group are widely distributed through the Ryukyu Islands. Lithofacies are represented by conglomerate, calcareous sandstone and limestones. The limestones can be divided into six lithofacies on the basis of macro-benthos and large foraminifers. They are coral, rhodolith, Cycloclypeus-Operculina, Halimeda, and poorly- to well-sorted detrital limestones. Their depositional environments are reconstructed referring to the depth range of the Recent coral reef biota around the Ryukyu Islands. Depositional history of the Ryukyu Group is recorded in a stratigraphic cross-section on Toku-no-shima. Sequence stratigraphical units are recognized in the vertical section of the limestones. Units 1 and 3 are considered to have been formed when the relative sea-level was high, while Units 2 and 4 were deposited during the low stands of sea-level. It is noteworthy that the coral limestones of the Units 2 and 4 were accumulated during glacial stages. The generalized sequence of the limestones is deduced from a transition probability on Miyako-jima. It begins with the Cycloclypeus-Operculina limestone and is followed by rhodolith limestone and ends with coral limestone. These facies indicate a shallowing upward succession.

  17. The role of cryptotephra in refining the chronology of Late Pleistocene human evolution and cultural change in North Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barton, R. N. E.; Lane, C. S.; Albert, P. G.; White, D.; Collcutt, S. N.; Bouzouggar, A.; Ditchfield, P.; Farr, L.; Oh, A.; Ottolini, L.; Smith, V. C.; Van Peer, P.; Kindermann, K.

    2015-06-01

    Sites in North Africa hold key information for dating the presence of Homo sapiens and the distribution of Middle Stone Age (MSA), Middle Palaeolithic (MP) and Later Stone Age (LSA) cultural activity in the Late Pleistocene. Here we present new and review recently published tephrochronological evidence for five cave sites in North Africa with long MSA/MP and LSA cultural sequences. Four tephra horizons have been identified at the Haua Fteah (Cyrenaica, Libya). They include cryptotephra evidence for the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption dating to ˜39 ka that allows correlation with other Palaeolithic sequences in the eastern Mediterranean and as far north as Russia. Cryptotephra have also been recorded from the Moroccan sites of Taforalt, Rhafas and Dar es-Soltane 1. At Taforalt the geochemical composition suggests a provenance in the Azores, while examples from Sodmein (Egypt) appear to derive from central Anatolia and another unknown source. In these latter examples chemical compositional data from relevant proximal volcanic centres is currently lacking so the identification of tephra in layers of known age and cultural association provides the first reliable age determinations for distal volcanic events and their geographical extent. The future potential for tephrochronological research in North Africa is also discussed.

  18. A multilocus evaluation of ermine (Mustela erminea) across the Holarctic, testing hypotheses of Pleistocene diversification in response to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dawson, Natalie G.; Hope, Andrew G.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: We examined data for ermine (Mustela erminea) to test two sets of diversification hypotheses concerning the number and location of late Pleistocene refugia, the timing and mode of diversification, and the evolutionary influence of insularization. Location: Temperate and sub-Arctic Northern Hemisphere. Methods: We used up to two mitochondrial and four nuclear loci from 237 specimens for statistical phylogeographical and demographic analyses. Coalescent species-tree estimation used a Bayesian approach for clade divergence based on external mutation rate calibrations. Approximate Bayesian methods were used to assess population size, timing of divergence and gene flow. Results: Limited structure coupled with evidence of population growth across broad regions, including previously ice-covered areas, indicated expansion from multiple centres of differentiation, but high endemism along the North Pacific coast (NPC). A bifurcating model of diversification with recent growth spanning three glacial cycles best explained the empirical data. Main conclusions: A newly identified clade in North America indicated a fourth refugial area for ermine. The shallow coalescence of all extant ermine reflects a recent history of diversification overlying a deeper fossil record. Post-glacial colonization has led to potential contact zones for multiple lineages in north-western North America. A model of diversification of ermine accompanied by recent gene flow was marginally less well supported than a model of divergence of major clades in response to the most recent glacial cycles.

  19. Multilocus phylogeography of a widespread savanna-woodland-adapted rodent reveals the influence of Pleistocene geomorphology and climate change in Africa's Zambezi region.

    PubMed

    McDonough, Molly M; Šumbera, Radim; Mazoch, Vladimír; Ferguson, Adam W; Phillips, Caleb D; Bryja, Josef

    2015-10-01

    Understanding historical influences of climate and physiographic barriers in shaping patterns of biodiversity remains limited for many regions of the world. For mammals of continental Africa, phylogeographic studies, particularly for West African lineages, implicate both geographic barriers and climate oscillations in shaping small mammal diversity. In contrast, studies for southern African species have revealed conflicting phylogenetic patterns for how mammalian lineages respond to both climate change and geologic events such as river formation, especially during the Pleistocene. However, these studies were often biased by limited geographic sampling or exclusively focused on large-bodied taxa. We exploited the broad southern African distribution of a savanna-woodland-adapted African rodent, Gerbilliscus leucogaster (bushveld gerbil) and generated mitochondrial, autosomal and sex chromosome data to quantify regional signatures of climatic and vicariant biogeographic phenomena. Results indicate the most recent common ancestor for all G. leucogaster lineages occurred during the early Pleistocene. We documented six divergent mitochondrial lineages that diverged ~0.270-0.100 mya, each of which was geographically isolated during periods characterized by alterations to the course of the Zambezi River and its tributaries as well as regional 'megadroughts'. Results demonstrate the presence of a widespread lineage exhibiting demographic expansion ~0.065-0.035 mya, a time that coincides with savanna-woodland expansion across southern Africa. A multilocus autosomal perspective revealed the influence of the Kafue River as a current barrier to gene flow and regions of secondary contact among divergent mitochondrial lineages. Our results demonstrate the importance of both climatic fluctuations and physiographic vicariance in shaping the distribution of southern African biodiversity. PMID:26340076

  20. Environmental change and hominin exploitation of C4-based resources in wetland/savanna mosaics.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kathlyn M

    2014-12-01

    Eastern and southern Africa experienced ongoing climatic and tectonic instability in the Plio-Pleistocene, alongside declining forests and expanding grasslands. Most known hominin genera (Australopithecus spp., Kenyanthropus, Paranthropus spp., Homo spp.) appear roughly between 4.2 and 1.8 Ma (millions of years ago). Explanations for these speciation events have focused on adaptations to environmental change, particularly in terrestrial biomes. However, the links between environmental change and hominin adaptations have not always been clear. Often overlooked is that Plio-Pleistocene vegetation included not just terrestrial environments, but a large component of edaphic (wet) C4 grasses and sedges. In this paper it is suggested that in response to environmental fluctuations, hominins engaged in conservative long-term ecological and dietary patterns, based on predictable C4/C3 wetland and terrestrial resources. Data are presented from six hominin locales, which demonstrate reliance on plant-based resources (sedges, grasses, and other vegetation) in C4-inclusive wetland/savanna mosaics. After roughly 2.4 Ma, severe climate variability is associated with early Homo and perhaps Paranthropus boisei broadening their diet to familiar but less preferred foods: vertebrates and invertebrates. These foods consistently provided early Homo with essential nutrients, which reduced selection pressures and allowed for increases in brain size. After 1.65 Ma, a 20% increase in the C4 dietary component of Homo occurs alongside increased relative brain size. P. boisei also increases its C4 dietary component by 15% after 1.65 Ma. These increases imply that both taxa continued to broaden their diet within the C4-based wetlands/savanna biome, with Homo putting a greater emphasis on mammals. PMID:25456823

  1. National Institute for Global Environmental Change

    SciTech Connect

    Werth, G.C.

    1992-04-01

    This document is the Semi-Annual Report of the National Institute for Global Environmental Change for the reporting period July 1 to December 31, 1991. The report is in two parts. Part I presents the mission of the Institute, examples of progress toward that mission, a brief description of the revised management plan, and the financial report. Part II presents the statements of the Regional Center Directors along with progress reports of the projects written by the researchers themselves.

  2. A 20,000-year record of environmental change from Laguna Kollpa Kkota, Bolivia

    SciTech Connect

    Seltzer, G.O. . Mendenhall Lab.); Abbott, M.B. )

    1992-01-01

    Most records of paleoclimate in the Bolivian Andes date from the last glacial-to-interglacial transition. However, Laguna Kollpa Kkota and other lakes like it, formed more than 20,000 yr BP when glaciers retreated and moraines dammed the drainage of the valleys they are located in. These lakes were protected from subsequent periods of glaciation because the headwalls of these valleys are below the level of the late-Pleistocene glacial equilibrium-line altitude. The chemical, mineral, and microfossil stratigraphies of these glacial lakes provide continuous records of environmental change for the last 20,000 years that can be used to address several problems in paleoclimate specific to tropical-subtropical latitudes. Preliminary results from Laguna Kollpa Kkota indicate that glacial equilibrium-line altitudes were never depressed more than 600 m during the last 20,000 years, suggesting that temperatures were reduced only a few-degrees celsius over this time period. Sedimentation rates and the organic carbon stratigraphy of cores reflect an increase in moisture in the late Pleistocene just prior to the transition to a warmer and drier Holocene. The pollen and diatom concentrations in the sediments are sufficient to permit the high resolution analyses needed to address whether or not there were climatic reversals during the glacial-to-interglacial transition.

  3. Late Pleistocene climate change and landscape dynamics in the Eastern Alps: the inner-alpine Unterangerberg record (Austria)

    PubMed Central

    Starnberger, Reinhard; Drescher-Schneider, Ruth; Reitner, Jürgen M.; Rodnight, Helena; Reimer, Paula J.; Spötl, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Drill cores from the inner-alpine valley terrace of Unterangerberg, located in the Eastern Alps of Austria, offer first insights into a Pleistocene sedimentary record that was not accessible so far. The succession comprises diamict, gravel, sand, lignite and thick, fine grained sediments. Additionally, cataclastic deposits originating from two paleo-landslide events are present. Multi-proxy analyses including sedimentological and palynological investigations as well as radiocarbon and luminescence data record the onset of the last glacial period (Würmian) at Unterangerberg at ∼120–110 ka. This first time period, correlated to the MIS 5d, was characterised by strong fluvial aggradation under cold climatic conditions, with only sparse vegetation cover. Furthermore, two large and quasi-synchronous landslide events occurred during this time interval. No record of the first Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5c) is preserved. During the second Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5a), the local vegetation was characterised by a boreal forest dominated by Picea, with few thermophilous elements. The subsequent collapse of the vegetation is recorded by sediments dated to ∼70–60 ka (i.e. MIS 4), with very low pollen concentrations and the potential presence of permafrost. Climatic conditions improved again between ∼55 and 45 ka (MIS 3) and cold-adapted trees re-appeared during interstadials, forming an open forest vegetation. MIS 3 stadials were shorter and less severe than the MIS 4 at Unterangerberg, and vegetation during these cold phases was mainly composed of shrubs, herbs and grasses, similar to what is known from today's alpine timberline. The Unterangerberg record ended at ∼45 ka and/or was truncated by ice during the Last Glacial Maximum. PMID:23805019

  4. Late Pleistocene climate change and landscape dynamics in the Eastern Alps: the inner-alpine Unterangerberg record (Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starnberger, Reinhard; Drescher-Schneider, Ruth; Reitner, Jürgen M.; Rodnight, Helena; Reimer, Paula J.; Spötl, Christoph

    2013-05-01

    Drill cores from the inner-alpine valley terrace of Unterangerberg, located in the Eastern Alps of Austria, offer first insights into a Pleistocene sedimentary record that was not accessible so far. The succession comprises diamict, gravel, sand, lignite and thick, fine grained sediments. Additionally, cataclastic deposits originating from two paleo-landslide events are present. Multi-proxy analyses including sedimentological and palynological investigations as well as radiocarbon and luminescence data record the onset of the last glacial period (Würmian) at Unterangerberg at ˜120-110 ka. This first time period, correlated to the MIS 5d, was characterised by strong fluvial aggradation under cold climatic conditions, with only sparse vegetation cover. Furthermore, two large and quasi-synchronous landslide events occurred during this time interval. No record of the first Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5c) is preserved. During the second Early Würmian interstadial (MIS 5a), the local vegetation was characterised by a boreal forest dominated by Picea, with few thermophilous elements. The subsequent collapse of the vegetation is recorded by sediments dated to ˜70-60 ka (i.e. MIS 4), with very low pollen concentrations and the potential presence of permafrost. Climatic conditions improved again between ˜55 and 45 ka (MIS 3) and cold-adapted trees re-appeared during interstadials, forming an open forest vegetation. MIS 3 stadials were shorter and less severe than the MIS 4 at Unterangerberg, and vegetation during these cold phases was mainly composed of shrubs, herbs and grasses, similar to what is known from today's alpine timberline. The Unterangerberg record ended at ˜45 ka and/or was truncated by ice during the Last Glacial Maximum.

  5. Analysis of vegetation and climate change during Late Pleistocene from Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, Eastern Himalaya region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Amalava; Mehrotra, Nivedita; Shah, Santosh K.; Basavaiah, Nathani; Chaudhary, Vandana; Singh, Indra Bir

    2014-10-01

    Vegetation and climate during later part of Late Pleistocene have been reconstructed from Ziro valley, Arunachal Pradesh, Eastern Himalaya based on pollen data along with carbon isotope and magnetic susceptibility data The study reveals that the area and the vicinity is occupied by mixed broad leaved - conifer forest and pine grass savanah at variable densities at least since 66,000yr BP. The phases of expansions and declines of Oaks with decline and increase of Pines and grasses probably occurred under increase (warm-moist) and decrease (cool-dry) of S.W. monsoon precipitation respectively. The increasing trend of S.W. monsoon and temperature is recorded during ˜44,000 to 34,000 cal yr BP synchronizing with the peat development, and which peaked at around 35,000 cal yr BP. This may link to the interstadial phase during the last major glacial cycle in the Himalayan region. It is also reflected in the decline of δ13C value indicating dominance of C-3 type of vegetation. The increased values of χFD%, and lower values χLF magnetic susceptibility, recorded during the phase of the peat deposit, further advocate's higher monsoon intensity. Impact of expansion of glacier felt with peak (LGM) around 20,000 cal yr BP is perceived. Tree line had moved to lower altitudes due to increased aridity and low temperature. During this time existence of savannah type of vegetation is also evident by the increase of C4 taxa. Decreased FD% and increased χLF susceptibility also indicate reduced S.W. monsoon intensity.

  6. Chronological and environmental context of the Middle Pleistocene human tooth from Mollet Cave (Serinyà, NE Iberian Peninsula).

    PubMed

    Maroto, Julià; Julià, Ramon; López-García, Juan Manuel; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre

    2012-06-01

    Mollet Cave is a small cave situated in Serinyà (north-east Iberian Peninsula). It was excavated in 1947-48, 1958 and 1972 by Josep M. Corominas. An archaic human molar comes from its base layer (Layer 5). Up till now, this layer has only been dated based on a relative and imprecise chronology of macromammals and the archaeostratigraphic evidence from the early excavations. Recent excavations, conducted between 2001 and 2005, have made it possible to ascertain more precisely the archaeological and palaeontological contents of Mollet Cave, gather microvertebrates, and collect samples for radiometric dating. The aim of this paper is to present the absolute dating of Layer 5, as well as its palaeo environmental and climatic characterisation. The macromammal assemblage seems to have been the result of accumulations produced by the most abundant carnivore, the hyena, which would have used the cave as a den. The results obtained using uranium-series disequilibrium dating ascribe to Layer 5 an age of ca. 215 ka (thousands of years ago), which would correspond to MIS 7. The faunal association suggests a landscape formed by an open and humid woodland characteristic of an interstadial phase, which would have been an environment well suited to sustaining both hyenas and human groups. PMID:22551896

  7. Collective behaviour, uncertainty and environmental change.

    PubMed

    Bentley, R Alexander; O'Brien, Michael J

    2015-11-28

    A central aspect of cultural evolutionary theory concerns how human groups respond to environmental change. Although we are painting with a broad brush, it is fair to say that prior to the twenty-first century, adaptation often happened gradually over multiple human generations, through a combination of individual and social learning, cumulative cultural evolution and demographic shifts. The result was a generally resilient and sustainable population. In the twenty-first century, however, considerable change happens within small portions of a human generation, on a vastly larger range of geographical and population scales and involving a greater degree of horizontal learning. As a way of gauging the complexity of societal response to environmental change in a globalized future, we discuss several theoretical tools for understanding how human groups adapt to uncertainty. We use our analysis to estimate the limits of predictability of future societal change, in the belief that knowing when to hedge bets is better than relying on a false sense of predictability. PMID:26460111

  8. Environmental change drove macroevolution in cupuladriid bryozoans.

    PubMed

    O'Dea, Aaron; Jackson, Jeremy

    2009-10-22

    Most macroevolutionary events are correlated with changes in the environment, but more rigorous evidence of cause and effect has been elusive. We compiled a 10 Myr record of origination and extinction, changes in mode of reproduction, morphologies and abundances of cupuladriid bryozoan species, spanning the time when primary productivity collapsed in the southwestern Caribbean as the Isthmus of Panama closed. The dominant mode of reproduction shifted dramatically from clonal to aclonal, due in part to a pulse of origination followed by extinction that was strongly selective in favour of aclonal species. Modern-day studies predict reduced clonality in increasingly oligotrophic conditions, thereby providing a mechanistic explanation supporting the hypothesis that the collapse in primary productivity was the cause of turnover. However, whereas originations were synchronous with changing environments, extinctions lagged 1-2 Myr. Extinct species failed to become more robust and reduce their rate of cloning when the new environmental conditions arose, and subsequently saw progressive reductions in abundance towards their delayed demise. Environmental change is therefore established as the root cause of macroevolutionary turnover despite the lag between origination and extinction. PMID:19640882

  9. Late Pleistocene and early Holocene change in the Weddell Sea: a new climate record from the Patriot Hills, Ellsworth Mountains, West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turney, C. S.; Fogwill, C. J.; Rubino, M.; Etheridge, D. M.; van Ommen, T. D.; Moy, A. D.; Curran, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The transition from the late Pleistocene to the Holocene (30 000-5000 years ago) was a period of considerable climate variability, which has been associated with changes in deep water formation and the intensity of the Meridional Overturning Circulation. Although numerous records exist across the North Atlantic region, few Antarctic ice core records have been obtained from the south. Here we exploit the potential of upwelling ancient ice - so-called blue ice areas (BIAs) - from the Patriot Hills in the Ellsworth Mountains to derive the first deuterium isotope record (dD) from continental Antarctica south of the Weddell Sea. Gas analysis and glaciological considerations provide a first relative chronology and provide new constraints on ice sheet dynamics in the region. Inferred temperature trends from the Patriot Hills BIA and snow pit suggest changing climate influences during the transition between the last glacial period and Holocene. Our results demonstrate the considerable potential of the Patriot Hills site for reconstructing past climate change in the south Atlantic region.

  10. Global environmental change research: empowering developing countries.

    PubMed

    Nobre, Carlos A; Lahsen, Myanna; Ometto, Jean P H B

    2008-09-01

    This paper discusses ways to reconcile the United Nations Millennium Development Goals with environmental sustainability at the national and international levels. The authors argue that development and better use of sustainability relevant knowledge is key, and that this requires capacity building globally, and especially in the less developed regions of the world. Also essential is stronger integration of high-quality knowledge creation and technology--and policy--development, including, importantly, the creation of centers of excellence in developing regions which effectively use and produce applications-directed high quality research and bring it to bear on decision making and practices related to environmental change and sustainable management of natural resources. The authors argue that Southern centers of excellence are a necessary first step for bottom-up societal transformation towards sustainability, and that such centers must help design innovative ways to assess and place value on ecosystem services. PMID:18797803

  11. Reconstructed glacier geometry and inferred Equilibrium Line Altitude changes during the Late Pleistocene deglaciation in the Retezat Mountains, Southern Carpathians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madarász, Balázs; Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger, Zsófia; Kern, Zoltán; Urdea, Petru

    2016-04-01

    Quaternary glaciations had a major imprint on the landscape and topography of the Southern Carpathians. Their transitional position between continental and Mediterranean climate zones arouses special interest concerning the timing and pattern of glaciations in this area. Probably the Retezat Mts hosted the most extended glaciation during the Late Pleistocene within this range. The peak elevations of the study area reach 2500 m asl, and the most extended glaciers descended to 1040 m in the northern and to 1130 m on the southern valleys. Major cirque floors are typically situated at 2000-2100 m asl. Glacial landforms have been mapped in order to reconstruct the past ice bodies and the elevation shifts of the paleo equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) during several deglaciation phases of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Lateglacial in the Retezat Mts. On the basis of published 10Be exposure age data on the northern valleys of the study area, deglaciation of the Retezat Mts occurred at least in five phases between ~21.0 ka and 13.5 ka [1]. Various methods (THAR, AAR, AABR) have been tested using a GIS tool to estimate the ELA of the reconstructed paleoglaciers [2] and paleo ELAs were calculated for each of the deglaciation phases. Preliminary estimates of regional LGM paleoELA employing the simplest THAR method (with a ratio of 0.5) ranged from ~1670 m during the LGM to ~2210 m for the smallest cirque glacier at 13.5 ka, respectively. The AAR and AABR methods provide somewhat higher ELAs for each phase. The obtained paleoELAs were compared to ELA reconstructions available from other Carpathian ranges and also to the Alps and Dinarides. Our data will contribute to a more accurate ELA distribution during the LGM, which may be indicative of the past state of the climate system (moisture gradient, circulation regimes). Thanks to OTKA PD83610, PD104899; NKM-96/2014, NKM-31/2015; OMAA 90öu17; LP2012-27/2012. References: [1] Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger et al. 2016 Quat. Int. (in

  12. Energy flow and functional compensation in Great Basin small mammals under natural and anthropogenic environmental change

    PubMed Central

    Terry, Rebecca C.; Rowe, Rebecca J.

    2015-01-01

    Research on the ecological impacts of environmental change has primarily focused at the species level, leaving the responses of ecosystem-level properties like energy flow poorly understood. This is especially so over millennial timescales inaccessible to direct observation. Here we examine how energy flow within a Great Basin small mammal community responded to climate-driven environmental change during the past 12,800 y, and use this baseline to evaluate responses observed during the past century. Our analyses reveal marked stability in energy flow during rapid climatic warming at the terminal Pleistocene despite dramatic turnover in the distribution of mammalian body sizes and habitat-associated functional groups. Functional group turnover was strongly correlated with climate-driven changes in regional vegetation, with climate and vegetation change preceding energetic shifts in the small mammal community. In contrast, the past century has witnessed a substantial reduction in energy flow caused by an increase in energetic dominance of small-bodied species with an affinity for closed grass habitats. This suggests that modern changes in land cover caused by anthropogenic activities—particularly the spread of nonnative annual grasslands—has led to a breakdown in the compensatory dynamics of energy flow. Human activities are thus modifying the small mammal community in ways that differ from climate-driven expectations, resulting in an energetically novel ecosystem. Our study illustrates the need to integrate across ecological and temporal scales to provide robust insights for long-term conservation and management. PMID:26170294

  13. Consideration of environmental change in performance assessments.

    PubMed

    Pinedo, P; Thorne, M; Egan, M; Calvez, M; Kautsky, U

    2005-01-01

    Depending on the particular circumstances in which a post-closure performance assessment of a radioactive waste repository is made, it may be appropriate to follow simple or more complex approaches in characterising the biosphere. Several different Example Reference Biospheres were explored in BIOMASS Theme 1 to address a range of issues that arise. Here, consideration is given to Example Reference Biospheres relevant to representing the implications of changes that may occur within the biosphere system during the period over which releases of radionuclides from a disposal facility might take place. Mechanisms of change considered include those extrinsic and intrinsic to the system of interest. An overall methodology for incorporating environmental change into assessments is proposed. This includes screening of primary mechanisms of change; identification of possible time sequences of change; development of a coherent description of the regional landscape response for each time sequence; integration of source term and geosphere-biosphere interface information; identification and description of one or more time series of assessment biospheres; and evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of simulating the effects of sequences of biosphere systems and the transitions between them, or of defining a set of biosphere systems to be represented individually in a non-sequential analysis. The usefulness of the methodology is explored in two site-specific examples and one generic example. PMID:16198459

  14. Monitoring adaptive genetic responses to environmental change.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Michael M; Olivieri, Isabelle; Waller, Donald M; Nielsen, Einar E

    2012-03-01

    Widespread environmental changes including climate change, selective harvesting and landscape alterations now greatly affect selection regimes for most organisms. How animals and plants can adapt to these altered environments via contemporary evolution is thus of strong interest. We discuss how to use genetic monitoring to study adaptive responses via repeated analysis of the same populations over time, distinguishing between phenotypic and molecular genetics approaches. After describing monitoring designs, we develop explicit criteria for demonstrating adaptive responses, which include testing for selection and establishing clear links between genetic and environmental change. We then review a few exemplary studies that explore adaptive responses to climate change in Drosophila, selective responses to hunting and fishing, and contemporary evolution in Daphnia using resurrected resting eggs. We further review a broader set of 44 studies to assess how well they meet the proposed criteria, and conclude that only 23% fulfill all criteria. Approximately half (43%) of these studies failed to rule out the alternative hypothesis of replacement by a different, better-adapted population. Likewise, 34% of the studies based on phenotypic variation did not test for selection as opposed to drift. These shortcomings can be addressed via improved experimental designs and statistical testing. We foresee monitoring of adaptive responses as a future valuable tool in conservation biology, for identifying populations unable to evolve at sufficiently high rates and for identifying possible donor populations for genetic rescue. Technological advances will further augment the realization of this potential, especially next-generation sequencing technologies that allow for monitoring at the level of whole genomes. PMID:22269082

  15. Atmospheric Aspects of Recent Arctic Environmental Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serreze, M. C.

    2002-12-01

    Evidence assembled over the past several decades shows the Arctic system as in the midst of significant environmental change. This includes pronounced warming over most land areas, reductions in sea ice extent, alterations in precipitation, river discharge and sea ice circulation, and warming and increased areal extent of the Arctic Ocean's Atlantic layer. The accepted paradigm is that these changes relate to general dominance of the positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The AO is defined as the leading mode of Northern Hemisphere sea level pressure variability. It can be considered as an index of the strength of the circumpolar vortex. Circulation variability associated with the AO is most pronounced over the Atlantic sector, such that its index is strongly correlated with that of the NAO, which describes mutual strengthening and weakening of the Icelandic Low and Azores High. Whether the AO is a more fundamental mode than the NAO is acontinuing issue of debate. In the broadest sense, environmental changes associated with the dominant positive phase of the AO/NAO are responses to alterations in surface wind regimes and transports of heat and moisture. However, linkages with some variables, such as winter discharge from the Siberian rivers, appear to be indirect. Furthermore, while the AO/NAO is best expressed in winter, many Arctic changes, such as reduced sea ice extent, are most apparent during summer. Variability in other key variables, such as precipitation over the Eurasian Arctic watersheds, exhibit only weak links. The AO/NAO are natural modes of variability which operate on a spectrum of time scales. There is ample evidence that multidecadal variability in the AO/NAO relates to variability in sea surface temperatures. However, growing evidence suggests that the recent positive tendency may contain an anthropogenic component. A leading contender is stratospheric ozone loss. In this framework, the atmospheric

  16. Forecasting sudden changes in environmental pollution patterns

    PubMed Central

    Olascoaga, María J.; Haller, George

    2012-01-01

    The lack of reliable forecasts for the spread of oceanic and atmospheric contamination hinders the effective protection of the ecosystem, society, and the economy from the fallouts of environmental disasters. The consequences can be dire, as evidenced by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. We present a methodology to predict major short-term changes in environmental contamination patterns, such as oil spills in the ocean and ash clouds in the atmosphere. Our approach is based on new mathematical results on the objective (frame-independent) identification of key material surfaces that drive tracer mixing in unsteady, finite-time flow data. Some of these material surfaces, known as Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs), turn out to admit highly attracting cores that lead to inevitable material instabilities even under future uncertainties or unexpected perturbations to the observed flow. These LCS cores have the potential to forecast imminent shape changes in the contamination pattern, even before the instability builds up and brings large masses of water or air into motion. Exploiting this potential, the LCS-core analysis developed here provides a model-independent forecasting scheme that relies only on already observed or validated flow velocities at the time the prediction is made. We use this methodology to obtain high-precision forecasts of two major instabilities that occurred in the shape of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This is achieved using simulated surface currents preceding the prediction times and assuming that the oil behaves as a passive tracer. PMID:22411824

  17. The impact of Pleistocene climate change on an ancient arctic–alpine plant: multiple lineages of disparate history in Oxyria digyna

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Geraldine A; Marr, Kendrick L; McCormick, Laurie J; Hebda, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    The ranges of arctic–alpine species have shifted extensively with Pleistocene climate changes and glaciations. Using sequence data from the trnH-psbA and trnT-trnL chloroplast DNA spacer regions, we investigated the phylogeography of the widespread, ancient (>3 million years) arctic–alpine plant Oxyria digyna (Polygonaceae). We identified 45 haplotypes and six highly divergent major lineages; estimated ages of these lineages (time to most recent common ancestor, TMRCA) ranged from ∼0.5 to 2.5 million years. One lineage is widespread in the arctic, a second is restricted to the southern Rocky Mountains of the western United States, and a third was found only in the Himalayan and Altai regions of Asia. Three other lineages are widespread in western North America, where they overlap extensively. The high genetic diversity and the presence of divergent major cpDNA lineages within Oxyria digyna reflect its age and suggest that it was widespread during much of its history. The distributions of individual lineages indicate repeated spread of Oxyria digyna through North America over multiple glacial cycles. During the Last Glacial Maximum it persisted in multiple refugia in western North America, including Beringia, south of the continental ice, and within the northern limits of the Cordilleran ice sheet. Our data contribute to a growing body of evidence that arctic–alpine species have migrated from different source regions over multiple glacial cycles and that cryptic refugia contributed to persistence through the Last Glacial Maximum. PMID:22822441

  18. Environmental changes on the Balkans recorded in the sediments from lakes Prespa and Ohrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, B.; Vogel, H.; Zanchetta, G.; Sulpizio, R.

    2010-05-01

    Lakes Prespa and Ohrid on the Balkans are considered to be amongst the oldest lakes in Europe. Both lakes are hydraulically connected via karst aquifers. From Lake Ohrid, several up to ca. 15 m long sediment records were studied during the past years. In this study, a first long sediment record from Lake Prespa was studied in order to shed more light on the influence of Lake Prespa on Lake Ohrid and the environmental history of the region. Radiocarbon dating and the occurrence of 3 dated tephra layers provide a good age control and indicate that the 10.5 m long sediment record reaches back to 48 ka. The comparison of the results from this study with those from former studies of the Lake Ohrid cores indicates that Lake Prespa is more susceptible to environmental changes due to its lower volume and water depth. Glacial sedimentation is characterized by low organic matter contents and absence of carbonates in the sediments, which indicate oligotrophic conditions in both lakes. Holocene sedimentation is characterized by particularly high carbonate contents in Lake Ohrid and by particularly high organic matter contents in Lake Prespa, which indicate a shift towards more mesotrophic conditions in the latter. Long-term environmental changes and short-term events, such as the Heinrich events during the Pleistocene or the 8.2 cooling event during the Holocene, are well recorded in both lakes, but partly expressed in different proxies.

  19. Introduction to Holocene environmental change in Kamchatka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, S. J.; Diekmann, B.; Jones, V. J.; Hammarlund, D.

    2015-11-01

    This volume brings together a collection of papers on Holocene environmental change in the Kamchatka Peninsula, in the Russian Far East. Much of the work that appears in these papers was completed under the auspices of two major research activities: a UK NERC-funded project Influence of global teleconnections on Holocene climate in Kamchatka, which dealt with the analysis of lake records collected during the Swedish Beringia 2005 expedition organised by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat; and a Russian-German multidisciplinary research project KALMAR - Kurile-Kamchatka and Aleutian Marginal Sea-Island Arc Systems: Geodynamic and Climate Interaction in Space and Time, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

  20. Late Pleistocene Rapid Climate Change Events Measured in Stalagmites From a Semi-Arid Cave in Iran Show Pan-Eurasian Climate Signal Matching NGRIP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehterian, S.; Pourmand, A.; Sharifi, A.; Murphy, L.; Lahijani, H. A. K.; Naderi, M.; Swart, P. K.

    2015-12-01

    Although new records of Pleistocene climate variability have begun to emerge from speleothems in Western and Eastern Asia, much remains unknown about climate variability on centennial to millennial timescales during the last glacial and interglacial periods across the interior of West Asia. The regional climate of West Asia is governed by interactions between the Northern Hemisphere Westerly Jet, the Siberian Anticyclone and the Indian Ocean Summer Monsoon, making this region highly sensitive to abrupt climate variability. Here we present the first high-resolution oxygen isotope record of two stalagmites from a cave in the semi-arid region of NW Iran. The records from Qaleh Kord Cave (QKC, 35°47'50"N, 48°51'25"E) span between 73 kya to 127 kya and cover marine isotope stages MIS4 and MIS5. The absolute chronology of both stalagmites was established using a novel high-precision U-Th geochronometry technique with multi-collection ICP-MS. The δ18O composition of QKC stalagmites closely agree with changes in δ18O composition of the NGRIP ice core from Greenland, indicating a close atmospheric teleconnection between the climate of the North Atlantic and the interior of West Asia during this period. Because the chronology of NGRIP beyond 60 kya is calculated via numerical flow models and not directly measured, data from our stalagmites provide absolute age tie points to improve the accuracy of the deepest portion of the ice record. Furthermore, agreement between our records and those from the Soreq (Israel) and Sanbao (China) caves in West and East Asia point to a pan-Eurasian climate signal. In order to investigate the mechanisms that drive changes in climate in Western Asia on millennial timescales and examine the role of orbital characteristics and changes in insolation on atmospheric circulation and precipitation during MIS5, we present results from fully-coupled general circulation simulation CESM1 at three time slices of 80, 95, and 115 kya.

  1. Indicators of recent environmental change in Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Jacoby, G.C.; D`Arrigo, R.D.; Juday, G.

    1997-12-31

    Climate models predict that global warming due to the effects of increasing trace gases will be amplified in northern high latitude regions, including Alaska. Several environmental indicators, including tree-ring based temperature reconstructions, borcal forest growth measurements and observations of glacial retreat all indicate that the general warming of the past century has been significant relative to prior centuries to millenia. The tree-ring records for central and northern Alaska indicate that annual temperature increased over the past century, peaked in the 1940s, and are still near the highest level for the past three centuries (Jacoby and D`Arrigo 1995). The tree-ring analyses also suggest that drought stress may now be a factor limiting growth at many northern sites. The recent warming combined with drier years may be altering the response of tree growth to climate and raising the likelihood of forest changes in Alaska and other boreal forests. Other tree-ring and forest data from southern and interior Alaska provide indices of the response of vegetation to extreme events (e.g., insect outbreaks, snow events) in Alaska (Juday and marler 1996). Historical maps, field measurements and satellite imagery indicate that Alaskan glaciers have receded over the past century (e.g., Hall and Benson 1996). Severe outbreaks of bark beetles may be on the increase due to warming, which can shorten their reproductive cycle. Such data and understanding of causes are useful for policy makers and others interested in evaluation of possible impacts of trace-gas induced warming and environmental change in the United States.

  2. Holocene environmental change in Kamchatka: A synopsis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, S. J.; Diekmann, B.; Jones, V. J.; Hammarlund, D.

    2015-11-01

    We present a synthesis of the results of a multiproxy, multisite, palaeoecological study of Holocene environmental change in Kamchatka, Far East Russia, details of which are presented elsewhere in the volume. We summarise the results of the analyses of pollen, diatom, chironomid, and testate amoebae assemblages, together with stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon, and sediment characteristics from the sediments of five lakes and a peat succession on a latitudinal gradient of the Kamchatka Peninsula, to infer environmental change and establish the major climate forcers and climatic teleconnections. There are synchronous shifts in the assemblage composition of most of the biota and across most sites at 6.5-6.2 ka BP, 5.2 ka BP, 4.0 ka BP, and 3.5 ka BP, suggesting a response to strong regional climate forcing at these times. These dates correspond to the warmest part of the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) (6.5-6.2 ka BP), the beginning of the Neoglacial cooling (5.2 ka BP), the coolest and wettest part of the Neoglacial (4.0 ka BP), and a switch to warmer and drier conditions at 3.5 ka BP. Our results provide evidence for the penetration and domination of different air masses at different periods during the Holocene. Cool and dry periods in winter (e.g., at 6.0 ka BP) were driven by a relatively weak pressure gradient between the Siberian High and the Aleutian Low, whereas cool, wet periods in winter (e.g., the Neoglacial and during the LIA) developed when these two systems increased in strength. Warm, dry, continental periods in summer (e.g., at 2.5 ka BP) were driven by a weakening of the Siberian High. We find that the timing of the HTM in Kamchatka is later than in the Eurasian arctic but similar to northern Europe and the sub-arctic part of eastern Siberia. This progressive onset of the HTM was due to the effects of postglacial ice-sheet decay that modulated the routes of westerly storm tracks in Eurasia. A major ecosystem driver was the Siberian dwarf pine Pinus

  3. Contrasting responses to Pleistocene climate changes: a case study of two sister species Allium cyathophorum and A. spicata (Amaryllidaceae) distributed in the eastern and western Qinghai–Tibet Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xinyu; Li, Yuanshuo; Liang, Qianlong; Zhang, Lei; Wang, Qian; Hu, Huan; Sun, Yongshuai

    2015-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that species occurring in the eastern and the western Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP) responded differently to climate changes during the Pleistocene. Here, we test this hypothesis by phylogeographic analysis of two sister species, Allium cyathophorum and A. spicata. We sequenced two chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) fragments (accD-psaI and the rpl16 intron) of 150 individuals, and the nuclear (ITS) region of 114 individuals, from 19 populations throughout the distributional ranges of these species. The divergence between the two species was dated at 779 - 714 thousand years before the present and was likely initiated by the most major glaciation in the QTP. Analysis of chlorotype diversity showed that A. spicata, the species occurring in the western QTP, contains much lower genetic diversity (0.25) than A. cyathophorum (0.93), which is distributed in the eastern QTP. Moreover, multiple independent tests suggested that the A. spicata population had expanded recently, while no such expansion was detected in A. cyathophorum, indicating a contrasting pattern of responses to Pleistocene climate changes. These findings highlight the importance of geographical topography in determining how species responded to the climate changes that took place in the QTP during the Pleistocene. PMID:25897390

  4. Were Upper Pleistocene human/non-human predator occupations at the Témara caves (El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra, Morocco) influenced by climate change?

    PubMed

    Campmas, Emilie; Michel, Patrick; Costamagno, Sandrine; Amani, Fethi; Stoetzel, Emmanuelle; Nespoulet, Roland; El Hajraoui, Mohamed Abdeljalil

    2015-01-01

    The influence of climate change on human settlements in coastal areas is a central question for archaeologists. This paper addresses this issue by focusing on the Témara region in Morocco. The study area was selected for two main reasons. First, it contains numerous caves with Upper Pleistocene deposits, which have yielded remains of anatomically modern humans in association with Aterian and Iberomaurusian artifacts. Second, these caves are currently located on the shore, thus this region is particularly sensitive to major climate change and sea level fluctuations. Diachronic taphonomic study of faunal remains from two sites in the region, El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra caves, shows alternating human/non-human predator occupations. The lower layers of El Mnasra Cave dating to Oxygen Isotope Stage (OIS) 5 have yielded diverse ungulate remains with significant anthropogenic impact marks, together with numerous mollusk shells, Nassarius shell beads, hearths, lithics, some bone tools and used pigments. Faunal remains from the upper layers dating to OIS 4, 3 and 2 of El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra caves, largely dominated by gazelles, provide evidence of carnivore activities, such as tooth marks, numerous semi-digested bones and coprolites alongside some anthropogenic signatures (cut marks and burnt bones). Non-human predators appear to be the main agents responsible for faunal modifications and accumulations. The 'non-intensive' nature of human occupation is confirmed by analyses of the lithic industry at El Harhoura 2. The 'intensive' human occupations date to OIS 5 and could have taken place during wet periods in connection with high sea levels, which allowed the exploitation of shellfish in this area. 'Non-intensive' human occupations generally correspond to arid periods and lower sea levels, during which the Témara area was further inland and may have been less attractive to humans. PMID:25281232

  5. The Mediterranean Plio-Pleistocene: A reference frame for astronomically paced low and high latitude climate changes (Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourens, Lucas

    2016-04-01

    The astronomical theory of climate has revolutionized our understanding of past climate change and the development of highly accurate geologic time scales for the entire Cenozoic. Most of this understanding has started with the construction of high-resolution stable oxygen isotope (18O) records from planktonic and benthic foraminifera of open ocean deep marine sediments explored by the international drilling operations of DSDP, ODP and IODP. These efforts culminated into global ocean isotopic stacked records, which give a clear picture of the evolution of the climate state through time. Fundamental for these reconstructions are the assumptions made between the astronomical forcing and the tuned time series and the accuracy of the astronomical solution. In the past decades, an astronomically calibrated time scale for the Pliocene and Pleistocene of the Mediterranean has been developed, which has become the reference for the standard Geologic Time Scale. Characteristic of the studied marine sediments are the cyclic lithological alternations, reflecting the interference between obliquity and precession-paced low latitude climate variability. These interference patterns allowed to evaluate the accuracy of astronomical solutions and to constrain the dynamical ellipticity of the Earth and tidal dissipation by the Sun and the Moon, which in turn provided the backbone for the widely applied LR04 open ocean benthic isotope stack of the past 5 Myr. So far, the assumed time lags between orbital forcing and the global climate response as reflected in LR04 have not been tested, while these assumptions hark back to SPECMAP, using simple ice sheet models and a limited number of radiometric dates. In addition, LR04 adopted a shorter response time for the smaller ice caps during the Pliocene. Here I present the first benthic 18O record of the Mediterranean reference scale, which strikingly mirrors the LR04. I will use this record to discuss the assumed phase relations and its

  6. Low order gravity field and sea-level: antarctic contribution to late-Pleistocen and Holocene volume changes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ivins, Erik; Wu, Xioping; Gross, Richard

    2005-01-01

    We discuss the requirements of a GRACE follow-on mission, having the potential capability, for example, to monitor both cryospheric changes in Antarctica, Greenland and Patagonia and for capturing the associated solid earth creep responses that exist beneath these regions.

  7. Dynamics of Pleistocene population extinctions in Beringian brown bears.

    PubMed

    Barnes, I; Matheus, P; Shapiro, B; Jensen, D; Cooper, A

    2002-03-22

    The climatic and environmental changes associated with the last glaciation (90,000 to 10,000 years before the present; 90 to 10 ka B.P.) are an important example of the effects of global climate change on biological diversity. These effects were particularly marked in Beringia (northeastern Siberia, northwestern North America, and the exposed Bering Strait) during the late Pleistocene. To investigate the evolutionary impact of these events, we studied genetic change in the brown bear, Ursus arctos, in eastern Beringia over the past 60,000 years using DNA preserved in permafrost remains. A marked degree of genetic structure is observed in populations throughout this period despite local extinctions, reinvasions, and potential interspecies competition with the short-faced bear, Arctodus simus. The major phylogeographic changes occurred 35 to 21 ka B.P., before the glacial maximum, and little change is observed after this time. Late Pleistocene histories of mammalian taxa may be more complex than those that might be inferred from the fossil record or contemporary DNA sequences alone. PMID:11910112

  8. Pleistocene and Holocene Iberian flora: a complete picture and review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González Sampériz, Penélope

    2010-05-01

    A detailed analysis of the location and composition of Iberian vegetation types during the whole Pleistocene and Holocene periods shows a complex patched landscape with persistence of different types of ecosystems, even during glacial times. In addition, recent, high-resolution palaeoecological records are changing the traditional picture of post-glacial vegetation succession in the Iberian Peninsula. The main available charcoal and pollen sequences include, coniferous and deciduous forest, steppes, shrublands, savannahs and glacial refugia during the Pleistocene for Meso-thermophytes (phytodiversity reservoirs), in different proportions. This panorama suggests an environmental complexity that relates biotic responses to climate changes forced by Milankovitch cycles, suborbital forcings and by the latitudinal and physiographic particularities of the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, many factors are critical in the course of vegetational developments and strong regional differences are observed since the Early Pleistocene. Currently, the flora of Iberia is located in two biogeographical/climatic regions: the Eurosiberian and the Mediterranean. The first one includes northern and northwestern areas of the peninsula, where post-glacial responses of vegetation are very similar to Central Europe, although with some particularities due to its proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean region. The second one comprises the main territory of Iberia and shows more complex patterns and singularities, now and in the past. Steppe landscapes dominated extensive areas over all the territory during the cold spells of the Quaternary, especially during the Late Pleistocene up to the Last Glacial Maximum, but differences in composition of the dominant taxa (Compositae versus Artemisia) are observed since the Early Pleistocene, probably related to moisture regional gradients. Coastal shelves and intramountainous valleys, even in continental areas, are spots of floristic

  9. Late Pleistocene sedimentary sequences and paleoclimate changes in Xunhua basin in the upper reach of Yellow River in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Fang; Zhang, Kexin; Ji, Junliang; Xu, Yadong; Chen, Fenning; Kou, Xiaohu

    2012-09-01

    The third terrace of the Yellow River was well developed in Xunhua basin in the north-east margin of the Tibetan Plateau. The terrace was formed at ca 75 ka as dated by the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) method. On the basis of grain size, magnetic susceptibility and palynological data, six episodes of the climatic change were identified in Xunhua basin; they include very warm and humid period during 120-114 ka, cool and dry period during 114-105 ka, warm and humid period during 105-98 ka, gradually cooling period during 98-85 ka, warm and humid period during 85-75 ka, very cold and dry period during 75-63 ka. The six stages of climatic change recorded in Xunhua basin correspond to the marine oxygen isotope stages (MIS) of 5e, 5d, 5c, 5b, 5a and 4, respectively.

  10. Campuses Act to Affect Positive Environmental Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Triplett, Beth

    1990-01-01

    Colleges and universities can work for environmental protection in a variety of ways, through conscious consumer choices, communication of environmental values through educational programs, participation in environmental groups, recycling, scrutiny of food service practices, campus special projects, and working with other campus services to…

  11. Physical fitness gains following simple environmental change.

    PubMed

    Linenger, J M; Chesson, C V; Nice, D S

    1991-01-01

    Inactivity is the risk factor with potentially the greatest public health impact, according to the 1989 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report. Our study reports changes in subjects' physical fitness level after simple changes aimed at enabling community members to adopt more easily active lifestyles. Simple environmental and social alterations occurred at a San Diego Naval air station. We administered to a cohort of active-duty personnel from within this community (n = 1,609) both a physical readiness test (PRT) and a lifestyle questionnaire at baseline and at one year. The PRT consisted of a 1.5-mile timed run, sit-ups, push-ups, and percentage body fat components, and the questionnaire addressed demographics, current exercise behavior, and attitudes toward exercise. We took similar measures within a comparison community cohort (n = 217) and within a Navy-wide sample cohort (n = 546). Both overall PRT category and 1.5-mile run time improved significantly (P less than .05) over time in the intervention community (0.3 category points and 18 seconds, respectively). The increase was significantly greater (P less than .01) than in either the control community or the Navy-wide sample. Subgroup analysis showed that, in the intervention community, 12.4% failed the overall fitness test in 1987, but only 5.1% failed in 1988. Similarly, the 1.5-mile run failures decreased from 8.4% to 4%. Reported leisure time kilocalorie expenditure showed no significant improvement. This simple program successfully improved fitness performance. The improvement was distributed throughout the community and included those who were substandard at baseline. Similar programs could easily be adopted in a variety of communities. PMID:1790036

  12. Late Pliocene to early Pleistocene (2.4-1.25 Ma) paleoproductivity changes in the Bering Sea: IODP expedition 323 Hole U1343E

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sunghan; Khim, Boo-Keun; Takahashi, Kozo

    2016-03-01

    Late Pliocene to early Pleistocene paleoproductivity changes in the Bering Sea were reconstructed using geochemical concentrations and mass accumulation rates (MARs) of CaCO3, biogenic opal, and total organic carbon (TOC), and sedimentary nitrogen isotope ratios (δ15N) at IODP Expedition 323 Hole U1343E, drilled in the northern slope area (1956 m deep) of the Bering Sea. CaCO3 concentration is generally low, but prominent CaCO3 peaks occur intermittently due to subseafloor authigenic carbonate formation rather than biogenic accumulation, regardless of glacial-interglacial variations. Biogenic opal concentrations reflect orbital-scale glacial-interglacial variations. However, TOC concentration did not show clear glacial-interglacial variation, probably due to poor preservation. The sedimentary δ15N values vary synchronously with biogenic opal concentration on orbital timescales. The co-varying pattern of opal productivity and δ15N values at Hole U1343E is a result of nutrient utilization controlled by diatom productivity in the Bering slope area where Fe is not a limiting factor. Biogenic opal and TOC MARs showed a temporal shift at around 1.9 Ma from a high productivity period under nutrient-enriched conditions to a low productivity period under relatively nutrient-depleted conditions. High diatom productivity with low δ15N values before 1.9 Ma is associated with abundant nutrient supply by upwelling in relation to strong surface current system. This productivity decrease at about 1.9 Ma was also found in the southern Bering Sea (Site U1341) and may be related to global opal reorganization.

  13. Landscape response to late Pleistocene climate change along the Puna Plateau margin: Sediment flux and cosmogenic landslide signatures modulated by basin geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schildgen, T. F.; Robinson, R. A. J.; Savi, S.; Phillips, W. M.; Spencer, J. Q. G.; Bookhagen, B.; Scherler, D.; Tofelde, S.; Alonso, R. N.; Kubik, P.; Binnie, S. A.; Strecker, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    Along the steep flanks of the southern Central Andes (eastern margin of the Puna Plateau), fluvial fill terraces preserve archives of landscape response to climate change over millennial timescales. These archives record information about past erosion and aggradation rates, erosion processes, and even paleoclimate. In the Humahuaca Basin of NW Argentina, our 29 new optically stimulated luminescence ages of late Pleistocene fill terrace sediments demonstrate that past river aggradation occurred over different intervals on the west and east sides of the valley. On the west side, aggradation coincided with periods of increasing intensity of the South American Monsoon System and the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (increasing precipitation), while on the east side, aggradation coincided with periods of decreasing intensities of both systems (decreasing precipitation) or with more variable conditions. Denudation rates and grain-size dependencies from 70 new cosmogenic 10Be analyses reveal that landslides were more important during periods of increasing precipitation compared to today. On the west side of the valley, a sudden pulse of sediment led to aggradation near the intersection with the trunk stream. In contrast, on the east side, the pulse of sediment likely blocked the narrow bedrock gorges that characterize those catchments, leading to temporary sediment storage in upstream perched basins; sediment evacuation into the main valley occurred preferentially during periods of decreasing precipitation and fewer landslides. Different levels of fluvial connectivity to the trunk stream for the western and eastern catchments within the Humahuaca Basin produces heterogeneity in the locus of aggradation and the timing of sediment movement through the system. Hence, for larger basins that integrate sub-basins with differing geometries or degrees of connectivity, sedimentary responses to climate forcing are likely to be attenuated.

  14. Planktic foraminifera shell chemistry response to seawater chemistry: Pliocene-Pleistocene seawater Mg/Ca, temperature and sea level change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, David; Brierley, Chris; Raymo, Maureen E.; Erez, Jonathan; Müller, Wolfgang

    2016-03-01

    Foraminifera Mg/Ca paleothermometry forms the basis of a substantial portion of ocean temperature reconstruction over the last 5 Ma. Furthermore, coupled Mg/Ca-oxygen isotope (δ18O) measurements of benthic foraminifera can constrain eustatic sea level (ESL) independent of paleo-shoreline derived approaches. However, this technique suffers from uncertainty regarding the secular variation of the Mg/Ca seawater ratio (Mg/Casw) on timescales of millions of years. Here we present coupled seawater-test Mg/Ca-temperature laboratory calibrations of Globigerinoides ruber in order to test the widely held assumptions that (1) seawater-test Mg/Ca co-vary linearly, and (2) the Mg/Ca-temperature sensitivity remains constant with changing Mg/Casw. We find a nonlinear Mg/Catest-Mg/Casw relationship and a lowering of the Mg/Ca-temperature sensitivity at lower than modern Mg/Casw from 9.0% °C-1 at Mg/Casw = 5.2 mol mol-1 to 7.5 ± 0.9% °C-1 at 3.4 mol mol-1. Using our calibrations to more accurately calculate the offset between Mg/Ca and biomarker-derived paleotemperatures for four sites, we derive a Pliocene Mg/Casw ratio of ∼4.3 mol mol-1. This Mg/Casw implies Pliocene ocean temperature 0.9-1.9 °C higher than previously reported and, by extension, ESL ∼30 m lower compared to when one assumes that Pliocene Mg/Casw is the same as at present. Correcting existing benthic foraminifera datasets for Mg/Casw indicates that deep water source composition must have changed through time, therefore seawater oxygen isotope reconstructions relative to present day cannot be used to directly reconstruct Pliocene ESL.

  15. Vegetation changes and their climatic implication for the late Pleistocene at Lake Poukawa, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okuda, M.; Shulmeister, J.; Flenley, J. R.

    2002-07-01

    A detailed vegetation history extending back to the Last Interglacial (Marine Isotope Substage 5e) is presented for Lake Poukawa, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. This history is based on palynological analyses of a 198-m core record, age secured by uranium/thorium (U/Th) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dates as well as tephrochronology. Vegetation of the penultimate glacial (Isotope Stage 6) probably consisted of a very sparse shrubby herbland of stunted podocarps ( Phyllocladus sp.), daisies, grasses and sedges. Similar floras existed in each of the succeeding cool periods. Four interglacial/interstadial floras are preserved. The peak of the Last Interglacial (Substage 5e) was dominated by extensive lowland forest of tall forest podocarps ( Podocarpus/Prumnopitys), most probably matai ( Prumnopitys taxifolia) with red beech ( Nothofagus fusca), secondary forest trees ( Coprosma spp., Myrsine spp.) and tree ferns ( Cyathea spp.). In the Poukawa basin itself, a swamp forest of the podocarp ( Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) with the true palm ( Rhopalostylis sapida) expanded. Substage 5e was significantly warmer and/or moister than the present day. Substage 5c/5a was marked by montane forest of red and silver beeches ( N. fusca and N. menziesii), Phyllocladus spp. and secondary trees. A reduced representation of Podocarpus/ Prumnopitys possibly consists of montane podocarp ( Podocarpus hallii). We infer the temperature of Substage 5c/5a to have been 3.5-5 °C lower than the present day. Although Stage 3 flora are superficially similar to those of Substage 5c/5a, the beeches are relatively less dominant. The regional flora during Stage 1 is very similar to those of Substage 5e, but the density is lower with no swamp forest during the present interglaciation. This may represent a change in evapotranspiration balance around Poukawa, but may also be controlled by hydrological conditions within the basin.

  16. The Siberian loess record and its significance for reconstruction of Pleistocene climate change in north-central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chlachula, Jiří

    2003-09-01

    The Siberian loess represents the most significant terrestrial proxy record of Quaternary climatic history in northern Asia. Loess is extensive in southern Siberia, between the Irtysh Basin in the west and the Angara Basin in the east. Palaeoenvironmental multi-proxy data (magnetic susceptibility (MS), grain size, % CaCO 3, % TOC, pollen, etc.) from high-resolution loess-palaeosol sections provide evidence for a strongly fluctuating climatic sequence in north-central Asia during the Late Quaternary, displaying the globally diagnostic sequences found in the deep-sea oxygen isotope records. MS provides the most continuous and detailed record (encompassing the last two interglacial-glacial cycles) in loess sections in the Minusinsk Basin (Yenisei area) and on the northern Altai Plains. Evidence for periodic atmospheric shifts is provided by gradual changes in the main vegetation zones, with parkland-steppe and mixed taiga during warm interglacial/interstadial stages being replaced by boreal tundra-forest and arid periglacial tundra-steppe during stadials. Climatic pulses from warm intervals to cold are recorded by incipient (forest/steppe)-tundra gleysols. The occurrence of the highest sediment accumulation rates in glacial stages (OIS 4 and OIS 2) in the southern plains and depressions indicates that the most intensive aeolian dust deposition followed the glacial maxima, with the most recent interval dated to ca. 19-15 ka BP. Because of its zonal distribution and pronounced climatic continentality, the Siberian loess region represents an important data source for reconstructing past climates in the Northern Hemisphere. It provides a key to the correlation of other loess regions within the West-East Eurasian continental zone.

  17. National Environmental Change Information System Case Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodman, S. J.; Ritschard, R.; Estes, M. G., Jr.; Hatch, U.

    2001-01-01

    The Global Hydrology and Climate Center and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center conducted a fact-finding case study for the Data Management Working Group (DMWG), now referred to as the Data and Information Working Group (DIWG), of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) to determine the feasibility of an interagency National Environmental Change Information System (NECIS). In order to better understand the data and information needs of policy and decision makers at the national, state, and local level, the DIWG asked the case study team to choose a regional water resources issue in the southeastern United States that had an impact on a diverse group of stakeholders. The southeastern United States was also of interest because the region experiences interannual climatic variations and impacts due to El Nino and La Nina. Jointly, with input from the DIWG, a focus on future water resources planning in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River basins of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida was selected. A tristate compact and water allocation formula is currently being negotiated between the states and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) that will affect the availability of water among competing uses within the ACF River basin. All major reservoirs on the ACF are federally owned and operated by the U.S. Army COE. A similar two-state negotiation is ongoing that addresses the water allocations in the adjacent Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River basin, which extends from northwest Georgia to Mobile Bay. The ACF and ACT basins are the subject of a comprehensive river basin study involving many stakeholders. The key objectives of this case study were to identify specific data and information needs of key stakeholders in the ACF region, determine what capabilities are needed to provide the most practical response to these user requests, and to identify any limitations in the use of federal data and information. The NECIS case study followed the terms of reference

  18. Environmental variation and population responses to global change.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Callum R; Vindenes, Yngvild; Bailey, Liam; van de Pol, Martijn

    2015-07-01

    Species' responses to environmental changes such as global warming are affected not only by trends in mean conditions, but also by natural and human-induced environmental fluctuations. Methods are needed to predict how such environmental variation affects ecological and evolutionary processes, in order to design effective strategies to conserve biodiversity under global change. Here, we review recent theoretical and empirical studies to assess: (1) how populations respond to changes in environmental variance, and (2) how environmental variance affects population responses to changes in mean conditions. Contrary to frequent claims, empirical studies show that increases in environmental variance can increase as well as decrease long-term population growth rates. Moreover, environmental variance can alter and even reverse the effects of changes in the mean environment, such that even if environmental variance remains constant, omitting it from population models compromises their ability to predict species' responses to changes in mean conditions. Drawing on theory relating these effects of environmental variance to the curvatures of population growth responses to the environment, we outline how species' traits such as phylogenetic history and body mass could be used to predict their responses to global change under future environmental variability. PMID:25900148

  19. Record of middle Pleistocene climate change from Buck Lake, Cascade Range, southern Oregon - Evidence from sediment magnetism, trace-element geochemistry, and pollen

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenbaum, J.G.; Reynolds, R.L.; Adam, D.P.; Drexler, J.; Sarna-Wojcicki, A. M.; Whitney, G.C.

    1996-01-01

    Comparison of systematic variations in sediment magnetic properties to changes in pollen assemblages in middle Pleistocene lake sediments from Buck Lake indicates that the magnetic properties are sensitive to changes in climate. Buck Lake is located in southern Oregon just east of the crest of the Cascade Range. Lacustrine sediments, from 5.2 to 19.4 m in depth in core, contain tephra layers with ages of ???300-400 ka at 9.5 m and ???400-470 ka at 19.9 m. In these sediments magnetic properties reflect the absolute amount and relative abundances of detrital Fe-oxide minerals, titanomagnetite and hematite. The lacustrine section is divided into four zones on the basis of magnetic properties. Two zones (19.4-17.4 m and 14.5-10.3 m) of high magnetic susceptibility contain abundant Fe oxides and correspond closely to pollen zones that are indicative of cold, dry environments. Two low-susceptibility zones (17.4-14.5 m and 10.3-5.3 m) contain lesser amounts of Fe oxides and largely coincide with zones of warm-climate pollen. Transitions from cold to warm climate based on pollen are preceded by sharp changes in magnetic properties. This relation suggests that land-surface processes responded to these climate changes more rapidly than did changes in vegetation as indicated by pollen frequencies. Magnetic properties have been affected by three factors: (1) dissolution of Fe oxides, (2) variation in heavy-mineral content, and (3) variation in abundance of fresh volcanic rock fragments. Trace-element geochemistry, employing Fe and the immobile elements Ti and Zr, is utilized to detect postdepositional dissolution of magnetic minerals that has affected the magnitude of magnetic properties with little effect on the pattern of magnetic-property variation. Comparison of Ti and Zr values, proxies for heavy-mineral content, to magnetic properties demonstrates that part of the variation in the amount of magnetite and nearly all of the variation in the amount of hematite are due to

  20. Facies and depositional sequences of the Late Pleistocene Göçü shoreline system, Konya basin, Central Anatolia: Implications for reconstructing lake-level changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karabiyikoǧlu, Mustafa; Kuzucuoǧlu, Catherine; Fontugne, Michel; Kaiser, Brigitte; Mouralis, Damase

    1999-04-01

    Well-developed coarse-grained palaeo-shoreline deposits are found along the rising margins of the Konya basin, marking the former extent of a now desiccated Late Pleistocene lake. This study evaluates the depositional environments and the sequential evolution of a shoreline system that developed at the northern margin of the Konya palaeolake near Göçü. Several laterally continuous quarry sections provided an excellent opportunity for studying spatial and temporal changes of depositional environments and related lake-level fluctuations. Eight principal sedimentary facies and six major lithostratigaphic units have been identified in these deposits representing progradational and retrogradational episodes of shoreline development. The lowest sequence is an aggradational unit formed by wind-driven currents and waves in a sand-dominant lake bottom above the wave base. It is overlain by a convoluted palaeosol 14C dated to ca 28,300 BP representing a major lowering of lake levels. Following an unconformity, the next sequence is characterised by large-scale gravelly clinoforms that progressively offlap/downlap onto the underlying sequence, and correspond to progradation of a foreshore resulting from storm-originated oscillating and unidirectional currents, avalanching processes and minor subaqueous debris flows. It is overlain by an areally extensive lensoid body of structureless clays comprising a thin organic layer, abundant rootlets and freshwater mollusc shells, formed from suspension fallout in a quiet, very shallow freshwater lagoonal environment. This phase, representing a more minor lake regression, has been 14C dated to ca. 21,960-20,730 BP. The final sequences include large-scale sand waves and bars, which developed by storm-originated wave surges and strong shoreline currents, and prograding delta foresets. These sequences indicate a renewed lake transgression to higher water levels, before a final regression after 17,500 BP. Lack of tectonic deformation and

  1. Rapid anthropogenic response to short-term aeolian-fluvial palaeoenvironmental changes during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the northern Negev Desert, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roskin, Joel; Katra, Itzhak; Agha, Nuha; Goring-Morris, A. Nigel; Porat, Naomi; Barzilai, Omry

    2014-09-01

    Archaeological investigations along Nahal Sekher on the eastern edge of Israel's northwestern Negev Desert dunefield revealed concentrations of Epipalaeolithic campsites associated respectively with ancient water bodies. This study, aimed at better understanding the connections between these camps and the water bodies, is concerned with a cluster of Natufian sites. A comprehensive geomorphological study integrating field mapping, stratigraphic sections, sedimentological analysis and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages was conducted in the vicinity of a recently excavated Natufian campsite of Nahal Sekher VI whose artifacts directly overlay aeolian sand dated by OSL to 12.4 ± 0.7 and 11.7 ± 0.5 ka. Residual sequences of diagnostic silty sediments, defined here as low-energy fluvial fine-grained deposits (LFFDs), were identified within the drainage system of central Nahal Sekher around the Nahal Sekher VI site. LFFD sections were found to represent both shoreline and mid-water deposits. The thicker mid-water LFFD deposits (15.7 ± 0.7-10.7 ± 0.5 ka) date within the range of the Epipalaeolithic campsites, while the upper and shoreline LFFD units that thin out into the sands adjacent to the Nahal Sekher VI site display slightly younger ages (10.8 ± 0.4 ka-7.6 ± 0.4 ka). LFFD sedimentation by low-energy concentrated flow and standing-water developed as a result of proximal downstream dune-damming. These water bodies developed as a result of encroaching sand that initially crossed central Nahal Sekher by 15.7 ± 0.7 ka and probably intermittently blocked the course of the wadi. LFFD deposition was therefore a response to a unique combination of regional sand supply due to frequent powerful winds and does not represent climate change in the form of increased precipitation or temperature change. The chronostratigraphies affiliate the Natufian sites to the adjacent ancient water bodies. These relations reflect a rapid, but temporary anthropogenic response to a

  2. Time spans of soil formation and late Pleistocene-Holocene climate changes in the Somma-Vesuvius volcano area, southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarciglia, Fabio; Zumpano, Veronica; Sulpizio, Roberto; Terribile, Fabio; Pulice, Iolanda; La Russa, Mauro F.

    2013-04-01

    Time spans of soil formation and climate changes occurred during the late Pleistocene to the middle Holocene are investigated in a pedostratigraphic succession located in the piedmont of the Somma-Vesuvius volcano (Campania region, southern Italy) using a multidisciplinary approach. We focused on five well-known and well-dated primary tephra and four interlayered volcanic soils developed on and/or buried by them. The pyroclastic layers give detailed chronological constraints to the stratigraphy. From bottom to top the following tephra were identified in the field: Pomici di Base (22 ka BP), Pomici Verdoline (19 ka BP), Agnano Pomici Principali (12.26 ka BP), Mercato (8.9 ka BP) and Avellino (3.9 ka BP), all of them representing volcanic products of explosive eruptions of the Somma-Vesuvius, except the third one, sourced from the westerly Phlegrean Fields. The four pedons were characterized in terms of morphological, physical, chemical, mineralogical and micromorphological features. Special attention was given to reconstruct the main soil-forming processes, paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic conditions, degree of soil development and associated time ranges. Moreover, further tephra were identified in the field within some of above pedons. One of them was easily recognized and referred to the Agnano Monte Spina eruption (4.2-4.3 ka BP, Phlegrean Fields provenance), whereas the others were not previously known in the Somma-Vesuvius stratigraphy. On the basis of SEM-EDS analyses (chemical composition and morphoscopic observations), coupled with their stratigraphic position and literature compositional databases, they were related to the Soccavo 4-5 and the Tufi Biancastri eruptions from the Phlegrean Fields. This interpretation permitted to fix further age constrains for more detailed assessment of rates of soil formation and climatic interpretation. Major late Quaternary climatic phases are suggested by changes in the extent of development of andic properties, iron

  3. Environmental Education for Behaviour Change: Which Actions Should Be Targeted?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyes, Edward; Stanisstreet, Martin

    2012-01-01

    One aim of environmental education is to enable people to make informed decisions about their environmental behaviour; this is particularly significant with environmental problems that are believed to be both major and imminent, such as climate change resulting from global warming. Previous research suggests no strong link between a person's…

  4. The evolution of sexual and parthenogenetic Warramaba: a window onto Plio-Pleistocene diversification processes in an arid biome.

    PubMed

    Kearney, Michael; Blacket, Mark J

    2008-12-01

    Environmental changes over the Plio-Pleistocene have been key drivers of speciation patterns and genetic diversification in high-latitude and mesic environments, yet comparatively little is known about the evolutionary history of species in arid environments. We applied phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses to understand the evolutionary history of Warramaba grasshoppers from the Australian arid zone, a group including sexual and parthenogenetic lineages. Sequence data (mitochondrial COI) showed that the four major sexual lineages within Warramaba most likely diverged in the Pliocene, around 2-7 million years ago. All sexual lineages exhibited considerable phylogenetic structure. Detailed analyses of the hybrid parthenogenetic species W. virgo and its sexual progenitors showed a pattern of high phylogenetic diversity and phylogeographic structure in northern lineages, and low diversity and evidence for recent expansion in southern lineages. Northern sexual lineages persisted in localized refugia over the Pleistocene, with sustained barriers promoting divergence over this period. Southern parts of the present range became periodically unsuitable during the Pleistocene, and it is into this region that parthenogenetic lineages have expanded. Our results strongly parallel those for sexual and parthenogenetic lineages of the gecko Heteronotia from the same region, indicating a highly general effect of Plio-Pleistocene environmental change on diversification processes in arid Australia. PMID:19120998

  5. Fluvial system response to late Pleistocene-Holocene sea-level change on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumann, R. Randall; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; McGeehin, John P.

    2016-09-01

    Santa Rosa Island (SRI) is one of four east-west aligned islands forming the northern Channel Islands chain, and one of the five islands in Channel Islands National Park, California, USA. The island setting provides an unparalleled environment in which to record the response of fluvial systems to major changes of sea level. Many of the larger streams on the island occupy broad valleys that have been filled with alluvium and later incised to form steep- to vertical-walled arroyos, leaving a relict floodplain as much as 12-14 m above the present channel. The period of falling sea level between the end of the last interglacial highstand at ~ 80 ka and the last glacial lowstand at ~ 21 ka was marked by erosion and incision in the uplands and by deposition of alluvial sediment on the exposed marine shelf. Sea level rose relatively rapidly following the last glacial lowstand of - 106 m, triggering a shift from an erosional to a depositional sedimentary regime. Accumulation of sediment occurred first through vertical and lateral accretion in broad, shallow channels on the shelf. Channel avulsion and delta sedimentation produced widespread deposition, creating lobes or wedges of sediment distributed across relatively large areas of the shelf during the latest Pleistocene. Backfilling of valleys onshore (landward of present sea level) appears to have progressed in a more orderly and predictable fashion throughout the Holocene primarily because the streams were confined to their valleys. Vertical aggradation locally reduced stream gradients, causing frequent overbank flooding and lateral channel shift by meandering and/or avulsion. Local channel gradient and morphology, short-term climate variations, and intrinsic controls also affected the timing and magnitudes of these cut, fill, and flood events, and are reflected in the thickness and spacing of the episodic alluvial sequences. Floodplain aggradation within the valleys continued until at least 500 years ago, followed by

  6. Fluvial system response to late Pleistocene-Holocene sea-level change on Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schumann, R. Randall; Pigati, Jeffery S.; McGeehin, John P.

    2016-01-01

    Santa Rosa Island (SRI) is one of four east-west aligned islands forming the northern Channel Islands chain, and one of the five islands in Channel Islands National Park, California, USA. The island setting provides an unparalleled environment in which to record the response of fluvial systems to major changes of sea level. Many of the larger streams on the island occupy broad valleys that have been filled with alluvium and later incised to form steep- to vertical-walled arroyos, leaving a relict floodplain as much as 12–14 m above the present channel. The period of falling sea level between the end of the last interglacial highstand at ~ 80 ka and the last glacial lowstand at ~ 21 ka was marked by erosion and incision in the uplands and by deposition of alluvial sediment on the exposed marine shelf. Sea level rose relatively rapidly following the last glacial lowstand of − 106 m, triggering a shift from an erosional to a depositional sedimentary regime. Accumulation of sediment occurred first through vertical and lateral accretion in broad, shallow channels on the shelf. Channel avulsion and delta sedimentation produced widespread deposition, creating lobes or wedges of sediment distributed across relatively large areas of the shelf during the latest Pleistocene. Backfilling of valleys onshore (landward of present sea level) appears to have progressed in a more orderly and predictable fashion throughout the Holocene primarily because the streams were confined to their valleys. Vertical aggradation locally reduced stream gradients, causing frequent overbank flooding and lateral channel shift by meandering and/or avulsion. Local channel gradient and morphology, short-term climate variations, and intrinsic controls also affected the timing and magnitudes of these cut, fill, and flood events, and are reflected in the thickness and spacing of the episodic alluvial sequences. Floodplain aggradation within the valleys continued until at least 500 years ago

  7. Continental diatoms as indicators of long-term environmental change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradbury, J. Platt

    1999-01-01

    It is curious that diatoms, whose short lifespans and capacity for rapid regeneration make them especially suitable for short-term paleoenvironmental studies, would also have a significant role as indicators of long-term environmental change. This chapter explores the nature of long diatom records, their relation to global environmental changes, guidelines for their interpretation, and problems common to such records.

  8. Paleoecology: An Untapped Resource for Teaching Environmental Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raper, Diana J.; Zander, Holli

    2009-01-01

    Global warming and climate change have become hot topics that incite debate, inspire scientific research, and influence international policy. However, the scientific research that provides the past climate and environmental information upon which contemporary environmental change is measured, receives little attention in high school curriculum.…

  9. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGES IN THE BROMINATED CHEMICALS INDUSTRY

    EPA Science Inventory

    In light of the large-scale changes occuring within the bromine-based chemicals industry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency commissioned a study to investigate the potential for adverse environmental effects that might result from such changes. In particular, EPA was inter...

  10. Pliocene-Pleistocene changes in Arctic sea-ice cover: New biomarker records from Fram Strait/Yermak Plateau (ODP Sites 911 and 912)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, Ruediger; Fahl, Kirsten

    2013-04-01

    Recently, a novel and promising biomarker proxy for reconstruction of Arctic sea-ice conditions was developed and is based on the determination of a highly branched isoprenoid with 25 carbons (IP25; Belt et al., 2007). Following this pioneer IP25 study by Belt and colleagues, several IP25 studies of marine surface sediments and sediment cores as well as sediment trap samples from northpolar areas were carried out successfully and allowed detailed reconstruction of modern and late Quaternary sea ice variability in these regions (e.g., Massé et al., 2008; Müller et al., 2009, 2011; Vare et al., 2009; Belt et al., 2010; Fahl and Stein, 2012; for review see Stein et al., 2012). Here, we present new (low-resolution) biomarker records from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Sites 911 and 912, representing the Pliocene-Pleistocene time interval (including the interval of major intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation near 2.7 Ma). These data indicate that sea ice of variable extent was present in the Fram Strait/southern Yermak Plateau area during most of the time period under investigation. In general, an increase in sea-ice cover seems to correlate with phases of extended late Pliocene-Pleistocene continental ice-sheets. At ODP Site 912, a significant increase in sea-ice extension occurred near 1.2 Ma (Stein and Fahl, 2012). Furthermore, our data support the idea that a combination of IP25 and open water, phytoplankton biomarker data ("PIP25 index"; Müller et al., 2011) may give more reliable and quantitative estimates of past sea-ice cover (at least for the study area). This study reveals that the novel IP25/PIP25 biomarker approach has potential for semi-quantitative paleo-sea ice studies covering the entire Quaternary and motivate to carry out further detailed high-resolution research on ODP/IODP material using this proxy. References Belt, S.T., Massé, G., Rowland, S.J., Poulin, M., Michel, C., LeBlanc, B., 2007. A novel chemical fossil of palaeo sea ice: IP25

  11. Late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal extinctions on continental Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faith, J. Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the cause of late Quaternary mammal extinctions is the subject of intense debate spanning the fields of archeology and paleontology. In the global context, the losses on continental Africa have received little attention and are poorly understood. This study aims to inspire new discussion of African extinctions through a review of the extinct species and the chronology and possible causes of those extinctions. There are at least 24 large mammal (> 5 kg) species known to have disappeared from continental Africa during the late Pleistocene or Holocene, indicating a much greater taxonomic breadth than previously recognized. Among the better sampled taxa, these losses are restricted to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene, between 13,000 and 6000 yrs ago. The African extinctions preferentially affected species that are grazers or prefer grasslands. Where good terrestrial paleoenvironmental records are present, extinctions are associated with changes in the availability, productivity, or structure of grassland habitats, suggesting that environmental changes played a decisive role in the losses. In the broader evolutionary context, these extinctions represent recent examples of selective taxonomic winnowing characterized by the loss of grassland specialists and the establishment of large mammal communities composed of more ecologically flexible taxa over the last million years. There is little reason to believe that humans played an important role in African extinctions.

  12. Environmental Attitudes: 20 Years of Change?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gigliotti, Larry M.

    1992-01-01

    A trend analysis compares attitudes of randomly selected Cornell University students (n=1500) toward 35 specific items utilizing the New Environmental Paradigm growth and technology scale to test the hypothesis that people who see benefits of economic growth or have faith in technological solutions are less willing to make personal sacrifices. (33…

  13. Environmental protection, inequality, and institutional change.

    PubMed

    Magnani, Elisabetta

    2011-02-01

    The contemporary world faces an unprecedented environmental challenge. Past international research has amply shown that we cannot afford to wait for a "development path" that automatically takes us on a sustainable future. Whether we look at global or local problems, the international debate increasingly points to the importance of popular support for environmental protection by a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Because environmental sustainability questions the way we produce, consume, and distribute the product of our work, an economic analysis that is limited to one market is insufficient. In addressing Bromley's question, "How do we wish the future to unfold for us?" this paper argues for the need to devote resources to understanding the spillovers between institutional settings and preferences toward the provision of global public goods. Here, this review focuses on labor-market institutions, as labor markets are traditionally the context in which inequality is created at the local and global levels. Labor-market institutional design, via its impact on risk and uncertainty and inequality, may have sizable implications on the provision of environmental care. PMID:21332500

  14. Color and Change, An Environmental Investigation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Wildlife Federation, Washington, DC.

    This environmental unit is one of a series designed for integration within an existing curriculum. The unit is self-contained and requires very little teacher preparation. The philosophy of the series is based on an experience-oriented process that encourages students to work independently and at their own speeds. This particular unit is designed…

  15. The aftermath of megafaunal extinction: ecosystem transformation in Pleistocene Australia.

    PubMed

    Rule, Susan; Brook, Barry W; Haberle, Simon G; Turney, Chris S M; Kershaw, A Peter; Johnson, Christopher N

    2012-03-23

    Giant vertebrates dominated many Pleistocene ecosystems. Many were herbivores, and their sudden extinction in prehistory could have had large ecological impacts. We used a high-resolution 130,000-year environmental record to help resolve the cause and reconstruct the ecological consequences of extinction of Australia's megafauna. Our results suggest that human arrival rather than climate caused megafaunal extinction, which then triggered replacement of mixed rainforest by sclerophyll vegetation through a combination of direct effects on vegetation of relaxed herbivore pressure and increased fire in the landscape. This ecosystem shift was as large as any effect of climate change over the last glacial cycle, and indicates the magnitude of changes that may have followed megafaunal extinction elsewhere in the world. PMID:22442481

  16. World Wind Tools Reveal Environmental Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2012-01-01

    Originally developed under NASA's Learning Technologies program as a tool to engage and inspire students, World Wind software was released under the NASA Open Source Agreement license. Honolulu, Hawaii based Intelesense Technologies is one of the companies currently making use of the technology for environmental, public health, and other monitoring applications for nonprofit organizations and Government agencies. The company saved about $1 million in development costs by using the NASA software.

  17. Late Quaternary environmental change in the Bonneville basin, western USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Madsen, D.B.; Rhode, D.; Grayson, D.K.; Broughton, J.M.; Livingston, S.D.; Hunt, J.; Quade, Jay; Schmitt, D.N.; Shaver, M. W., III

    2001-01-01

    Excavation and analyses of small animal remains from stratified raptor deposits spanning the last 11.5 ka, together with collection and analysis of over 60 dated fossil woodrat midden samples spanning the last 50 ka, provide a detailed record of changing climate in the eastern Great Basin during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Sagebrush steppe dominated the northern Bonneville basin during the Full Glacial, suggesting that conditions were cold and relatively dry, in contrast to the southern basin, which was also cold but moister. Limber pine woodlands dominated ???13-11.5 ka, indicating increased dryness and summer temperatures ???6-7??C cooler than present. This drying trend accelerated after ???11.5 ka causing Lake Bonneville to drop rapidly, eliminating 11 species of fish from the lake. From ???11.5-8.2 ka xerophytic sagebrush and shadscale scrub replaced more mesophilic shrubs in a step-wise fashion. A variety of small mammals and plants indicate the early Holocene was ???3??C cooler and moister than at present, not warmer as suggested by a number of climatic models. The diversity of plants and animals changed dramatically after 8.2 ka as many species disappeared from the record. Some of the upland species returned after ???4 ka and Great Salt Lake became fresh enough at ???3.4 and ???1.2 ka to support populations of Utah chub. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.

  18. Marine environmental changes at the Brazilian equatorial margin related to Amazon River evolution during the Neogene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lammertsma, Emmy; Troelstra, Simon; Sangiorgi, Francesca; Chemale, Farid, Jr.; do Carmo, Dermeval A.; D'Avila, Roberto; Soares, Emilson; Hoorn, Carina

    2014-05-01

    Today, the nutrient-rich Amazon River outflow causes massive algal blooms in the western equatorial Atlantic Ocean, forming a considerable carbon sink as well as a primary food source in the otherwise oligotrophic surface water. However, the history of this high-productivity system is largely unknown, although a strong relation to the evolution of the Amazon River can be expected. The Amazon submarine fan provides direct evidence for the development of a transcontinental river system, of which the base of the primarily Andean-sourced siliciclastic deposits is dated as late Miocene. Ditch cuttings from Amazon Fan exploration 'Well 2' were made available by Petrobras for microfossil and lithological research. 'Well 2' is located on the uppermost fan at a water depth of 750 meters. Organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst and foraminifer assemblages were studied to reconstruct Neogene marine environmental changes in relation to the Amazon River development. Planktonic foraminifera are present throughout the studied section and largely confirm the already available biostratigraphic age determination based on nannofossils. Benthic foraminifer assemblages indicate that the paleo-water depth has not substantially deviated from current conditions. The ecological affinities of most observed dinocyst taxa are well known, which allows us to reconstruct changes in paleo-productivity based on the assemblages. Mineral composition suggests that local river systems already drained into the Amazon basin before the onset of the transcontinental system, but environmental conditions remained oligotrophic at this time. Decreased abundances of both dinocysts and planktonic foraminifera during the Pleistocene are related to highest sedimentation rates (dilution effect). Overall, a complex interplay of orogenesis, climatic and sea level variations during the Neogene are responsible for the fluvially-induced changes in the marine environment at the Atlantic margin.

  19. Scytonemin and Photosynthetic Pigment Proxies for Late Pleistocene/Holocene Environmental Change in the Eastern Great Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulton, J. M.; Van Mooy, B. A. S.

    2015-12-01

    Sedimentary pigments are biomarkers of photosynthetic organisms, most commonly derived from aquatic bacteria and algae but also with potential terrigenous sources. We detected a diverse pigment assemblage with variable down-core distributions in Great Salt Lake (GSL) sediments deposited since ca. 280 ka (GLAD1-GSL00, core 4). The most abundant pigments included derivatives of chlorophyll a, most likely from algae or cyanobacteria, bacteriochlorophyll c from green sulfur bacteria, okenone from purple sulfur bacteria, and scytonemin from UV-exposed cyanobacteria. Scytonemin is a biomarker for colonial cyanobacteria exposed to UV-radiation. In GSL it has potential sources from bioherms on the shoreline or microbiotic soil crusts from the adjacent Great Basin Desert. Scytonemin concentration was highest in the Upper Salt and Sapropel (USS) unit, deposited between 11.5-10 ka in shallow water (ca. 10 m), following deep pluvial Lake Bonneville (30-18 cal ka), the Provo lake level (ca. 18-15 cal ka), and the Gilbert transgression (11.6 cal ka). Scytonemin concentration was very low in sediments deposited during the deep lake phases, even though bioherms were prominent shoreline features. The USS was deposited under hypersaline waters and contained remarkably low concentrations of photosynthetic pigment derivatives that would be expected in organic-matter-rich sediments deposited under productive surface waters or anoxic bottom waters. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic data point toward a desert soil crust source for scytonemin in the USS, similar to what we previously observed in the Holocene Black Sea sapropel. We propose that increased aridity supported the widespread occurrence and erosion of microbiotic soil crusts during deposition of the USS. This is consistent with interpretations of Great Salt Lake hydrology, pointing toward a broader regional aridity event. Holocene sediments above the USS also contain scytonemin at relatively high concentration, consistent with persistent arid/semi-arid conditions.

  20. Determining molecular responses to environmental change in soybeans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As the global climate changes, plants will be challenged by environmental stresses that are more extreme and more frequent. The average yield loss due to environmental stresses is currently estimated to be more than 50% for major crop species and is the major limitation to world food production. The...

  1. Cellular modes of adaptation to environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huckle, William R.

    2001-10-01

    Eukaryotic cells are remarkably adaptable entities. Whether embedded in solid tissues or freely suspended in blood or other fluids, cells principally exist in an aqueous environment but maintain a hydrophobic barrier, the plasma membrane, across which changes in the environment are detected. Utilizing specialized macromolecular components, cells can sense changes in temperature, hydrostatic pressure, oxygen tension, shear, shape, osmolarity, pH, electrical potential, electromagnetic radiation, and the concentrations of specific chemical compounds. Modes of response are equally varied, ranging from rapid secretion of stored substances to irreversible functional differentiation to self-destruction. Recent research has elucidated many of the enzymatic and genetic programs that accomplish these adaptations and suggests novel targets for therapeutic intervention.

  2. Climatic Effects on Mammalian Body Size During the African Plio-Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, S. C.

    2004-12-01

    Climatic and environmental differences cause geographic patterns of larger versus smaller body sizes (size clines) in certain extant mammals, such as the spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta) and the Plains zebra (Equus burchellii). Likewise, body size changes seen in fossil specimens of these taxa from East and southern African Plio-Pleistocene sites are presumed to have climatic and environmental causes. This paper examines body size changes in these two taxa from key fossil sites in East Africa (Olduvai Beds I-IV, East Turkana and Olorgesailie) and southern Africa (Swartkrans, Sterkfontein and Kromdraai) to assess the nature and extent of body size changes. The differences between modern size variation and fossil size variation will be discussed. Results indicate that body sizes of fossil conspecifics in the focal taxa do not follow the pattern of geographic variation seen in modern conspecifics. Climatic and environmental changes may explain these differences, in particular that shifts in the East African region during the Plio-Pleistocene were greater than contemporaneous changes in southern Africa.

  3. Method to detect environmental change for an arid land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, A.; Miyamoto, J.; Tsuchiya, K.; Ishiyama, T.

    A method to detect natural environmental change for an arid land is developed based on 17 bands Visible NIR SWIR and Thermal IR ASTER Advanced SpaceborneThermal Emission and Reflection radiometer aboard Terra and in situ ground truth survey in Taklimakan Desert The method first extracts an area of macroscopic change then detailed or microscopic changes are detected Although the procedure is described in two steps the actual precessing is performed automatically and nearly simultaneously The method is named as ECD Environmental Change Automatic Discrimination model method for the sake of convenience

  4. Middle-Upper Pleistocene climate changes shaped the divergence and demography of Cycas guizhouensis (Cycadaceae): Evidence from DNA sequences and microsatellite markers

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Xiuyan; Zheng, Ying; Gong, Xun

    2016-01-01

    Climatic oscillations in the Pleistocene have had profound effects on the demography and genetic diversity of many extant species. Cycas guizhouensis Lan & R.F. Zou is an endemic and endangered species in Southwest China that is primarily distributed along the valleys of the Nanpan River. In this study, we used four chloroplast DNAs (cpDNA), three nuclear genes (nDNA) and 13 microsatellite (SSR) loci to investigate the genetic structure, divergence time and demographic history of 11 populations of C. guizhouensis. High genetic diversity and high levels of genetic differentiation among the populations were observed. Two evolutionary units were revealed based on network and Structure analysis. The divergence time estimations suggested that haplotypes of C. guizhouensis were diverged during the Middle-Upper Pleistocene. Additionally, the demographic histories deduced from different DNA sequences were discordant, but overall indicated that C. guizhouensis had experienced a recent population expansion during the post-glacial period. Microsatellite data revealed that there was a contraction in effective population size in the past. These genetic features allow conservation measures to be taken to ensure the protection of this endangered species from extinction. PMID:27270859

  5. Middle-Upper Pleistocene climate changes shaped the divergence and demography of Cycas guizhouensis (Cycadaceae): Evidence from DNA sequences and microsatellite markers.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiuyan; Zheng, Ying; Gong, Xun

    2016-01-01

    Climatic oscillations in the Pleistocene have had profound effects on the demography and genetic diversity of many extant species. Cycas guizhouensis Lan &R.F. Zou is an endemic and endangered species in Southwest China that is primarily distributed along the valleys of the Nanpan River. In this study, we used four chloroplast DNAs (cpDNA), three nuclear genes (nDNA) and 13 microsatellite (SSR) loci to investigate the genetic structure, divergence time and demographic history of 11 populations of C. guizhouensis. High genetic diversity and high levels of genetic differentiation among the populations were observed. Two evolutionary units were revealed based on network and Structure analysis. The divergence time estimations suggested that haplotypes of C. guizhouensis were diverged during the Middle-Upper Pleistocene. Additionally, the demographic histories deduced from different DNA sequences were discordant, but overall indicated that C. guizhouensis had experienced a recent population expansion during the post-glacial period. Microsatellite data revealed that there was a contraction in effective population size in the past. These genetic features allow conservation measures to be taken to ensure the protection of this endangered species from extinction. PMID:27270859

  6. Assessing stream temperature response to environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, R. J.; Boon, S.; Byrne, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Stream temperature controls aquatic ecosystem function by directly influencing water quality, ecosystem productivity, and the physiological functioning of aquatic organisms. To date, there are limited studies of the impacts of environmental disturbance on stream temperature, particularly on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. This region provides key habitat for native salmonid species such as westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), which are listed as ‘threatened’ and ‘species of special concern’, respectively. Increases in stream temperature could limit habitat availability, reduce competitive advantage, and potentially increase mortality rates for these native species. This study uses field data collected at high spatiotemporal resolution to develop a spatial stream temperature model that simulates the mass and energy balance of the stream system. Preliminary field results demonstrate the high spatial and temporal variability in processes governing stream temperature in three study stream reaches. Groundwater/surface water interactions, topographic setting, and local meteorological conditions all contribute in determining stream thermal regimes. This work discusses how these primary drivers of stream temperature can be incorporated into a physically based spatial model, and demonstrates how depending on the scale of interest, the temperature of a stream can be governed by very different contributing factors.

  7. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability. PMID:25883357

  8. Geochemistry and radiometric dating of a Middle Pleistocene peat

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, P.J.; Atkinson, T.C.; Richards, D.A.; Bottrell, S.H.; Cliff, R.A.

    1997-10-01

    Uranium, lead, and sulphur data for a Middle Pleistocene interglacial peat deposit from Norfolk, UK, suggest that uptake of these elements was synchronous and confined to a single early diagenetic episode, probably coeval with peat formation. Sulphur isotope data indicate that reducing conditions have been maintained within the deposit throughout its history. Both uranium and lead concentration profiles show a marked discontinuity near the middle of the bed, probably indicating an environmental change, possibly emergence. The lead isotope data are compatible with a single lead component below the discontinuity and two components above. Groundwater is thought to be the dominant source of lead with an additional airfall component present in the upper peat. The uranium and lead concentration profiles below the discontinuity and the sulfur isotope profile throughout the peat support the view that these elements were sequestered from upwelling groundwaters. 35 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs.

  9. Molecular data and ecological niche modeling reveal population dynamics of widespread shrub Forsythia suspensa (Oleaceae) in China’s warm-temperate zone in response to climate change during the Pleistocene

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Despite its high number of endemic deciduous broad-leaved species in China’s warm-temperate zone, far less attention has been paid to phylogeographic studies in this region. In this work, the phylogeographic history of Forsythia suspensa endemic to China’s warm-temperate zone was investigated to explore the effect of climate change during the Pleistocene on the distribution of this deciduous broad-leaved species in China. Results The cpDNA data revealed seven phylogeographical groups corresponding to geographical regions. By contrast, the nrDNA data supported the samples clustered into three groups, which was inconsistent with separate geographical regions supported by cpDNA data. Ecological niche modeling showed that the climatically suitable area during the cold period was larger than that during the warm period. Conclusions Both molecular data and ecological niche modeling indicated that F. suspensa expanded to nearby low-elevation plains in the glacial periods, and retreated to mountaintops during interglacial warmer stages. This study thus supported that F. suspensa persisted in situ during the glacial of the Pleistocene with enlarged distribution area, contrary to the hypothesis of long distance southward migration or large-scale range contraction. PMID:24885704

  10. Linking degradation status with ecosystem vulnerability to environmental change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Angeler, David G.; Baho, Didier L.; Allen, Craig R.; Johnson, Richard K.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental change can cause regime shifts in ecosystems, potentially threatening ecosystem services. It is unclear if the degradation status of ecosystems correlates with their vulnerability to environmental change, and thus the risk of future regime shifts. We assessed resilience in acidified (degraded) and circumneutral (undegraded) lakes with long-term data (1988–2012), using time series modeling. We identified temporal frequencies in invertebrate assemblages, which identifies groups of species whose population dynamics vary at particular temporal scales. We also assessed species with stochastic dynamics, those whose population dynamics vary irregularly and unpredictably over time. We determined the distribution of functional feeding groups of invertebrates within and across the temporal scales identified, and in those species with stochastic dynamics, and assessed attributes hypothesized to contribute to resilience. Three patterns of temporal dynamics, consistent across study lakes, were identified in the invertebrates. The first pattern was one of monotonic change associated with changing abiotic lake conditions. The second and third patterns appeared unrelated to the environmental changes we monitored. Acidified and the circumneutral lakes shared similar levels and patterns of functional richness, evenness, diversity, and redundancy for species within and across the observed temporal scales and for stochastic species groups. These similar resilience characteristics suggest that both lake types did not differ in vulnerability to the environmental changes observed here. Although both lake types appeared equally vulnerable in this study, our approach demonstrates how assessing systemic vulnerability by quantifying ecological resilience can help address uncertainty in predicting ecosystem responses to environmental change across ecosystems.

  11. Environmental Change and Out-Migration: Evidence from Nepal

    PubMed Central

    Massey, Douglas S.; Axinn, William G.; Ghimire, Dirgha J.

    2011-01-01

    Scholars and activists have hypothesized a connection between environmental change and out-migration. In this paper we test this hypothesis using data from Nepal. We operationalize environmental change in terms of declining land cover, rising times required to gather organic inputs, increasing population density, and perceived declines in agricultural productivity. In general, environmental change is more strongly related to short- than long-distance moves. Holding constant the effects of other social and economic variables, we find that local moves are predicted by perceived declines in productivity, declining land cover, and increasing time required to gather firewood. Long-distance moves are predicted by perceived declines in productivity, but the effect is weaker than in the model of short-distance mobility. We also show that effects of environmental change vary by gender and ethnicity, with women being more affected by changes in the time required to gather fodder and men by changes in the time to gather firewood, and high caste Hindus generally being less affect than others by environmental change. PMID:21350676

  12. The changing face of environmentalism in the Soviet Union

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-03-01

    Igor Izodorovich Altshuler and Ruben Artyomovich Mnatsakanyan are scientific researchers in the department of geography at Moscow State University and cofounders of the Association for the Support of Ecological initiatives established by the Soviet Foundation for Social Innovations. They authored a report on glasnost and ecology in the Soviet Union published in the December 1988 ENVIRONMENT. Recently, Altshuler and Mnatsakanyan visited ENVIRONMENT's offices in Washington, D.C., and talked at length about environmental problems and issues in the USSR. This paper presents excerpts of an interview of Altshuler and Mnatsakanyan conducted by Barbara Richman, managing editor of ENVIRONMENT. They discuss environmental problems, global climate change, agriculture, lack of information on the biggest polluters, transboundary pollution, impact of recent elections on environmental policy, the use of environmental impact assessments, public information about the environment, training of reporters, environmental organizations, and lack of money and political obstacles to environmental improvements.

  13. The impact of large terrestrial carnivores on Pleistocene ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Ripple, William J.; Meloro, Carlo; Roth, V. Louise

    2016-01-01

    Large mammalian terrestrial herbivores, such as elephants, have dramatic effects on the ecosystems they inhabit and at high population densities their environmental impacts can be devastating. Pleistocene terrestrial ecosystems included a much greater diversity of megaherbivores (e.g., mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths) and thus a greater potential for widespread habitat degradation if population sizes were not limited. Nevertheless, based on modern observations, it is generally believed that populations of megaherbivores (>800 kg) are largely immune to the effects of predation and this perception has been extended into the Pleistocene. However, as shown here, the species richness of big carnivores was greater in the Pleistocene and many of them were significantly larger than their modern counterparts. Fossil evidence suggests that interspecific competition among carnivores was relatively intense and reveals that some individuals specialized in consuming megaherbivores. To estimate the potential impact of Pleistocene large carnivores, we use both historic and modern data on predator–prey body mass relationships to predict size ranges of their typical and maximum prey when hunting as individuals and in groups. These prey size ranges are then compared with estimates of juvenile and subadult proboscidean body sizes derived from extant elephant growth data. Young proboscideans at their most vulnerable age fall within the predicted prey size ranges of many of the Pleistocene carnivores. Predation on juveniles can have a greater impact on megaherbivores because of their long interbirth intervals, and consequently, we argue that Pleistocene carnivores had the capacity to, and likely did, limit megaherbivore population sizes. PMID:26504224

  14. The impact of large terrestrial carnivores on Pleistocene ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Hayward, Matthew W; Ripple, William J; Meloro, Carlo; Roth, V Louise

    2016-01-26

    Large mammalian terrestrial herbivores, such as elephants, have dramatic effects on the ecosystems they inhabit and at high population densities their environmental impacts can be devastating. Pleistocene terrestrial ecosystems included a much greater diversity of megaherbivores (e.g., mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths) and thus a greater potential for widespread habitat degradation if population sizes were not limited. Nevertheless, based on modern observations, it is generally believed that populations of megaherbivores (>800 kg) are largely immune to the effects of predation and this perception has been extended into the Pleistocene. However, as shown here, the species richness of big carnivores was greater in the Pleistocene and many of them were significantly larger than their modern counterparts. Fossil evidence suggests that interspecific competition among carnivores was relatively intense and reveals that some individuals specialized in consuming megaherbivores. To estimate the potential impact of Pleistocene large carnivores, we use both historic and modern data on predator-prey body mass relationships to predict size ranges of their typical and maximum prey when hunting as individuals and in groups. These prey size ranges are then compared with estimates of juvenile and subadult proboscidean body sizes derived from extant elephant growth data. Young proboscideans at their most vulnerable age fall within the predicted prey size ranges of many of the Pleistocene carnivores. Predation on juveniles can have a greater impact on megaherbivores because of their long interbirth intervals, and consequently, we argue that Pleistocene carnivores had the capacity to, and likely did, limit megaherbivore population sizes. PMID:26504224

  15. Ecospaces occupied by Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in insular Southeast Asia in the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertler, Christine; Haupt, Susanne; Volmer, Rebekka; Bruch, Angela

    2014-05-01

    Hominins migrated to the islands of the Sunda Shelf multiple times. At least two immigration events are evident, an early immigration of Homo erectus in the late Early Pleistocene and a second immigration of Homo sapiens during the Late Pleistocene. Regional environments changed considerably in the Pleistocene. Expansion patterns among hominins are at least co-determined by their ecologies and environmental change. We examine these expansion patterns on the basis of habitat reconstructions. Mammalian communities provide a geographically extensive record and permit to assess hominin ecospaces. Although chronological resolution is low, they represent the most complete record of habitat changes associated with hominin expansion patterns. In order to reconstruct and compare hominin ecospaces on a quantitative scale, we set up a reference sample consisting of mammalian communities of 117 national parks in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The diversity of such communities is assessed by ecological profiling of specialized herbivore taxa. Moreover, datasets on climate and vegetation correlate with the diversity structure of such specialized herbivore communities. Reconstructing the diversity structure of communities at key sites in Pleistocene Southeast Asia permits to infer features of the climatic and vegetation framework associated with different hominin taxa. Our results show that Homo erectus and Homo sapiens did not occupy similar ecospaces. The ecospace of Homo erectus is characterized by comparatively low diversity among frugivorous and folivorous taxa, while obligate grazers are part of the assemblages. Specialized herbivore communities with such a diversity structure occur at present in East Africa, while they are absent in Southeast Asia. In the reference sample, this type of ecospace corresponds to seasonal wetlands. Although Homo sapiens still inhabits this type of environment in Southeast Asia, his ecospace is wider. Homo sapiens is associated with

  16. Investigation of environmental change pattern in Japan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maruyasu, T. (Principal Investigator)

    1977-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. In the Plains of Tokachi, where the scale of agricultural field was comparatively large in Japan, LANDSAT data with its accuracy have proved to be useful enough to observe the actual condition of agricultural land use and changes more accurately than present methods. Species and ages of grasses in pasture were identified and soils were classified into several types. The actual land cover and ecological environment were remarkably changeable at the rapidly industrialized area by the urbanization in the flat plane and also by the forest works and road construction in the mountainous area. The practical use of the recognition results was proved as the base map of the field survey or the retouching work of the vegetation and land use. There was a 10% cut in cost, labor, and time. Vegetation cover in Tokyo districts was estimated by both the multiregression model and the parametric model. Multicorrelation coefficient between observed value and estimated value was 0.87 and standard deviation was + or - 15%. Vegetation cover in Tokyo was mapped into five levels with equal intervals of 20%.

  17. AGE-RELATED CHANGES IN SENSITIVITY TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICALS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The processes of aging result in many physiological changes which can lead to alterations in both pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. uch changes can result in altered sensitivity to chemicals, whether drugs or environmental agents, in the elderly. t is extremely diff...

  18. Indirect Effects of Environmental Change in Resource Competition Models.

    PubMed

    Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Adler, Peter B

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic environmental change can affect species directly by altering physiological rates or indirectly by changing competitive outcomes. The unknown strength of competition-mediated indirect effects makes it difficult to predict species abundances in the face of ongoing environmental change. Theory developed with phenomenological competition models shows that indirect effects are weak when coexistence is strongly stabilized, but these models lack a mechanistic link between environmental change and species performance. To extend existing theory, we examined the relationship between coexistence and indirect effects in mechanistic resource competition models. We defined environmental change as a change in resource supply points and quantified the resulting competition-mediated indirect effects on species abundances. We found that the magnitude of indirect effects increases in proportion to niche overlap. However, indirect effects also depend on differences in how competitors respond to the change in resource supply, an insight hidden in nonmechanistic models. Our analysis demonstrates the value of using niche overlap to predict the strength of indirect effects and clarifies the types of indirect effects that global change can have on competing species. PMID:26655983

  19. Environmental Sustainability Change Management in SMEs: Learning from Sustainability Champions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chadee, Doren; Wiesner, Retha; Roxas, Banjo

    2011-01-01

    This study identifies the change management processes involved in undertaking environmental sustainability (ES) initiatives within Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) and relate these to the main attributes of learning organisations. Using case study techniques, the study draws from the change management experiences of a sample of 12 ES…

  20. Changes in metabolic modules under environmental variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almaas, Eivind

    2006-03-01

    During the last few years, network approaches have shown great promise as a tool to both analyze and provide understanding of complex systems as disparate as the world-wide web and cellular metabolism. Much effort has been focused on characterizing topological properties of such systems. However, in order to develop detailed descriptions of complex networks, we need to look beyond their topology and incorporate dynamical aspects. The cellular metabolism, where nodes correspond to metabolites and links indicate chemical reactions, is an excellent model system where theoretical predictions can be compared with experimental results. I will present recent insights into the principles governing the modular utilization of the cellular metabolism [1,2,3]. We find that, while most metabolic reactions have small fluxes, the metabolism's activity is dominated by an interconnected sub-network of reactions with very high fluxes [1]. For the bacteria H. pylori and E. coli and the yeast S. cerevisiae, the metabolism responds to changes in growth conditions by reorganizing the rates of select reactions predominantly within this high-flux backbone. Furthermore, these networks are organized around the metabolic core -- a set of reactions that are always in use [2]. Strikingly, the activity of the metabolic core reactions is highly synchronized, and the core reactions are significantly more essential and evolutionary conserved than the non-core ones. [1] E. Almaas, B. Kovacs, T. Vicsek, Z.N. Oltvai and A.-L. Barabasi. Nature 427, 839 (2004). [2] E. Almaas, Z.N. Oltvai and A.-L. Barabasi. PLoS Comput. Biol. In press (2005). 10.1371/journal.pcbi.0010068.eor [3] P.J. Macdonald, E. Almaas and A.-L. Barabasi. Europhys. Lett. 72, 308 (2005).

  1. The effect of climate and environmental change on the megafaunal moa of New Zealand in the absence of humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Metcalf, Jessica L.; Wood, Jamie R.; Worthy, Trevor H.; Austin, Jeremy J.; Cooper, Alan

    2012-09-01

    New Zealand offers a unique opportunity to investigate the response of extinct megafaunal ecosystems to major changes in climate and habitat prior to human settlement. Prior to this point (late 13th Century AD) New Zealand contained a diverse avian megafauna dominated by nine species of large flightless ratite moa (Dinornithiformes). We used ancient DNA approaches to generate mitochondrial DNA sequence data from 39 crested moa (Pachyornis australis) and 145 heavy-footed moa (Pachyornis elephantopus) specimens. In combination with radiocarbon dating and dietary isotope analysis we examined the effects of Late Pleistocene and Holocene climate and environmental change on the phylogeography, palaeodemographics, and eventual extinction of Pachyornis. We show that Pachyornis changed altitudinal, longitudinal and latitudinal ranges through the Late Quaternary in response to alterations in the distribution of suitable habitat. However, we found no evidence for large-scale change in population sizes during the past 40,000 radiocarbon years BP (approximately 44,000 calendar years BP), or significant changes in δ13C and δ15N isotope signatures over this time period. The results suggest that crested moa tracked habitat through time with little consequence to population size. For the more broadly distributed heavy-footed moa, changes in climate and habitat distribution may have promoted phylogeographic structuring. Overall this study suggests that the likelihood of megafaunal extinction in New Zealand was greatly reduced in the absence of humans.

  2. From Pleniglacial to Holocene: a 14C chronostratigraphy of environmental changes in the Konya Plain, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontugne, M.; Kuzucuoǧlu, C.; Karabiyikoǧlu, M.; Hatté, C.; Pastre, J.-F.

    1999-04-01

    In the endoreic, semi-arid Konya basin on the central Anatolian plateaux, long-term hydrological evolution has left various landforms and lacustrine deposits reflecting the regional climatic evolution, as well as human influence on the local environments. This paper presents results from a cooperative programme grouping several institutes from Turkey and France, on lacustrine, marshy and aeolian sediment sequences of Upper Pleistocene and Holocene age. The detailed study of environmental evolution is based on the reconstruction as well as on the characterization of the extension and contraction phases of wetlands occupying the lowest parts of the Konya plain. A soil and a marsh layer are 14C dated ca. 28,000-25,000 yr BP. Three phases of Pleniglacial (from ca. 22,000 to 17,000 yr BP) high lake levels are distinguished. Complementary OSL dates on aeolian dunes confirm the occurrence of two drought periods: the first occurs around the start of the Late Glacial, the second after the Mid-Holocene climatic optimum, the latter being 'in phase' with a similar drought in other Eastern Mediterranean regions. After 17,000 yr BP, no lacustrine phase reached as high a level as the Pleniglacial lake. During the Late Glacial, a shallow freshwater lacustrine phase is identified from >12,500 to 11,000 yr BP. The Late Glacial to Holocene transition corresponds to a general absence of deposits and dateable material, thus suggesting a period of drought, to which no aeolian features have so far been related. The Holocene environmental evolution shows a period of marsh and shallow lake extansion from 6000 to 5500 yr BP; this wetter period is interrupted by the second drought (ca. 5500 yrs BP) as indicated by aeolian dune activity. During the Late Holocene, a renewal of marshes, as well as soil development on slopes, can be interpreted either as climatic changes or as impacts of human use of water and soil resources during prehistoric and historic times.

  3. Pleistocene megafaunal interaction networks became more vulnerable after human arrival.

    PubMed

    Pires, Mathias M; Koch, Paul L; Fariña, Richard A; de Aguiar, Marcus A M; dos Reis, Sérgio F; Guimarães, Paulo R

    2015-09-01

    The end of the Pleistocene was marked by the extinction of almost all large land mammals worldwide except in Africa. Although the debate on Pleistocene extinctions has focused on the roles of climate change and humans, the impact of perturbations depends on properties of ecological communities, such as species composition and the organization of ecological interactions. Here, we combined palaeoecological and ecological data, food-web models and community stability analysis to investigate if differences between Pleistocene and modern mammalian assemblages help us understand why the megafauna died out in the Americas while persisting in Africa. We show Pleistocene and modern assemblages share similar network topology, but differences in richness and body size distributions made Pleistocene communities significantly more vulnerable to the effects of human arrival. The structural changes promoted by humans in Pleistocene networks would have increased the likelihood of unstable dynamics, which may favour extinction cascades in communities facing extrinsic perturbations. Our findings suggest that the basic aspects of the organization of ecological communities may have played an important role in major extinction events in the past. Knowledge of community-level properties and their consequences to dynamics may be critical to understand past and future extinctions. PMID:26336175

  4. Pleistocene megafaunal interaction networks became more vulnerable after human arrival

    PubMed Central

    Pires, Mathias M.; Koch, Paul L.; Fariña, Richard A.; de Aguiar, Marcus A. M.; dos Reis, Sérgio F.; Guimarães, Paulo R.

    2015-01-01

    The end of the Pleistocene was marked by the extinction of almost all large land mammals worldwide except in Africa. Although the debate on Pleistocene extinctions has focused on the roles of climate change and humans, the impact of perturbations depends on properties of ecological communities, such as species composition and the organization of ecological interactions. Here, we combined palaeoecological and ecological data, food-web models and community stability analysis to investigate if differences between Pleistocene and modern mammalian assemblages help us understand why the megafauna died out in the Americas while persisting in Africa. We show Pleistocene and modern assemblages share similar network topology, but differences in richness and body size distributions made Pleistocene communities significantly more vulnerable to the effects of human arrival. The structural changes promoted by humans in Pleistocene networks would have increased the likelihood of unstable dynamics, which may favour extinction cascades in communities facing extrinsic perturbations. Our findings suggest that the basic aspects of the organization of ecological communities may have played an important role in major extinction events in the past. Knowledge of community-level properties and their consequences to dynamics may be critical to understand past and future extinctions. PMID:26336175

  5. Environmentalism unbound: reconnecting and re-envisioning movements for change.

    PubMed

    Gottlieb, R

    2001-01-01

    Disputes over environmental discourse have generated divergent pathways and discordant messages over the last three decades. An examination of them becomes a study of environmentalism s roots. The workplace is shown as a hidden and often discounted arena of debate about what constitutes an environmental issue. The triumph of the productionist and limitless consumption views helped to establish a focus on environmental change as a form of consumer action. Since the 1970s though, new forms of environmental discourse and action both community- and production-related have sought to shift the terrain. The possibility of becoming a broader, more socially inclusive movement capable of challenging the very structure and logic of capitalist social order is possible again, including the ability to identify new strategies for action. Overcoming the work/environment divide is perhaps the most contentious question facing the future of the environmental and labor movements. New approaches, including developing a community of interests, revaluing work, and developing an ethic of place (with urban, industrial, and global forms), require that the social and the ecological become joined in the construction of a common vision. When any environmental issue can be seen as socially determined, then environmentalism s great task will be to see itself as a primary agent of social change. PMID:17208705

  6. Exploring Environmental Identity and Behavioral Change in an Environmental Science Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blatt, Erica N.

    2013-01-01

    This ethnographic study at a public high school in the Northeastern United States investigates the process of change in students' environmental identity and proenvironmental behaviors during an Environmental Science course. The study explores how sociocultural factors, such as students' background, social interactions, and classroom structures,…

  7. Ceramic production during changing environmental/climatic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oestreich, Daniela B.; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.

    2015-04-01

    Ceramics, with regard to their status as largely everlasting everyday object as well as on the basis of their chronological sensitivity, reflect despite their simplicity the technological level of a culture and therefore also, directly or indirectly, the adaptability of a culture with respect to environmental and/or climatic changes. For that reason the question arises, if it is possible to identify changes in production techniques and raw material sources for ceramic production, as a response to environmental change, e.g. climate change. This paper will present results of a research about Paracas Culture (800 - 200 BC), southern Peru. Through several investigations (e.g. Schittek et al., 2014; Eitel and Mächtle, 2009) it is well known that during Paracas period changes in climate and environmental conditions take place. As a consequence, settlement patterns shifted several times through the various stages of Paracas time. Ceramics from three different sites (Jauranga, Cutamalla, Collanco) and temporal phases of the Paracas period are detailed archaeometric, geochemical and mineralogical characterized, e.g. Raman spectroscopy, XRD, and ICP-MS analyses. The aim of this research is to resolve potential differences in the chemical composition of the Paracas ceramics in space and time and to compare the data with the data sets of pre-Columbian environmental conditions. Thus influences of changing environmental conditions on human societies and their cultural conditions will be discussed. References Eitel, B. and Mächtle, B. 2009. Man and Environment in the eastern Atacama Desert (Southern Peru): Holocene climate changes and their impact on pre-Columbian cultures. In: Reindel, M. & Wagner, G. A. (eds.) New Technologies for Archaeology. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. Schittek, K., Mächtle, B., Schäbitz, F., Forbriger, M., Wennrich, V., Reindel, M., and Eitel, B.. Holocene environmental changes in the highlands of the southern Peruvian Andes (14° S) and their

  8. Late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental and climatic conditions in the eastern Andean piedmont of Mendoza (33°-34°S, Argentina)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehl, A. E.; Zárate, M. A.

    2012-08-01

    The main goal of this paper is to analyze the late Quaternary alluvial record of the Andean piedmont between 33° and 34°S (Mendoza, Argentina) reconstructing the prevailing paleoenvironmental conditions and discussing their regional significance. The analysis was carried out along the outcrops of Arroyo La Estacada and its tributary Arroyo Anchayuyo, complementary sections were described at Arroyo Grande and Arroyo Yaucha. The sedimentological, stratigraphical and geochronological (radiocarbon and OSL dating) results as well as the paleoenvironmental interpretation are presented and discussed on the basis of the geomorphological units identified at the piedmont fluvial systems. Late Quaternary deposits of Arroyo La Estacada compose three main geomorphological units consisting of an extensive aggradational plain, a fill terrace and the present floodplain -which is not analyzed in this contribution-. At the aggradational plain a distal alluvial fan lithofacial association was determined, mainly related to overbank sheet fluid overflows and probably temporary inactive channels of sandy-like braided streams between ˜50 ka BP and the early Holocene. The mid-late Holocene fining upward alluvial sequence of the fill terrace corresponds to a sinuous fluvial system lithofacial association. The mid-to late Holocene alluvial sequence exposed at Arroyo Grande banks shows a fining upward sequence probably related to a sinuous fluvial system lithofacial association. Finally, in the Arroyo Yaucha the upper and lower terraces analyzed in this study record a Late Glacial and Holocene fining upward alluvial sequence of a sinuous fluvial system lithofacial association. The late Pleistocene - early Holocene dynamic of the Andean piedmont documents an interval of alluvial aggradation characterized by the occurrence of sandy systems similar to braided rivers in the distal fan environments. The mid-late Holocene is marked by aggradation in sinuous fluvial systems and by two major

  9. Prediction uncertainty of environmental change effects on temperate European biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Dormann, Carsten F; Schweiger, Oliver; Arens, P; Augenstein, I; Aviron, St; Bailey, Debra; Baudry, J; Billeter, R; Bugter, R; Bukácek, R; Burel, F; Cerny, M; Cock, Raphaël De; De Blust, Geert; DeFilippi, R; Diekötter, Tim; Dirksen, J; Durka, W; Edwards, P J; Frenzel, M; Hamersky, R; Hendrickx, Frederik; Herzog, F; Klotz, St; Koolstra, B; Lausch, A; Le Coeur, D; Liira, J; Maelfait, J P; Opdam, P; Roubalova, M; Schermann-Legionnet, Agnes; Schermann, N; Schmidt, T; Smulders, M J M; Speelmans, M; Simova, P; Verboom, J; van Wingerden, Walter; Zobel, M

    2008-03-01

    Observed patterns of species richness at landscape scale (gamma diversity) cannot always be attributed to a specific set of explanatory variables, but rather different alternative explanatory statistical models of similar quality may exist. Therefore predictions of the effects of environmental change (such as in climate or land cover) on biodiversity may differ considerably, depending on the chosen set of explanatory variables. Here we use multimodel prediction to evaluate effects of climate, land-use intensity and landscape structure on species richness in each of seven groups of organisms (plants, birds, spiders, wild bees, ground beetles, true bugs and hoverflies) in temperate Europe. We contrast this approach with traditional best-model predictions, which we show, using cross-validation, to have inferior prediction accuracy. Multimodel inference changed the importance of some environmental variables in comparison with the best model, and accordingly gave deviating predictions for environmental change effects. Overall, prediction uncertainty for the multimodel approach was only slightly higher than that of the best model, and absolute changes in predicted species richness were also comparable. Richness predictions varied generally more for the impact of climate change than for land-use change at the coarse scale of our study. Overall, our study indicates that the uncertainty introduced to environmental change predictions through uncertainty in model selection both qualitatively and quantitatively affects species richness projections. PMID:18070098

  10. Promoting pro-environmental action in climate change deniers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bain, Paul G.; Hornsey, Matthew J.; Bongiorno, Renata; Jeffries, Carla

    2012-08-01

    A sizeable (and growing) proportion of the public in Western democracies deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change. It is commonly assumed that convincing deniers that climate change is real is necessary for them to act pro-environmentally. However, the likelihood of `conversion' using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions. An alternative approach is to identify outcomes of mitigation efforts that deniers find important. People have strong interests in the welfare of their society, so deniers may act in ways supporting mitigation efforts where they believe these efforts will have positive societal effects. In Study 1, climate change deniers (N=155) intended to act more pro-environmentally where they thought climate change action would create a society where people are more considerate and caring, and where there is greater economic/technological development. Study 2 (N=347) replicated this experimentally, showing that framing climate change action as increasing consideration for others, or improving economic/technological development, led to greater pro-environmental action intentions than a frame emphasizing avoiding the risks of climate change. To motivate deniers' pro-environmental actions, communication should focus on how mitigation efforts can promote a better society, rather than focusing on the reality of climate change and averting its risks.

  11. Environmental and Water Decision-Making in a Changing Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Shaleen; Pulwarty, Roger S.; Melis, Theodore S.

    2006-04-01

    Understanding and responding to the impacts of climate variability and change on water and environmental systems requires analysis, modeling methodologies, and tools that accommodate incomplete knowledge and uncertainty that themselves evolve over time. The broad scope of this problem necessitates a multidimensional dialogue among research and policy groups that span disciplinary boundaries. Integration of this knowledge is required to develop adaptive capacity (i.e., necessary knowledge, preparedness, and reliable decision-making capacity to act by all partners in the information chain) and resilience. In this context, resilience can be taken to mean the degree to which the environmental system can absorb both abrupt and gradual changes and build capacity for learning and adaptation. As part of the 2005 AGU Fall Meeting, the session ``Integrated environmental and water decision-making in a changing climate'' was convened under the primary sponsorship of the Global Environmental Change Focus Group, with cosponsorship from other sections. The session served as a venue for a discussion of case studies, conceptual frameworks, and modeling that examined one or more components of the connected climate-water-environmental systems on local, regional, and continental scales. Combining analyses of historical hydroclimatic variations and trends with 21st-century climate change scenarios to quantify uncertainties and associated geographical sensitivities was also a key area of interest.

  12. Predicting the response of populations to environmental change

    SciTech Connect

    Ives, A.R.

    1995-04-01

    When subject to long-term directional environmental perturbations, changes in population densities depend on the positive and negative feedbacks operating through interactions within and among species in a community. This paper develops techniques to predict the long-term responses of population densities to environmental changes using data on short-term population fluctuations driven by short-term environmental variability. In addition to giving quantitative predictions, the techniques also reveal how different qualitative patterns of species interactions either buffer or accentuate population responses to environmental trends. All of the predictions are based on regression coefficients extracted from time series data, and they can therefore be applied with a minimum of mathematical and statistical gymnastics. 48 refs., 10 figs., 4 tabs.

  13. Global Environmental Change: Modifying Human Contributions Through Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, Lynne M.

    1998-12-01

    The 1995 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1996) Science report concludes that evidence now available "points toward a discernible human influence on global climate" (p. 439). Reductions in emissions will require changes in human behavior. This study assessed whether gains in global environmental change knowledge would lead to changes in human behaviors that could be deemed environmentally responsible. The study assessed the impact on participant behavior of a two-and-one-half day National Informal Educators Workshop and Videoconference held November 14-16, 1994. The workshops were located in seven down-link sites around the continental U.S. and Hawaii. The program utilized a variety of pedagogical techniques during five hours of satellite programming with national expertise on global change topics (natural variability, greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, ecosystem response, and population and resource distribution) and applications of that information with local experts in regional workshops. Participants implemented many personal and professional behavior changes after participation in this program. Six behavior change scales were created from assessment of survey responses (four coefficient alphas were above .7, one was .68, and one was .58). Personal behavior changes grouped into three categories: Use of Fewer Resources (acts of everyday life generally under volitional control), Purchasing Choices/Options (less frequent acts, not under total volitional control, with significant environmental effect over the lifetime of the decision, e.g., an automobile) and Increased Awareness and Discussion (indicating changes in "habits of mind"). The professional behavior changes also grouped into three categories: Curriculum Development (developing/revising curricula including new knowledge); Networking (with colleagues from the program); and Office Procedures (reflecting environmentally responsible behavior). The statistically significant behavior changes

  14. Pleistocene Aridification Cycles Shaped the Contemporary Genetic Architecture of Southern African Baboons

    PubMed Central

    Sithaldeen, Riashna; Ackermann, Rebecca Rogers; Bishop, Jacqueline M.

    2015-01-01

    Plio-Pleistocene environmental change influenced the evolutionary history of many animal lineages in Africa, highlighting key roles for both climate and tectonics in the evolution of Africa’s faunal diversity. Here, we explore diversification in the southern African chacma baboon Papio ursinus sensu lato and reveal a dominant role for increasingly arid landscapes during past glacial cycles in shaping contemporary genetic structure. Recent work on baboons (Papio spp.) supports complex lineage structuring with a dominant pulse of diversification occurring 1-2Ma, and yet the link to palaeoenvironmental change remains largely untested. Phylogeographic reconstruction based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data supports a scenario where chacma baboon populations were likely restricted to refugia during periods of regional cooling and drying through the Late Pleistocene. The two lineages of chacma baboon, ursinus and griseipes, are strongly geographically structured, and demographic reconstruction together with spatial analysis of genetic variation point to possible climate-driven isolating events where baboons may have retreated to more optimum conditions during cooler, drier periods. Our analysis highlights a period of continuous population growth beginning in the Middle to Late Pleistocene in both the ursinus and the PG2 griseipes lineages. All three clades identified in the study then enter a state of declining population size (Nef) through to the Holocene; this is particularly marked in the last 20,000 years, most likely coincident with the Last Glacial Maximum. The pattern recovered here conforms to expectations based on the dynamic regional climate trends in southern Africa through the Pleistocene and provides further support for complex patterns of diversification in the region’s biodiversity. PMID:25970269

  15. Environmental change and fire in the Owen Stanley Ranges, Papua New Guinea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hope, Geoffrey

    2009-11-01

    Kosipe, an upland valley at 2000 m altitude in the Owen Stanley Ranges of southeastern New Guinea, is known for the discovery of large stone waisted blades dated to 31 400 cal a BP. The purpose of these tools and the nature of occupation are unknown. The altitude is too high for most food crops today and may have stood close to the treeline during the last glaciation. Three pollen and charcoal diagrams from a large swamp in the Kosipe Valley provide a record of swamp and dryland changes for more than 50 000 years. There have been considerable fluctuations in vegetation on the slopes and on the swamp which reflect both environmental change and anthropogenic influences. A gymnosperm-rich forest at the base is replaced by mountain forest dominated by Nothofagus about 42 000 years ago. Fire first becomes apparent across the swamp around 40 000 years ago but is not common during the time when subalpine herbs reach their best representation. Tree fern-rich grasslands form a mosaic with montane forest in a near-treeline environment. The Pleistocene-Holocene boundary is marked by a decline in Nothofagus and increase in lower montane mixed forest taxa. Charcoal increases before this time and the swamp vegetation becomes more grass-rich. Charcoal is at its maximum through the last 3000 years possibly reflecting climate variability as well as sedentary occupation and agriculture on the swamp margin. Supplementary pollen diagrams from two higher altitude sites support the evidence from the Kosipe Swamp cores. Charcoal, local catchment erosion and increases in disturbance taxa become more widespread in the last 5000 years at these sites, suggesting that local settlement at Kosipe may have lagged behind general landscape use by populations from lower altitudes.

  16. Zoonosis emergence linked to agricultural intensification and environmental change

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Bryony A.; Grace, Delia; Kock, Richard; Alonso, Silvia; Rushton, Jonathan; Said, Mohammed Y.; McKeever, Declan; Mutua, Florence; Young, Jarrah; McDermott, John; Pfeiffer, Dirk Udo

    2013-01-01

    A systematic review was conducted by a multidisciplinary team to analyze qualitatively best available scientific evidence on the effect of agricultural intensification and environmental changes on the risk of zoonoses for which there are epidemiological interactions between wildlife and livestock. The study found several examples in which agricultural intensification and/or environmental change were associated with an increased risk of zoonotic disease emergence, driven by the impact of an expanding human population and changing human behavior on the environment. We conclude that the rate of future zoonotic disease emergence or reemergence will be closely linked to the evolution of the agriculture–environment nexus. However, available research inadequately addresses the complexity and interrelatedness of environmental, biological, economic, and social dimensions of zoonotic pathogen emergence, which significantly limits our ability to predict, prevent, and respond to zoonotic disease emergence. PMID:23671097

  17. Extent of Pleistocene lakes in the western Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reheis, Marith C.

    1999-01-01

    During the Pliocene to middle Pleistocene, pluvial lakes in the western Great Basin repeatedly rose to levels much higher than those of the well-documented late Pleistocene pluvial lakes, and some presently isolated basins were connected. Sedimentologic, geomorphic, and chronologic evidence at sites shown on the map indicates that Lakes Lahontan and Columbus-Rennie were as much as 70 m higher in the early-middle Pleistocene than during their late Pleistocene high stands. Lake Lahontan at its 1400-m shoreline level would submerge present-day Reno, Carson City, and Battle Mountain, and would flood other now-dry basins. To the east, Lakes Jonathan (new name), Diamond, Newark, and Hubbs also reached high stands during the early-middle(?) Pleistocene that were 25-40 m above their late Pleistocene shorelines; at these very high levels, the lakes became temporarily or permanently tributary to the Humboldt River and hence to Lake Lahontan. Such a temporary connection could have permitted fish to migrate from the Humboldt River southward into the presently isolated Newark Valley and from Lake Lahontan into Fairview Valley. The timing of drainage integration also provides suggested maximum ages for fish to populate the basins of Lake Diamond and Lake Jonathan. Reconstructing and dating these lake levels also has important implications for paleoclimate, tectonics, and drainage evolution in the western Great Basin. For example, shorelines in several basins form a stair-step sequence downward with time from the highest levels, thought to have formed at about 650 ka, to the lowest, formed during the late Pleistocene. This descending sequence indicates progressive drying of pluvial periods, possibly caused by uplift of the Sierra Nevada and other western ranges relative to the western Great Basin. However, these effects cannot account for the extremely high lake levels during the early middle Pleistocene; rather, these high levels were probably due to a combination of increased

  18. Late Pleistocene eolian-alluvial interference in the Balearic Islands (Western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pomar, Francisco; Del Valle, Laura; Fornós, Joan J.; Gómez-Pujol, Lluís; Anechitei-Deacu, Valentina; Timar-Gabor, Alida

    2016-04-01

    This study deals with alluvial fan and aeolian sediments interference. Although initially they are two different environments, with different processes and resulting forms, very often their interaction produces deposits that share characteristics and features from both environments, as well as, maintain inherited elements from one to each other. In this sense, the aeolian-alluvial interference is the geomorphological expression of the coincidence, disruption and/or overlapping of aeolian and alluvial environments. Climate appears to be one of the most important controls on the role and magnitude of each environment in terms of sediment supply, precipitation, runoff or aeolian transport. In this study, eight major sedimentary facies have been described involving the succession of coastal, aeolian, colluvial and alluvial environments. Carbonate sandstones, breccias, conglomerates and fine-grained deposits are the main component of these sequences. OSL dating of aeolian levels indicate that their deposition took place during the Late Pleistocene, establishing a paleoclimatic evolution of Balearic coastal areas during the last 125 ka. The sedimentological and chronological analysis of these deposits allows reconstructing the coastal environmental changes during the Late Pleistocene at the Balearic archipelago. Keywords: Alluvial sedimentation, eolian sedimentation, alluvial-eolian interference, sea level, Late Pleistocene, Balearic Islands.

  19. Inuit Perspectives on Arctic Environmental Change': A Traveling Exhibition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheffield, E. M.; Hakala, J. S.; Gearheard, S.

    2006-12-01

    The Inuit of Nunavut, Canada, have an intimate relationship with their surroundings. As a culture that relies on knowledge of sea ice, snow, and weather conditions for success in hunting, fishing, and healthy wellbeing, Inuit have observed and studied environmental patterns for generations. An ongoing study into their traditional knowledge and their observations of environmental change is being conducted by researcher Dr. Shari Gearheard, who has worked with Inuit communities in Nunavut for over a decade. The results of the research have been published in scientific journals, and to communicate the results to a broader audience, Dr. Gearheard designed an interactive CD-ROM displaying photographs, maps, and interview videos of Inuit Elders' perspectives on the changes they have witnessed. Receiving immediate popularity since its release in 2004, copies of `When the Weather is Uggianaqtuq: Inuit Observations of Environmental Change' have been distributed worldwide, to indigenous peoples, social science and climate change researchers, teachers, students, and the general public. To further disseminate the information contained on the CD-ROM, the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the Museum of Natural History, both of the University of Colorado, are partnering to create an exhibition which will open at the Museum during the International Polar Year in April 2008. The exhibit, tentatively titled `Inuit Perspectives on Arctic Environmental Change,' will feature photographs, graphics, and text in both English and Inuktitut describing environmental change in the North. The goals are to make the information and interpretation contained on the CD-ROM available and more accessible to a broad audience and to raise awareness about Arctic climate change and the important contribution of Inuit knowledge. Following exhibition at the Museum, the exhibit will travel throughout the United States, Alaska, and Nunavut, through a network of museums, schools, libraries, tribal

  20. Coastal geoindicators of environmental change in the humid tropics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morton, R.A.

    2002-01-01

    The primary geoindicators appropriate for monitoring environmental changes in the humid tropics are transitory surface water levels, shoreline position, wetlands distribution, coral reefs, landforms, and sediment sequence and composition. Lateral zonations and temporal successions of vegetation also can be used as geoindicators of riverine and shoreline changes. All of these coastal geoindicators are sensitive to regional tectonic processes and anthropogenic alterations and they typically reflect significant changes in coastal conditions such as fluvial processes, coastal energy, water quality, relative sea level, and sediment supply. Where humid tropical coasts coincide with active tectonic margins, indicators of seismic activity are critical to understanding Coastal changes associated with co-seismic subsidence or uplift, tsunamis, and liquefaction of coastal sediments. Coastal landforms and sedimentary deposits that record late Quaternary environmental changes include perched fluvial and marine terraces, delta-plain morphologies, crevassesplay deposits, peats and other paleosols, beach ridges, mud capes, and mud volcanoes. Although these features and deposits typically reflect environmental changes spanning more than 100 years, they are relevant to modern processes, management of coastal lands and resources, and prediction of future conditions. In some regions of the humid tropics, large coastal areas are unaffected by hurricanes or typhoons. Nevertheless, these tropical coasts are vulnerable to other non-storm processes, such as El Nin??o events, tsunamis, and monsoons that increase water levels, and cause widespread flooding and beach erosion. The environmental and political significance of coastal geoindicators increases when they are integrated and applied to issues of human safety and health such as hazards mapping, risk assessment, and dispersion of contaminated sediments. However, to be relevant, those socio-environmental applications demand accurate

  1. Delivering Global Environmental Change Science Through Documentary Film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dodgson, K.; Byrne, J. M.; Graham, J. R.

    2010-12-01

    Communicating authentic science to society presents a significant challenge to researchers. This challenge stems from unfortunate misrepresentation and misunderstanding in the mainstream media, particularly in relation to science on global environmental change. This has resulted in a lower level of confidence and interest amongst audiences in regards to global environmental change and anthropogenic climate change discussions. This project describes a new form of documentary film that aspires to break this trend and increase audiences’ interest, reinvigorating discussion about global environmental change. The documentary film adopts a form that marries traditional scientific presentation with the high entertainment value of narrative storytelling. This format maintains the authenticity of the scientific message and ensures audience engagement throughout the entire presentation due to the fact that a sense of equality and intimacy between the audience and the scientists is achieved. The film features interviews with scientists studying global environmental change and opens with a comparison of authentic scientific information and the mainstream media’s presentation, and subsequent public opinion. This enables an analysis of the growing disconnect between society and the scientific community. Topics investigated include: Arctic ice melt, coastal zone hypoxia, tropical cyclones and acidification. Upon completion of the film, public and private screenings with predetermined audience demographics will be conducted using a short, standardized survey to gain feedback regarding the audience’s overall review of the presentation. In addition to the poster, this presentation features an extended trailer for the documentary film.

  2. Climate change and environmental concentrations of POPs: A review.

    PubMed

    Nadal, Martí; Marquès, Montse; Mari, Montse; Domingo, José L

    2015-11-01

    In recent years, the climate change impact on the concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has become a topic of notable concern. Changes in environmental conditions such as the increase of the average temperature, or the UV-B radiation, are likely to influence the fate and behavior of POPs, ultimately affecting human exposure. The state of the art of the impact of climate change on environmental concentrations of POPs, as well as on human health risks, is here reviewed. Research gaps are also identified, while future studies are suggested. Climate change and POPs are a hot issue, for which wide attention should be paid not only by scientists, but also and mainly by policy makers. Most studies reported in the scientific literature are focused on legacy POPs, mainly polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides. However, the number of investigations aimed at estimating the impact of climate change on the environmental levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is scarce, despite of the fact that exposure to PAHs and photodegradation byproducts may result in adverse health effects. Furthermore, no data on emerging POPs are currently available in the scientific literature. In consequence, an intensification of studies to identify and mitigate the indirect effects of the climate change on POP fate is needed to minimize the human health impact. Furthermore, being this a global problem, interactions between climate change and POPs must be addressed from an international perspective. PMID:26496851

  3. First ancient DNA sequences from the Late Pleistocene red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the Crimea, Ukraine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanković, Ana; Nadachowski, Adam; Doan, Karolina; Stefaniak, Krzysztof; Baca, Mateusz; Socha, Paweł; Wegleński, Piotr; Ridush, Bogdan

    2010-05-01

    The Late Pleistocene has been a period of significant population and species turnover and extinctions among the large mammal fauna. Massive climatic and environmental changes during Pleistocene significantly influenced the distribution and also genetic diversity of plants and animals. The model of glacial refugia and habitat contraction to southern peninsulas in Europe as areas for the survival of temperate animal species during unfavourable Pleistocene glaciations is at present widely accepted. However, both molecular data and the fossil record indicate the presence of northern and perhaps north-eastern refugia in Europe. In recent years, much new palaeontological data have been obtained in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine, following extensive investigations. The red deer (Cervus elaphus) samples for aDNA studies were collected in Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave, situated on the north edge of Lower Plateau of the Chatyrdag Massif (Crimean Mountains). The cave is a vertical shaft, which functioned as a huge mega-trap over a long period of time (probably most of the Pleistocene). The bone assemblages provided about 5000 bones belonging to more than 40 species. The C. elaphus bones were collected from three different stratigraphical levels, radiocarbon dated by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) method. The bone fragments of four specimens of red deer were used for the DNA isolation and analysis. The mtDNA (Cytochome b) was successfully isolated from three bone fragments and the cytochrome b sequences were amplified by multiplex PCR. The sequences obtained so far allowed for the reconstruction of only preliminary phylogenetic trees. A fragment of metatarsus from level dated to ca. 48,500±2,000 years BP, yielded a sequence of 513 bp, allowing to locate the specimen on the phylogenetic tree within modern C. elaphus specimens from southern and middle Europe. The second bone fragment, a fragment of mandible, collected from level dated approximately to ca. 33,500±400 years BP

  4. Environmental Education for Behaviour Change: Which actions should be targeted?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyes, Edward; Stanisstreet, Martin

    2012-07-01

    One aim of environmental education is to enable people to make informed decisions about their environmental behaviour; this is particularly significant with environmental problems that are believed to be both major and imminent, such as climate change resulting from global warming. Previous research suggests no strong link between a person's general environmental attitudes and knowledge, and his or her willingness to undertake pro-environmental actions, so this study focuses on some specific issues. Using survey methods to produce quantitative data about students' beliefs concerning the usefulness of specific actions and their willingness to adopt them, novel indices have been constructed that indicate the potential of education to increase students' willingness to undertake those actions. The findings imply that altering a student's belief about certain issues will have little effect on their willingness to act. This can be because most students, even those with only a weak belief in the efficacy, are prepared to take action anyway. Conversely, it can be because a majority, including those convinced about the efficacy, are not prepared to take action. Education about such actions, where there is only a weak link between believed effectiveness and willingness to act, may be ineffective in terms of changing practice, because other factors such as social norms and situational influences dominate. For such actions other strategies may be required. For another set of actions, however, the benefits of education in changing practice seemed more positive; increasing recycling, reducing the use of artificial fertilisers and planting more trees are examples.

  5. Middle Pleistocene Climate Change Recorded in Fossil Mammal Teeth from Tarija, Bolivia, and Upper Limit of the Ensenadan Land-Mammal Age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacFadden, Bruce J.

    2000-07-01

    Fossiliferous middle Pleistocene sediments of the Tarija basin of southern Bolivia contain a classic Ensenadan land-mammal fauna. New carbon isotopic data reported here for 50 specimens of the grazing mammals Equus (horse) and Cuvieronius (mastodon), documented from eight stratigraphic levels at Tarija, vary significantly in the δ13C values of their teeth. The pattern of variation appears to reflect the proportion of C3 and C4 grasses eaten during colder (more C3) and warmer (more C4) times. Within age limits set by associated magnetostratigraphy, the cold periods can be correlated with particular even-numbered stages in the marine oxygen-isotope record, and the warm periods can be correlated with odd-numbered stages. The oldest fossil teeth analyzed from the Tarija section can thereby be assigned to stage 29, and the youngest to stages 17 or 15, that is; the teeth range in age from about 1.1 myr to as young as 0.7 myr. Based on correlation of the upper part of the Tarija beds to the isotopic stages, the upper limit of the Ensenadan land-mammal age is between 0.7 and 0.6 myr, which is younger than stated in most previous studies.

  6. The influence of life history and diet on the distribution of catarrhine primates during the Pleistocene in eastern Asia.

    PubMed

    Jablonski, N G; Whitfort, M J; Roberts-Smith, N; Qinqi, X

    2000-08-01

    Environmental changes during the Pleistocene in eastern Asia had profound impacts on the distributions of mammalian groups. Critical for many mammals were the southward latitudinal shifts of the tropical and subtropical vegetational zones, and decreases in the areas of these zones. Examination of the responses of members of a single clade, the Catarrhini, indicates that the main catarrhine genera of eastern Asia responded individually to the environmental changes in the Pleistocene. These responses were influenced by the life history parameters and diets of the genera involved. Those animals (macaques, langurs) with shorter gestation times, shorter weaning periods, shorter interbirth intervals, higher intrinsic rates of increase of population, and abilities to survive on a wider variety of vegetation in seasonal habitats were less adversely affected than those (gibbons, orangutans and the giant extinct hominoid, Gigantopithecus) with more protracted reproductive schedules, lower intrinsic rates of population increase and preferences for the higher quality foods (especially ripe fruits) of less seasonal environments. Hominids, while displaying "hyper-ape" life history parameters, increasingly overcame the constraints of these parameters through extrasomatic means not available to other catarrhines. This ability made possible their colonization, by the Late Pleistocene, of highly seasonal habitats such as tundra, which were off-limits to non-culture-bearing catarrhines. PMID:10968926

  7. People and Environmental Changes. [Student's Guide.] Preparing for Tomorrow's World.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iozzi, Louis A.; And Others

    The intent of this module is to engage students (grades 9-11) in an examination of issues that arise as a result of human activities in the physical environment. Activities are organized into two sections: the first focusing on weather modification and construction of dams as examples of planned environmental change and the second focusing on…

  8. Planning for Change: Assessing Internal and External Environmental Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coffey, Janis Cox

    This report provides, first, an overview of the external and internal environmental factors affecting planning in California's community colleges; and, second, an examination of the influence of the demographics of the Los Rios Community College District (LRCCD). After an executive summary, introductory material discusses ways in which change can…

  9. People and Environmental Changes. Teacher's Guide. Preparing for Tomorrow's World.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iozzi, Louis A.

    "People and Environmental Changes" is one of the "Preparing for Tomorrow's World" (PTW) program modules. PTW is an interdisciplinary, future-oriented program which incorporates information from the sciences and social sciences and addresses societal concerns which interface science/technology/society. The program promotes responsible citizenry…

  10. Challenges to professionalism: Social accountability and global environmental change.

    PubMed

    Pearson, David; Walpole, Sarah; Barna, Stefi

    2015-01-01

    This article explores the concept of professionalism as it relates to social change and social accountability, and expands on them in the light of global environmental changes. Professionalism in medicine includes concepts of altruism, service, professional knowledge, self-regulation and autonomy. Current dialogues around social accountability suggest that medical schools should re-orientate their strategy and desired education, research and service outcomes to the health needs of the communities they serve.This article addresses the following questions: • How do we reconcile ideas of medical professionalism with the demands of creating a more equal, just, sustainable and socially inclusive society? • What new challenges do or will we face in relation to environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, ecosystem health and climate change? • How can medical schools best teach social and environmental responsiveness within a framework of professionalism? • How do medical schools ensure that tomorrow's doctors possess the knowledge, skills and attitude to adapt to the challenges they will face in future roles?We offer ideas about why and how medical educators can change, recommendations to strengthen the teaching of professionalism and social accountability and suggestions about the contribution of an emerging concept, that of "environmental accountability". PMID:26030377

  11. Socio-economic data for global environmental change research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, Ilona M.; Biewald, Anne; Coumou, Dim; Feulner, Georg; Köhler, Claudia; Nocke, Thomas; Blok, Anders; Gröber, Albert; Selchow, Sabine; Tyfield, David; Volkmer, Ingrid; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim; Beck, Ulrich

    2015-06-01

    Subnational socio-economic datasets are required if we are to assess the impacts of global environmental changes and to improve adaptation responses. Institutional and community efforts should concentrate on standardization of data collection methodologies, free public access, and geo-referencing.

  12. THE MOLLUSCAN SHELL: BIOLOGICAL RECORD OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This manual of molluscan shell growth has been prepared so that the pollution biologist confronted with after-the-fact monitoring problems can extract information about recruitment, growth, and mortality responses of molluscs to past and present changes in environmental quality. ...

  13. Palaeogeography of the Caspian Sea marine Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanina, Tamara; Svitoch, Aleksander; Makshaev, Radik; Khomchenko, Denis

    2016-04-01

    Vertical succession of the fossil molluscs of Didacna genus along the Pleistocene sequence of the Caspian Sea area allows for detailed subdivision of the sediments. Zone, i.e. the Caspian Sea Pleistocene, is the highest stratigraphical unit of the regional Quaternary stratigraphic scale. It corresponds to the biozone of Didacna Eichwald subgenus. Based on the fossil groups of Didacna molluscs, the deposits are subdivided into the Baku, Urundzhik-Singil', lower and upper Khazarian, Khvalinian, and post-Khvalinian horizons. Further subdision is based on the changes in Didacna assemblages. Three big transgressive epochs are distinguished in the Pleistocene history of the Caspian Sea that were separated by deep and long regressions. These are the Baku, early Khazarian and Khvalinian transgressions. In transgressive sea basins, the sea level reached the height of 40-50 m and was regulated by the outflow of the Caspian waters into the Black Sea via the Manych depression. The areas of transgressive basins were similar. At the Caucasian coast, the extent of the Baku and early Khazarian transgressions exceeded that of the Khvalinian transgression, while in the Northern Caspian Sea Region the latter was slightly more extensive than the preceding ones. The Urundzhik, late Khazarian and New Caspian transgressions represented sea-level rise of lower rank. All of them were recorded within big regressive epochs being usually related to warm (interglacial) climatic conditions: Singil' (Likhvin), Mikulino and Holocene, respectively. Like at present, the Pleistocene Caspian Sea represented a self-regulating system. Maximal extent of ancient sea basins was dependent upon the height of the Manych sill (that was the main regulating factor), the amount of precipitation, river runoff, and decrease in evaporation. Minimal extent of the sea basin was dependent upon the area and capacity of its southern and middle depressions. At the same time, the rest states (extents) of the Caspian Sea

  14. PALEOECOLOGY. Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Alan; Turney, Chris; Hughen, Konrad A; Brook, Barry W; McDonald, H Gregory; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2015-08-01

    The mechanisms of Late Pleistocene megafauna extinctions remain fiercely contested, with human impact or climate change cited as principal drivers. We compared ancient DNA and radiocarbon data from 31 detailed time series of regional megafaunal extinctions and replacements over the past 56,000 years with standard and new combined records of Northern Hemisphere climate in the Late Pleistocene. Unexpectedly, rapid climate changes associated with interstadial warming events are strongly associated with the regional replacement or extinction of major genetic clades or species of megafauna. The presence of many cryptic biotic transitions before the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary revealed by ancient DNA confirms the importance of climate change in megafaunal population extinctions and suggests that metapopulation structures necessary to survive such repeated and rapid climatic shifts were susceptible to human impacts. PMID:26250679

  15. Drastic environmental change and its effects on a planetary biosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Irwin, Louis N.; Fairén, Alberto G.

    2013-07-01

    Environmental conditions can change drastically and rapidly during the natural history of a planetary body. These changes affect the biosphere and can spur evolution via the mechanism of directional selection leading to the innovation of new processes and forms of life, or alternatively leading to the extinction of certain life forms. Based on the natural history of Earth, the effect on a planet's biosphere depends on three factors: (1) the nature and time scale of change, (2) the composition of the biosphere prior to change, and (3) the nature of the environment following the change. Though Earth has undergone various periods of drastic environmental change, life has shown an enormous resiliency and became more diverse and complex as a consequence of these events. Mars and Venus have undergone even larger environmental changes, both from habitable conditions under which the origin of life (or transfer of life from Earth) seem plausible, to a dry and cold planet punctuated by wetter conditions, and a hyperthermic greenhouse, respectively. Given its planetary history, life on Mars could have retreated to a psychrophilic lifestyle in the deep subsurface or to environmental near-surface niches, such as hydrothermal regions and caves. Further, strong directional selection could have pushed putative martian life to evolve alternating cycles between active and dormant forms, as well as the innovation of new traits adapted to challenging near-surface conditions. Life in the subsurface or on the surface of Venus seems impossible today, but microorganisms may have adapted to thrive in the lower cloud layer, possibly using a biochemical strategy analogous to Photosystem I and chemoautotrophic sulfur metabolism, and employing cycloocta sulfur for UV protection.

  16. Potential environmental benefits of prospective genetic changes in broiler traits.

    PubMed

    Leinonen, I; Williams, A G; Kyriazakis, I

    2016-02-01

    A system approach-based Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) framework, combined with a simple mechanistic model of bird energy balance was used to predict the potential effects of 15 y prospective broiler breeding on the environmental impacts of the standard UK broiler production system. The year 2014 Ross 308 genotype was used as a baseline, and a future scenario was specified from rates of genetic improvement predicted by the industry. The scenario included changes in the traits of growth rate (reducing the time to reach a target weight 2.05 kg from 34 d to 27 d), body lipid content, carcass yield, mortality and the number of chicks produced by a breeder hen. Diet composition was adjusted in order to accommodate the future nutrient requirements of the birds following the genetic change. The results showed that predicted changes in biological performance due to selective breeding could lead to reduced environmental impacts of the broiler production chain, most notably in the Eutrophication Potential (by 12%), Acidification Potential (by 10%) and Abiotic Resource Use (by 9%) and Global Warming Potential (by 9%). These reductions were mainly caused by the reduced maintenance energy requirement and thus lower feed intake, resulting from the shorter production cycle, together with the increased carcass yield. However, some environmental benefits were limited by the required changes in feed composition (e.g., increased inclusion of soy meal and vegetable oil) as a result of the changes in bird nutrient requirements. This study is the first one aiming to link the mechanistic animal modeling approach to predicted genetic changes in order to produce quantitative estimates of the future environmental impacts of broiler production. Although a more detailed understanding on the mechanisms of the potential changes in bird performance and their consequences on feeding and husbandry would be still be needed, the modeling framework produced in this study provides a starting point for

  17. Evolution of a Planktonic Foraminifer during Environmental Changes in the Tropical Oceans

    PubMed Central

    Ujiié, Yurika; Ishitani, Yoshiyuki

    2016-01-01

    demonstrated that the two-gene dataset improved the accuracy of divergence time estimates. The P. obliquiloculata lineage diverged twice, first at the end of the Pliocene (3.1 Ma) and again in the middle Pleistocene (1.4 Ma). Both timings coincided with the environmental changes, which indirectly involved geographic separation of populations. The habitat of P. obliquiloculata was expanded toward the higher latitudinal zones during the stable warm periods and subsequently placed on the steep environmental gradients following the global cooling. Different environmental conditions in the stable warm tropics and unstable higher latitudes may have triggered ecological divergence among the populations, leading to adaptive differentiation and eventually speciation. A comprehensive analysis of divergence time estimates combined with phylogeography enabled us to reveal the evolutionary history of the pelagic plankton and to find the potential paleoenvironmental events, which could have changed their biogeography and ecology. PMID:26886349

  18. Evolution of a Planktonic Foraminifer during Environmental Changes in the Tropical Oceans.

    PubMed

    Ujiié, Yurika; Ishitani, Yoshiyuki

    2016-01-01

    demonstrated that the two-gene dataset improved the accuracy of divergence time estimates. The P. obliquiloculata lineage diverged twice, first at the end of the Pliocene (3.1 Ma) and again in the middle Pleistocene (1.4 Ma). Both timings coincided with the environmental changes, which indirectly involved geographic separation of populations. The habitat of P. obliquiloculata was expanded toward the higher latitudinal zones during the stable warm periods and subsequently placed on the steep environmental gradients following the global cooling. Different environmental conditions in the stable warm tropics and unstable higher latitudes may have triggered ecological divergence among the populations, leading to adaptive differentiation and eventually speciation. A comprehensive analysis of divergence time estimates combined with phylogeography enabled us to reveal the evolutionary history of the pelagic plankton and to find the potential paleoenvironmental events, which could have changed their biogeography and ecology. PMID:26886349

  19. Exploring environmental identity and behavioral change in an Environmental Science course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blatt, Erica N.

    2013-06-01

    This ethnographic study at a public high school in the Northeastern United States investigates the process of change in students' environmental identity and proenvironmental behaviors during an Environmental Science course. The study explores how sociocultural factors, such as students' background, social interactions, and classroom structures, impact the environmental identity and behavior of students. In this investigation, the identity theory of emotion of Stryker (2004) from the field of sociology is utilized in the interpretation of students' reactions to classroom experiences as they proceed through the Environmental Science course. The participants in this study are an Environmental Science teacher and the 10-12th grade students in her Environmental Science elective course. The researcher collected data for a period of six months, attending class on a daily basis. Data was collected through participant observation, videotaping, interviews, and cogenerative dialogues. The results of this study inform science educators by illuminating important elements, such as students' emotional responses to activities in class, conflicting elements of students' identities, and students' openness and willingness to critically reflect upon new information, which contribute to whether a student is likely to change their views towards the environment and pro-environmental behaviors.

  20. Assessing future changes in pan-European environmental flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laize, C.; Hannah, D. M.

    2011-12-01

    The potential river flow-driven impact of change on aquatic and riparian ecosystems at the pan-European scale under various climatological and development scenarios was assessed using a methodology based conceptually on the Range of Variability Approach (RVA) using the Indicators of Hydrological Alteration (IHA): a desk-top technique for assessing if environmental flow requirements. This paper presents an adaptation of the IHA approach using monthly flows. European and Mediterranean river networks were modelled as ~35,000 cells (0.5° longitude x 0.5° latitude). For each cell, modelled monthly flows were generated for an ensemble of 10 future climate change scenarios. These scenarios consist of combinations of two climate scenarios (IPCM4 and MIMR) and four socio-economic water-use scenarios (each with a main driver of economy, policy, security, or sustainability), projected for 2050s. IHA-styled statistics were calculated. By tailoring the RVA, acceptable baseline environmental flow ranges and departures from these of the projected hydrological regimes were assessed and coded using a traffic-light system (green for environmental flows met, amber minor variation, red major variation). For the first time, the results show spatial patterns of flow change and associated potential river ecosystem impacts across the wider European continent. Importantly, the findings indicate that climate change may be a more influential driver than water-use change in determining future river ecosystem health . Patterns were also investigated against broad basin types to identify which are most or least at risk.

  1. Antarctica and Global Environmental Change - Lessons from the Past Inform Climate Change Policy Today

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunbar, R. B.; Scientific Team Of Odp Drilling Leg 318; Andrill Science Team

    2011-12-01

    Antarctic's continental ice, sea ice, and the broader Southern Ocean form a coupled and complex climate system that interacts in important yet poorly understood ways with the low and mid-latitudes. Because of its unusual sovereignty status and the fact that there is no indigenous human population, information about climate change in Antarctica penetrates the policy world less readily than findings from other regions. Yet, Antarctica's potential to impact climate change globally is disproportionately large. Vulnerable portions of the ice sheet may contribute up to 3 to 5 meters of sea level rise in the coming centuries, including significant amounts within the next 50 years. Loss of sea ice and other changes in the Southern Ocean may reduce oceanic uptake of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide, exacerbating global warming worldwide. Antarctica's impact on the Southern Hemisphere wind field is now well-established, contributing to ongoing decadal-scale perturbations in continental precipitation as well as major reorganizations of Southern Ocean food chains. Recent scientific drilling programs in the Ross Sea and off Wilkes Land, Antarctica, provide valuable insights into past climatic and biogeochemical change in Antarctica, insights of great relevance to international and national climate change policy. In this paper, we discuss polar amplification, sea level variability coupled to Antarctic ice volume, and response timescales as seen through the lens of past climate change. One key result emerging from multiple drilling programs is recognition of unanticipated dynamism in the Antarctic ice sheet during portions of the Pliocene (at a time with pCO2 levels equivalent to those anticipated late this century) as well as during "super-interglacials" of the Pleistocene. Evidence for substantially warmer ocean temperatures and reduced sea ice cover at these times suggests that polar amplification of natural climate variability, even under scenarios of relative small amounts

  2. Modeling coastal environmental changes by fuzzy logic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoran, Maria A.; Zoran, Liviu Florin V.

    2004-10-01

    The coastal zone contains that unique environmental triple point where the water, land and atmospheric components of the terrestrial surface converge and interact. This paper is an application of remotely sensed images in marine coastal land cover classification for change detection assessment. The nature of the gradients in coastal region land cover composition among the map classes can therefore be identified.A supervised approach uses the prior knowledge about the area and thus it is very useful in getting better results than an unsupervised classification. The study test area was North-Western Black Sea coastal region, characterized by no so fast drastic changes,as it is a slow and continuous process. Satellite images (Landsat MSS, TM, ETM, SAR ERS, ASTER, MODIS) over a period of time between 1975 and 2003 were chosen for change detection analysis.In the fuzzy approach, it is possible to describe change as a degree, this being the main reason for fuzzy approach using for classification and change detection of major land cover classes in a marine coastal area.The results can be utilized as a temporal land-use change model for a region to quantify the extent and nature of change, and aid in future prediction studies, which helps in planning environmental agencies to develop sustainable land-use practices .

  3. Spatial and temporal patterns of Pleistocene biogenic sediment accumulation in the Gulf of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moy, C. M.; Bahlburg, H.; Childress, L. B.; Cowan, E. A.; Forwick, M.; Müller, J.; Ribeiro, F.; Ridgway, K. D.; Mix, A. C.

    2013-12-01

    Reconstructing the timing and nature of past changes in aquatic productivity in the Gulf of Alaska (GoA) can shed light on the primary processes driving biogeochemical cycling over geologic timescales. Today, Fe is an important micronutrient that limits primary productivity in surface waters beyond the continental shelf in much of the GoA. However, we have a relatively poor understanding of how Fe-delivery processes, combined with changing climate, environmental, and oceanographic conditions, interact to influence primary production over glacial-interglacial timescales. An important first step is to identify the spatial and temporal patterns of increased productivity in the sediment record. Here, we present sedimentologic and physical property data from IODP Expedition 341 and identify intervals where diatom ooze and diatom-rich mud lithofacies are prevalent during the Pleistocene. Among the Expedition 341 recovered cores, were high-recovery intervals in the outer (Site U1417) and inner (U1418) Surveyor Fan, and from a small slope basin at the edge of the continental shelf (Site U1419). In general, greenish gray diatomaceous ooze (containing >50 % diatoms in smear slides) and diatom-rich mud (>25% diatoms) is found in beds ranging in thickness from 20 to 150 cm, interbedded with gray mud that commonly contains lonestones. Ooze is occasionally found immediately overlying volcanic ash. Compared to non-biogenic mud, diatomaceous sediments are generally characterized by lower magnetic susceptibility, natural gamma ray, bulk density, and higher b* color reflectance. At Site U1417, we observe a frequent occurrence of diatomaceous ooze during the middle Pleistocene relative to the early and late Pleistocene. At Site U1418, intervals containing diatom ooze are less common than at U1417 and biogenic sediments are mainly observed within the late Pleistocene portion of the record. However, higher sedimentation rates at U1418 relative to U1417, and the co-occurrence of sand

  4. Some biological consequences of environmental change: a study using barnacles (Cirripedia: Balanomorpha) and gum trees (Angiospermae: Myrtaceae).

    PubMed

    Buckeridge, John S

    2010-06-01

    Uniformitarianism permits understanding of the past on the basis of the present, and modeling the future through consideration of the fossil record. The present paper addresses the impact environmental (climatic) change has had on acorn barnacles and eucalyptus trees. Acorn barnacles (Balanomorpha) are first recorded after the K/T mass-extinction event. In the Paleogene, rapid radiation resulted in their occupying most marine environments. That balanomorphs survived both the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum and the Pleistocene glaciation is testament to their ability to adapt to opportunities; they are known from the littoral (Chamaesipho) to depths of 3600 m (Tetrachaelasma) and within this from diverse substrates: rock, wood and miscellaneous flotsam, plus in symbiosis or commensalism with most larger marine organisms. Darwin's (1854) view of the late Tertiary as the age of barnacles is reflected in their diversity, distribution and biomass. Barnacles are contrasted with the Australian Myrtaceae: plants ranging from woody shrubs to tall trees. The most significant is Eucalyptus sensu lato, which typifies Australia's flora, and is characterized by aromatic leaves that produce eucalyptol. Eucalyptus has evolved strategies that result in its domination of Australian open woodlands: these include production of highly flammable eucalyptol oil (with a flashpoint of 49 °C) and an unprecedented ability to regenerate following forest fires. Gum trees and barnacles first appear in the Paleogene, their earliest records are Australasian, and they both demonstrate extraordinary resilience when environmental conditions are optimal. PMID:21392330

  5. Improved data for integrated modeling of global environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lotze-Campen, Hermann

    2011-12-01

    The assessment of global environmental changes, their impact on human societies, and possible management options requires large-scale, integrated modeling efforts. These models have to link biophysical with socio-economic processes, and they have to take spatial heterogeneity of environmental conditions into account. Land use change and freshwater use are two key research areas where spatial aggregation and the use of regional average numbers may lead to biased results. Useful insights can only be obtained if processes like economic globalization can be consistently linked to local environmental conditions and resource constraints (Lambin and Meyfroidt 2011). Spatially explicit modeling of environmental changes at the global scale has a long tradition in the natural sciences (Woodward et al 1995, Alcamo et al 1996, Leemans et al 1996). Socio-economic models with comparable spatial detail, e.g. on grid-based land use change, are much less common (Heistermann et al 2006), but are increasingly being developed (Popp et al 2011, Schneider et al 2011). Spatially explicit models require spatially explicit input data, which often constrains their development and application at the global scale. The amount and quality of available data on environmental conditions is growing fast—primarily due to improved earth observation methods. Moreover, systematic efforts for collecting and linking these data across sectors are on the way (www.earthobservations.org). This has, among others, also helped to provide consistent databases on different land cover and land use types (Erb et al 2007). However, spatially explicit data on specific anthropogenic driving forces of global environmental change are still scarce—also because these cannot be collected with satellites or other devices. The basic data on socio-economic driving forces, i.e. population density and wealth (measured as gross domestic product per capita), have been prepared for spatially explicit analyses (CIESIN, IFPRI

  6. Environmental changes and growth history of a cold-water carbonate mound (Propeller Mound, Porcupine Seabight)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rüggeberg, Andres; Dullo, Christian; Dorschel, Boris; Hebbeln, Dierk

    2007-02-01

    On- and off-mound sediment cores from Propeller Mound (Hovland Mound province, Porcupine Seabight) were analysed to understand better the evolution of a carbonate mound. The evaluation of benthic foraminiferal assemblages from the off-mound position helps to determine the changes of the environmental controls on Propeller Mound in glacial and interglacial times. Two different assemblages describe the Holocene and Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 2 and late MIS 3 (˜31 kyr BP). The different assemblages are related to changes in oceanographic conditions, surface productivity and the waxing and waning of the British Irish Ice Sheet (BIIS) during the last glacial stages. The interglacial assemblage is related to a higher supply of organic material and stronger current intensities in water depth of recent coral growth. During the last glaciation the benthic faunas showed high abundances of cassidulinid species, implying cold bottom waters and a reduced availability of organic matter. High sedimentation rates and the domination of Elphidium excavatum point to shelf erosion related to sea-level lowering (˜50 m) and the progradation of the BIIS onto the shelf. A different assemblage described for the on-mound core is dominated by Discanomalina coronata, Gavelinopsis translucens, Planulina ariminensis, Cibicides lobatulus and to a lower degree by Hyrrokkin sarcophaga. These species are only found or show significantly higher relative abundances in on-mound samples and their maximum contribution in the lower part of the record indicates a higher coral growth density on Propeller Mound in an earlier period. They are less abundant during the Holocene, however. This dataset portrays the boundary conditions of the habitable range for the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa, which dominates the deep-water reefal ecosystem on the upper flanks of Propeller Mound. The growth of this ecosystem occurs during interglacial and interstadial periods, whereas a retreat of corals is documented in

  7. Evaluating environmental flows under climate variability and change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilby, R.

    2012-04-01

    How much river flow is needed to ensure healthy freshwater ecosystems? This is a question that has exercised environmental managers for decades and one that is being made even harder by the prospect of anthropogenic climate change. The response requires balancing the long-term water demands of society with the needs of the environment in a sustainable and least cost way. Meeting these challenges will require more flexible water management systems and processes that recognise changing environmental limits, incentivise more environmentally-sensitive behaviours by water users and abstractors during times of water scarcity, and a move away from capital intensive, supply-side solutions. This talk evaluates the sensitivity of river flows to decadal variations in rainfall, abstraction amounts, licensing regime, and climate change. The overall objective is to determine how achievable abstraction volumes vary with different e-flow standards and water licensing regimes, under climate variability and change. The River Itchen in southern England has historically experienced unsustainable levels of water abstraction and is used as a test basin. The talk will consider the extent to which a 'smarter' approach to abstraction licensing could ensure that e-flow standards are met despite large uncertainty in the future climate, whilst having a minimal impact on security of water supplies.

  8. Climate change and coastal environmental risk perceptions in Florida.

    PubMed

    Carlton, Stuart J; Jacobson, Susan K

    2013-11-30

    Understanding public perceptions of climate change risks is a prerequisite for effective climate communication and adaptation. Many studies of climate risk perceptions have either analyzed a general operationalization of climate change risk or employed a case-study approach of specific adaptive processes. This study takes a different approach, examining attitudes toward 17 specific, climate-related coastal risks and cognitive, affective, and risk-specific predictors of risk perception. A survey of 558 undergraduates revealed that risks to the physical environment were a greater concern than economic or biological risks. Perceptions of greater physical environment risks were significantly associated with having more pro-environmental attitudes, being female, and being more Democratic-leaning. Perceptions of greater economic risks were significantly associated with having more negative environmental attitudes, being female, and being more Republican-leaning. Perceptions of greater biological risks were significantly associated with more positive environmental attitudes. The findings suggest that focusing on physical environment risks maybe more salient to this audience than communications about general climate change adaptation. The results demonstrate that climate change beliefs and risk perceptions are multifactorial and complex and are shaped by individuals' attitudes and basic beliefs. Climate risk communications need to apply this knowledge to better target cognitive and affective processes of specific audiences, rather than providing simple characterizations of risks. PMID:24056234

  9. Epigenetics changes associated to environmental triggers in autoimmunity.

    PubMed

    Cañas, Carlos A; Cañas, Felipe; Bonilla-Abadía, Fabio; Ospina, Fabio E; Tobón, Gabriel J

    2016-02-01

    Autoimmune diseases (AIDs) are chronic conditions initiated by the loss of immunological tolerance to self-antigens and represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organs in different systems. While the pathogenesis of AID remains unclear, its aetiology is multifunctional and includes a combination of genetic, epigenetic, immunological and environmental factors. In AIDs, several epigenetic mechanisms are defective including DNA demethylation, abnormal chromatin positioning associated with autoantibody production and abnormalities in the expression of RNA interference (RNAi). It is known that environmental factors may interfere with DNA methylation and histone modifications, however, little is known about epigenetic changes derived of regulation of RNAi. An approach to the known environmental factors and the mechanisms that alter the epigenetic regulation in AIDs (with emphasis in systemic lupus erythematosus, the prototype of systemic AID) are showed in this review. PMID:26369426

  10. EDITORIAL: Integrated assessments of environmental change on the Tibetan Plateau Integrated assessments of environmental change on the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheng, Yongwei; Yao, Tandong

    2009-12-01

    The Tibetan Plateau is one of the Earth's most sensitive regions in responding to climate change due to its extremely high altitude and the presence of permafrost and glaciers. The cryosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere of the plateau have been undergoing significant changes. Due to the low human population density, environmental changes on the plateau are largely driven by natural processes. Thus, the plateau provides a unique and comprehensive site for global change studies. This focus issue on Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau aims to address both paleo and recent environmental changes across the plateau to facilitate our understanding of this remote and under-studied area. We invited a wide spectrum of contributions to address climate change, permafrost degradation, glacier/snow/ice dynamics, lake dynamics, land- cover/land-use changes, and their interactions on the plateau. Collectively, the diverse contributions in this special issue are expected to present the recent advancement of the above topics and beyond. See the PDF for the full text of the editorial. Focus on Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau Contents Does a weekend effect in diurnal temperature range exist in the eastern and central Tibetan Plateau? Qinglong You, Shichang Kang, Wolfgang-Albert Flügel, Arturo Sanchez-Lorenzo, Yuping Yan, Yanwei Xu and Jie Huang Diurnal variations of summertime precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau in relation to orographically-induced regional circulations Xiaodong Liu, Aijuan Bai and Changhai Liu Lake-level fluctuations since the Last Glaciation in Selin Co (lake), Central Tibet, investigated using optically stimulated luminescence dating of beach ridges Dewen Li, Yingkui Li, Baoqi Ma, Guocheng Dong, Liqiang Wang and Junxiang Zhao Recent changes in Imja Glacial Lake and its damming moraine in the Nepal Himalaya revealed by in situ surveys and multi-temporal ASTER imagery Koji Fujita, Akiko Sakai, Takayuki Nuimura, Satoru Yamaguchi and Rishi R Sharma Changes

  11. Late Pleistocene Southeast Amazonia Paleoenvironmental reconstruction inferred by bulk, isotopic and molecular organic matter. Saci lake-Para-Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, G. S.; Cordeiro, R. C.; Turcq, B.; Moreira, L. S.; Bouloubassi, I.; Sifeddine, A.

    2014-12-01

    Bulk, Isotope and biolomecular analysis supported by 22 14C AMS dates, allowed the reconstruction of environmental changes during the last 35 000 years BP in the Southeast Amazonian basin. A terrestrial origin has been inferred for the odd carbon-numbered long-chain (>C27) n-alkanes. The entire n-alkane δ13C range between -31.7‰ and -36.8‰, which is the isotopic range occupied by C3 vegetation. The C29:C31 ratio shows that a gramineae contribution is higher during the Pleistocene than in Holocene. The n-alkanes concentration decrease between 32 000 - 18 000, suggesting a increase in arid conditions. The ACL index confirm this interpretation showing high values due the Pleistocene linked to more hydrological stress. A shift in the abundance of n-alkane and isotopic values are observed across the late Pleistocene glacial-Holocene interglacial climate change, suggesting a climate-induced vegetational change. During the middle Holocene the n-alcanes values decreases indicating rain forest regression accompanied by increase in the ACL values confirming the dry climate conditions. Comparison with other South American records, our record indicates regression/expansion of the rain forest linked to the South American System monsoon activity since 35 kyrs.

  12. The emergence of land change science for global environmental change and sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Turner, B. L.; Lambin, Eric F.; Reenberg, Anette

    2007-01-01

    Land change science has emerged as a fundamental component of global environmental change and sustainability research. This interdisciplinary field seeks to understand the dynamics of land cover and land use as a coupled human–environment system to address theory, concepts, models, and applications relevant to environmental and societal problems, including the intersection of the two. The major components and advances in land change are addressed: observation and monitoring; understanding the coupled system—causes, impacts, and consequences; modeling; and synthesis issues. The six articles of the special feature are introduced and situated within these components of study. PMID:18093934

  13. Onset of major Pleistocene glaciations in the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muttoni, G.; Carcano, C.; Garzanti, E.; Ghielmi, M.; Piccin, A.; Pini, R.; Rogledi, S.; Sciunnach, D.

    2003-04-01

    Since alligators patrolled Greenland swamps in the Eocene, the Earth's climate underwent significant cooling, which culminated in the Pleistocene Ice Age with recurring glaciations in vast regions of the Alps, Eurasia and North America, and overgrowth of polar icecaps in Antarctica and Greenland. During main Pleistocene glacial penetrations, the Alpine icecap invaded the low gradients of the Central Europe uplands and Italian Po plain. Peri-glacial sedimentary basins such as the Po Basin are natural collectors of past biological and climatic changes involving the waxing and waning of major icecaps. We have found in a 200m-thick core from the central Po plain near Milan stratigraphic evidence for a major glacial pulsation of the nearby Alpine icecap, which occurred in correspondence of a seismically traceable unconformity of regional relevance, termed the "Red Unconformity" (RU) in Eni/Agip terminology. The RU is associated with a major reorganization of vegetation cover and Alpine drainage pattern. The age of the RU was constrained magnetostratigraphically to the the first major Pleistocene glacio-eustatic low-stand at 0.87Ma (Oxygen Isotope Stage 22). This corresponds to the end of the "Mid Pleistocene Revolution" (MPR), a marked reorganization of northern hemisphere glaciation pattern which took place in the late Early Pleistocene. We suggest that the MPR/MIS 22 was associated with the onset of the first major Pleistocene glaciation in the Alps. Noticing the similarity in number of major Pleistocene glacieustatic low-stands starting with MIS 22, and the four-fold Alpine glacial subdivision of Penck and Brückner (1909), we conclude that "Penck and Brückner in 1909 may not have been, after all, that wrong" (Kukla and Cilek, 1996).

  14. Human influence on distribution and extinctions of the late Pleistocene Eurasian megafauna.

    PubMed

    Pushkina, Diana; Raia, Pasquale

    2008-06-01

    Late Pleistocene extinctions are of interest to paleontological and anthropological research. In North America and Australia, human occupation occurred during a short period of time and overexploitation may have led to the extinction of mammalian megafauna. In northern Eurasia megafaunal extinctions are believed to have occurred over a relatively longer period of time, perhaps as a result of changing environmental conditions, but the picture is much less clear. To consider megafaunal extinction in Eurasia, we compare differences in the geographical distribution and commonness of extinct and extant species between paleontological and archaeological localities from the late middle Pleistocene to Holocene. Purely paleontological localities, as well as most extinct species, were distributed north of archaeological sites and of the extant species, suggesting that apart from possible differences in adaptations between humans and other species, humans could also have a detrimental effect on large mammal distribution. However, evidence for human overexploitation applies only to the extinct steppe bison Bison priscus. Other human-preferred species survive into the Holocene, including Rangifer tarandus, Equus ferus, Capreolus capreolus, Cervus elaphus, Equus hemionus, Saiga tatarica, and Sus scrofa. Mammuthus primigenius and Megaloceros giganteus were rare in archaeological sites. Carnivores appear little influenced by human presence, although they become rarer in Holocene archaeological sites. Overall, the data are consistent with the conclusion that humans acted as efficient hunters selecting for the most abundant species. Our study supports the idea that the late Pleistocene extinctions were environmentally driven by climatic changes that triggered habitat fragmentation, species range reduction, and population decrease, after which human interference either by direct hunting or via indirect activities probably became critical. PMID:18199470

  15. Causes of Climate and Environmental Changes: The Need for Environmental-Friendly Education Policy in Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nwankwoala, H. N. L.

    2015-01-01

    Man cannot naturally be detached from his environment. From time to time, changes in climate and environmental conditions occur as a result of natural and human factors. Obviously, the natural factors are almost beyond human control. But, the human factors are to a very large extent under human control. Thus, this paper tried to discover natural…

  16. Rapid environmental change during dynastic transitions in Yunnan Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillman, Aubrey L.; Yu, JunQing; Abbott, Mark B.; Cooke, Colin A.; Bain, Daniel J.; Steinman, Byron A.

    2014-08-01

    Pollution and eutrophication of Chinese lakes are widely perceived to be 20th century phenomena. However, China has a long history of deforestation, agriculture, mineral resource extraction, and other anthropogenic activities that impact the environment. Here, we present a sediment record from Xing Yun Lake in the Yunnan Province of China that reveals significant alterations to the lake, its ecosystem, and its watershed beginning as early as 500 AD. A comprehensive suite of biogeochemical and isotopic proxies reveal several rapid transitions related to changes in agriculture and lake-level management that coincides with cultural and dynastic transitions. The deterioration of contemporary environmental conditions at Xing Yun arises from a long history of anthropogenic manipulation, eutrophication, and pollution of the lake and its watershed. This study highlights the importance of using historical records of industrial and agricultural activities, including landscape modification, in conjunction with records of climate change, to place present day environmental concerns into a long-term context.

  17. Integrated Decision Support for Global Environmental Change Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, S.; Cantrell, S.; Higgins, G. J.; Marshall, J.; VanWijngaarden, F.

    2011-12-01

    Environmental changes are happening now that has caused concern in many parts of the world; particularly vulnerable are the countries and communities with limited resources and with natural environments that are more susceptible to climate change impacts. Global leaders are concerned about the observed phenomena and events such as Amazon deforestation, shifting monsoon patterns affecting agriculture in the mountain slopes of Peru, floods in Pakistan, water shortages in Middle East, droughts impacting water supplies and wildlife migration in Africa, and sea level rise impacts on low lying coastal communities in Bangladesh. These environmental changes are likely to get exacerbated as the temperatures rise, the weather and climate patterns change, and sea level rise continues. Large populations and billions of dollars of infrastructure could be affected. At Northrop Grumman, we have developed an integrated decision support framework for providing necessary information to stakeholders and planners to adapt to the impacts of climate variability and change at the regional and local levels. This integrated approach takes into account assimilation and exploitation of large and disparate weather and climate data sets, regional downscaling (dynamic and statistical), uncertainty quantification and reduction, and a synthesis of scientific data with demographic and economic data to generate actionable information for the stakeholders and decision makers. Utilizing a flexible service oriented architecture and state-of-the-art visualization techniques, this information can be delivered via tailored GIS portals to meet diverse set of user needs and expectations. This integrated approach can be applied to regional and local risk assessments, predictions and decadal projections, and proactive adaptation planning for vulnerable communities. In this paper we will describe this comprehensive decision support approach with selected applications and case studies to illustrate how this

  18. Proteome Analysis of Borrelia burgdorferi Response to Environmental Change

    SciTech Connect

    Angel, Thomas E.; Luft, Benjamin J.; Yang, Xiaohua; Nicora, Carrie D.; Camp, David G.; Jacobs, Jon M.; Smith, Richard D.

    2010-11-02

    We examined global changes in protein expression in the B31 strain of Borrelia burgdorferi, in response to two environmental cues (pH and temperature) chosen for their reported similarity to those encountered at different stages of the organism’s life cycle. Multidimensional nano-liquid chromatographic separations coupled with tandem mass spectrometry were used to examine the array of proteins (i.e., the proteome) of B. burgdorferi for different pH and temperature culture conditions. Changes in pH and temperature elicited in vitro adaptations of this spirochete known to cause Lyme disease and led to alterations in protein expression that are associated with increased microbial pathogenesis. We identified 1031 proteins that represent 59% of the annotated genome of B. burgdorferi and elucidated a core proteome of 414 proteins that were present in all environmental conditions investigated. Observed changes in protein abundances indicated varied replicon usage, as well as proteome functional distributions between the in vitro cell culture conditions. Surprisingly, the pH and temperature conditions that mimicked B. burgdorferi residing in the gut of a fed tick showed a marked reduction in protein diversity. Additionally, the results provide us with leading candidates for exploring how B. burgdorferi adapts to and is able to survive in a wide variety of environmental conditions and lay a foundation for planned in situ studies of B. burgdorferi isolated from the tick midgut and infected animals.

  19. Middle Holocene rapid environmental changes and human adaptation in Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lespez, Laurent; Glais, Arthur; Lopez-Saez, José-Antonio; Le Drezen, Yann; Tsirtsoni, Zoï; Davidson, Robert; Biree, Laetitia; Malamidou, Dimitra

    2016-03-01

    Numerous researchers discuss of the collapse of civilizations in response to abrupt climate change in the Mediterranean region. The period between 6500 and 5000 cal yr BP is one of the least studied episodes of rapid climate change at the end of the Late Neolithic. This period is characterized by a dramatic decline in settlement and a cultural break in the Balkans. High-resolution paleoenvironmental proxy data obtained in the Lower Angitis Valley enables an examination of the societal responses to rapid climatic change in Greece. Development of a lasting fluvio-lacustrine environment followed by enhanced fluvial activity is evident from 6000 cal yr BP. Paleoecological data show a succession of dry events at 5800-5700, 5450 and 5000-4900 cal yr BP. These events correspond to incursion of cold air masses to the eastern Mediterranean, confirming the climatic instability of the middle Holocene climate transition. Two periods with farming and pastural activities (6300-5600 and 5100-4700 cal BP) are evident. The intervening period is marked by environmental changes, but the continuous occurrence of anthropogenic taxa suggests the persistence of human activities despite the absence of archaeological evidence. The environmental factors alone were not sufficient to trigger the observed societal changes.

  20. Moving past framing climate change as an environmental issue (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebi, K. L.

    2013-12-01

    Continuing to frame climate change as an environmental issue can limit understanding by decision-makers and the public of the magnitude of the challenges faced by human and natural systems as the climate continues to change. Environmental issues are typically researched and managed using methods and tools that have been effective in dealing with other environmental concerns, from tropospheric ozone to lead exposure. Risk assessment is a commonly used approach to understanding the risk(s) posed by an agent, with four basic steps: (1) hazard identification; (2) dose-response assessment; (3) exposure assessment; and (4) risk characterization. This framing does not fully capture the complex interrelationships and feedbacks that often characterize the risks of climate change; understanding these can lead to better-informed decisions. Challenges with using traditional risk assessment to understand the health risks of climate change, for example, include the 'exposure' can range from increases in the mean and/or variance of temperature, precipitation, and other weather variables, to ocean acidification. Each is associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, with many associations indirect and/or nonlinear. Further, uncertainty about the magnitude, timing, and nature of changes in the climate system results in a need to estimate the potential impacts under a range of possible scenarios. In addition, most climate-sensitive health outcomes have multiple, contributing causes that may be interrelated, making it difficult to single out the influence of climate change against a backdrop of other risk factors, including socioeconomic factors, that also will change over time. In short, the primary assumption underlying traditional risk assessment -- that a defined exposure to a specific agent causes an adverse health outcome to identifiable exposed populations -- does not apply to climate change. Climate literacy can be improved by moving the framing from a relatively linear

  1. Multidecadal Fluvial Sediment Fluxes to Deltas under Environmental Change Scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, Frances; Darby, Stephen; Nicholls, Robert

    2016-04-01

    Sediment delivery is vital to sustain delta environments on which over half a billion people live worldwide. Due to factors such as subsidence and sea level rise, deltas sink relative to sea level if sediment is not delivered to and retained on their surfaces. Deltas which sink relative to sea level experience flooding, land degradation and loss, which endangers anthropogenic activities and populations. The future of fluvial sediment fluxes, a key mechanism for sediment delivery to deltas, is uncertain due to complex environmental changes which are predicted to occur over the coming decades. This research investigates fluvial sediment fluxes under environmental changes in order to assess the sustainability of delta environments under potential future scenarios up to 2100. Global datasets of climate change, reservoir construction, and population and GDP as proxies for anthropogenic influence through land use changes are used to drive the catchment numerical model WBMsed, which is being used to investigate the effects of these environmental changes on fluvial sediment delivery. This process produces fluvial sediment fluxes under multiple future scenarios which will be used to assess the future sustainability of a selection of 8 vulnerable deltas, although the approach can be applied to deltas worldwide. By modelling potential future scenarios of fluvial sediment flux, this research contributes to the prognosis for delta environments. The future scenarios will inform management at multiple temporal scales, and indicate the potential consequences for deltas of various anthropogenic activities. This research will both forewarn managers of potentially unsustainable deltas and indicate those anthropogenic activities which encourage or hinder the creation of sustainable delta environments.

  2. Retardation of arsenic transport through a Pleistocene aquifer

    PubMed Central

    van Geen, Alexander; Bostick, Benjamín C.; Trang, Pham Thi Kim; Lan, Vi Mai; Mai, Nguyen-Ngoc; Manh, Phu Dao; Viet, Pham Hung; Radloff, Kathleen; Aziz, Zahid; Mey, Jacob L.; Stahl, Mason O.; Harvey, Charles F.; Oates, Peter; Weinman, Beth; Stengel, Caroline; Frei, Felix; Kipfer, Rolf; Berg, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Groundwater drawn daily from shallow alluvial sands by millions of wells over large areas of South and Southeast Asia exposes an estimated population of over 100 million to toxic levels of arsenic (1). Holocene aquifers are the source of widespread arsenic poisoning across the region (2, 3). In contrast, Pleistocene sands deposited in this region more than ~12,000 years ago mostly do not host groundwater with high levels of arsenic. Pleistocene aquifers are increasingly used as a safe source of drinking water (4) and it is therefore important to understand under what conditions low levels of arsenic can be maintained. Here we reconstruct the initial phase of contamination of a Pleistocene aquifer near Hanoi, Vietnam. We demonstrate that changes in groundwater flow conditions and the redox state of the aquifer sands induced by groundwater pumping caused the lateral intrusion of arsenic contamination over 120 m from Holocene aquifer into a previously uncontaminated Pleistocene aquifer. We also find that arsenic adsorbs onto the aquifer sands and that there is a 16–20 fold retardation in the extent of the contamination relative to the reconstructed lateral movement of groundwater over the same period. Our findings suggest that arsenic contamination of Pleistocene aquifers in South and Southeast Asia as a consequence of increasing levels of groundwater pumping have been delayed by the retardation of arsenic transport. PMID:24025840

  3. Host manipulation in the face of environmental changes: Ecological consequences

    PubMed Central

    Labaude, Sophie; Rigaud, Thierry; Cézilly, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Several parasite species, particularly those having complex life-cycles, are known to induce phenotypic alterations in their hosts. Most often, such alterations appear to increase the fitness of the parasites at the expense of that of their hosts, a phenomenon known as “host manipulation”. Host manipulation can have important consequences, ranging from host population dynamics to ecosystem engineering. So far, the importance of environmental changes for host manipulation has received little attention. However, because manipulative parasites are embedded in complex systems, with many interacting components, changes in the environment are likely to affect those systems in various ways. Here, after reviewing the ecological importance of manipulative parasites, we consider potential causes and consequences of changes in host manipulation by parasites driven by environmental modifications. We show that such consequences can extend to trophic networks and population dynamics within communities, and alter the ecological role of manipulative parasites such as their ecosystem engineering. We suggest that taking them into account could improve the accuracy of predictions regarding the effects of global change. We also propose several directions for future studies. PMID:26835252

  4. State transitions in geomorphic responses to environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Jonathan D.

    2014-01-01

    The fundamental geomorphic responses to environmental change are qualitative changes in system states. This study is concerned with the complexity of state transition models (STM), and synchronization. The latter includes literal and inferential synchronization, the extent to which observations or relationships at one time period can be applied to others. Complexity concerns the extent to which STM structure may tend to amplify effects of change. Three metrics-spectral radius, Laplacian spectral radius, and algebraic connectivity-were applied to several generic geomorphic STMs, and to three real-world examples: the San Antonio River delta, soil transitions in a coastal plain agricultural landscape, and high-latitude thermokarst systems. While the Laplacian spectral radius was of limited use, spectral radius and algebraic complexity provide significant, independent information. The former is more sensitive to the intensity of cycles within the transition graph structure, and to the overall complexity of the STM. Spectral radius is an effective general index of graph complexity, and especially the likelihood of amplification and intensification of changes in environmental boundary conditions, or of the propagation of local disturbances within the system. The spectral radius analyses here illustrate that more information does not necessarily decrease uncertainty, as increased information often results in the expansion of state transition networks from simpler linear sequential and cyclic to more complex structures. Algebraic connectivity applied to landscape-scale STMs provides a measure of the likelihood of complex response, with synchronization inversely related to complex response.

  5. Pleistocene Indian Monsoon Rainfall Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yirgaw, D. G.; Hathorne, E. C.; Giosan, L.; Collett, T. S.; Sijingeo, A. V.; Nath, B. N.; Frank, M.

    2014-12-01

    The past variability of the Indian Monsoon is mostly known from records of wind strength over the Arabian Sea. Here we investigate proxies for fresh water input and runoff in a region of strong monsoon precipitation that is a major moisture source for the east Asian Monsoon. A sediment core obtained by the IODP vessel JOIDES Resolution and a gravity core from the Alcock Seamount complex in the Andaman Sea are used to examine the past monsoon variability on the Indian sub-continent and directly over the ocean. The current dataset covers the last glacial and deglacial but will eventually provide a Pleistocene record. We utilise the ecological habitats of G. sacculifer and N. dutertrei to investigate the freshwater-induced stratification with paired Mg/Ca and δ18O analyses to estimate seawater δ18O (δ18Osw). During the last 60 kyrs, Ba/Ca ratios and δ18Osw values generally agree well between the two cores and suggest the weakest surface runoff and monsoon during the LGM and strongest monsoon during the Holocene. The difference in δ18O between the species, interpreted as a proxy for upper ocean stratification, implies stratification developed around 37 ka and remained relatively constant during the LGM, deglacial and Holocene. To investigate monsoon variability for intervals in the past, single shell Mg/Ca and δ18O analyses have been conducted. Mg/Ca ratios from individual shells of N. dutertrei suggest relatively small changes in temperature. However, individual N. dutertrei δ18O differ greatly between the mid-Holocene and samples from the LGM and a nearby core top. The mid-Holocene individuals have a greater range and large skew towards negative values indicating greater fresh water influence.

  6. Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH): Scientific Understanding of Arctic Environmental Change to Help Society Understand and Respond to a Rapidly Changing Arctic.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Myers, B.

    2015-12-01

    The Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) is a U.S. program with a mission to provide a foundation of Arctic change science through collaboration with the research community, funding agencies, and other stakeholders. To achieve this mission, SEARCH: Generates and synthesizes research findings and promotes Arctic science and scientific discovery across disciplines and among agencies. Identifies emerging issues in Arctic environmental change. Provides scientific information to Arctic stakeholders, policy-makers, and the public to help them understand and respond to arctic environmental change. Facilitates research activities across local-to-global scales, with an emphasis on addressing needs of decision-makers. Collaborates with national and international science programs integral to SEARCH goals. This poster presentation will present SEARCH activities and plans, highlighting those focused on providing information for decision-makers. http://www.arcus.org/search

  7. Late Holocene Environmental Changes from NY-NJ Estuaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peteet, Dorothy M.

    2000-01-01

    High-resolution records of environmental change in the lower Hudson estuary are quite rare. We present preliminary data from several marshes in the New York- New Jersey region in order to understand the late Holocene environmental history of this region. Our project includes salt marsh cores from Hackensack, Piermont, Staten Island, and Jamaica Bay. Our preliminary research has focused on a 11.15 m sediment core from Piermont Marsh, New York (40 deg N, 74 deg W) in an attempt to document the Holocene environmental history of the region. Lithology, loss -on -ignition (LOI), pollen, plant macrofossils, charcoal, and foraminifera were analyzed. Core lithology consists of peat, silts, and clays that vary in color and texture. The base of the core is AMS C-14 dated to 4190 yr BP. Preliminary low-resolution analysis of the core to date includes sampling at the 1-meter interval throughout the core. LOI of the sediments ranges from 1% to 85%. Average rate of deposition is about .26 cm/yr. Major changes in pollen percentages are visible throughout the core.

  8. Late Holocene Environmental Changes from NY-NJ Estuaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peteet, Dorothy M.; Wong, Jennifer K.

    2000-01-01

    High-resolution records of environmental change in the lower Hudson estuary are quite rare. We present preliminary data from several marshes in the New York- New Jersey region in order to understand the late Holocene environmental history of this region. Our project includes salt marsh cores from Hackensack, Piermont, Staten Island, and Jamaica Bay. Our preliminary research has focused on a 11.15 m. sediment core from Piermont Marsh, New York (40 N, 74 W) in an attempt to document the Holocene environmental history of the region. Lithology, loss-on-ignition (LOI), pollen, plant macrofossils, charcoal, and foraminifera were analyzed. Core lithology consists of peat, silts, and clays that vary in color and texture. The base of the core is AMS C-14 dated to 4190 yr BP. Preliminary low-resolution analysis of the core to date includes sampling at the 1-meter interval throughout the core. LOI of the sediments ranges from 1% to 85%. Average rate of deposition is about .26 cm/yr. Major changes in pollen percentages are visible throughout the core.

  9. Benthic foraminifera and environmental changes in Long Island Sound

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, E.; Gapotchenko, T.; Varekamp, J.C.; Mecray, E.I.; Buchholtz ten Brink, M. R.

    2000-01-01

    Benthic foraminiferal faunas in Long Island Sound (LIS) in the 1940s and 1960s were of low diversity, and dominated by species of the genus Elphidium, mainly Elphidium excavatum clavatum, with common Buccella frigida and Eggerella advena. The distribution of these species was dominantly correlated with depth, but it was not clear which depth-related environmental variable was most important. Differences between faunas collected in 1996 and 1997, and in the 1940s and 1960s include a strong decrease in relative abundance of Eggerella advena over all LIS, an increase in relative abundance of Ammonia beccarii in western LIS, and a decrease in species diversity. The decreased diversity suggests that environmental stress caused the faunal changes. Oxygen isotope data for E. excavatum clavatum indicate that a change in salinity is not a probable cause. Carbon isotope data suggest that the supply of organic matter to the benthos increased since the early 1960s, with a stronger increase in western LIS where algal blooms have occurred since the early 1970s, possibly as a result of nutrient input by waste water treatment plants. These blooms or the resulting episodes of anoxia/hypoxia may have played a role in the increased relative abundance of A. beccarii. There is no clear explanation for the decreased abundance of E. advena, but changes in the phytoplankton composition (thus food supply) are a possible cause. Benthic foraminiferal faunal and stable isotope data have excellent potential as indicators of physicochemical environmental changes and their effects on the biota in LIS.

  10. Avoiding climate change uncertainties in Strategic Environmental Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Larsen, Sanne Vammen; Kørnøv, Lone; Driscoll, Patrick

    2013-11-15

    This article is concerned with how Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) practice handles climate change uncertainties within the Danish planning system. First, a hypothetical model is set up for how uncertainty is handled and not handled in decision-making. The model incorporates the strategies ‘reduction’ and ‘resilience’, ‘denying’, ‘ignoring’ and ‘postponing’. Second, 151 Danish SEAs are analysed with a focus on the extent to which climate change uncertainties are acknowledged and presented, and the empirical findings are discussed in relation to the model. The findings indicate that despite incentives to do so, climate change uncertainties were systematically avoided or downplayed in all but 5 of the 151 SEAs that were reviewed. Finally, two possible explanatory mechanisms are proposed to explain this: conflict avoidance and a need to quantify uncertainty.

  11. Improved data for integrated modeling of global environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lotze-Campen, Hermann

    2011-12-01

    The assessment of global environmental changes, their impact on human societies, and possible management options requires large-scale, integrated modeling efforts. These models have to link biophysical with socio-economic processes, and they have to take spatial heterogeneity of environmental conditions into account. Land use change and freshwater use are two key research areas where spatial aggregation and the use of regional average numbers may lead to biased results. Useful insights can only be obtained if processes like economic globalization can be consistently linked to local environmental conditions and resource constraints (Lambin and Meyfroidt 2011). Spatially explicit modeling of environmental changes at the global scale has a long tradition in the natural sciences (Woodward et al 1995, Alcamo et al 1996, Leemans et al 1996). Socio-economic models with comparable spatial detail, e.g. on grid-based land use change, are much less common (Heistermann et al 2006), but are increasingly being developed (Popp et al 2011, Schneider et al 2011). Spatially explicit models require spatially explicit input data, which often constrains their development and application at the global scale. The amount and quality of available data on environmental conditions is growing fast—primarily due to improved earth observation methods. Moreover, systematic efforts for collecting and linking these data across sectors are on the way (www.earthobservations.org). This has, among others, also helped to provide consistent databases on different land cover and land use types (Erb et al 2007). However, spatially explicit data on specific anthropogenic driving forces of global environmental change are still scarce—also because these cannot be collected with satellites or other devices. The basic data on socio-economic driving forces, i.e. population density and wealth (measured as gross domestic product per capita), have been prepared for spatially explicit analyses (CIESIN, IFPRI

  12. USGS Environmental health science strategy: providing environmental health science for a changing world: public review release

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bright, Patricia R.; Buxton, Herbert T.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Barber, Larry B.; Chapelle, Francis H.; Cross, Paul C.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Sleeman, Jonathan M.; Tillitt, Donald E.; Toccalino, Patricia L.; Winton, James R.

    2012-01-01

    America has an abundance of natural resources. We have bountiful clean water, fertile soil, and unrivaled national parks, wildlife refuges, and public lands. These resources enrich our lives and preserve our health and wellbeing. These resources have been maintained because of our history of respect for their value and an enduring commitment to their vigilant protection. Awareness of the social, economic, and personal value of the health of our environment is increasing. The emergence of environmentally driven diseases caused by environmental exposure to contaminants and pathogens is a growing concern worldwide. New health threats and patterns of established threats are affected by both natural and anthropogenic changes to the environment. Human activities are key drivers of emerging (new and re-emerging) health threats. Societal demands for land and natural resources, a better quality of life, improved economic prosperity, and the environmental impacts associated with these demands will continue to increase. Natural earth processes, climate trends, and related climatic events will add to the environmental impact of human activities. These environmental drivers will influence exposure to disease agents, including viral, bacterial, prion, and fungal pathogens, parasites, natural earth materials, toxins and other biogenic compounds, and synthetic chemicals and substances. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) defines environmental health science broadly as the interdisciplinary study of relations among the quality of the physical environment, the health of the living environment, and human health. The interactions among these three spheres are driven by human activities, ecological processes, and natural earth processes; the interactions affect exposure to contaminants and pathogens and the severity of environmentally driven diseases in animals and people. This definition provides USGS with a framework for synthesizing natural science information from across the Bureau

  13. Climate change mitigation and adaptation in strategic environmental assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Wende, Wolfgang; Bond, Alan; Bobylev, Nikolai; Stratmann, Lars

    2012-01-15

    Countries are implementing CO{sub 2} emission reduction targets in order to meet a globally agreed global warming limit of +2 Degree-Sign C. However, it was hypothesised that these national reduction targets are not translated to regional or state level planning, and are not considered through Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in order to meet emission reduction obligations falling on the transport, energy, housing, agriculture, and forestry sectors. SEAs of land use plans in the German state of Saxony, and the English region of the East of England were examined for their consideration of climate change impacts based on a set of criteria drawn from the literature. It was found that SEAs in both cases failed to consider climate change impacts at scales larger than the boundary of the spatial plan, and that CO{sub 2} reduction targets were not considered. This suggests a need for more clarity in the legal obligations for climate change consideration within the text of the SEA Directive, a requirement for monitoring of carbon emissions, a need for methodological guidance to devolve global climate change targets down to regional and local levels, and a need for guidance on properly implementing climate change protection in SEA. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) of 12 land use plans from Germany and England have been examined. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer SEA failed to consider climate change impacts at scales larger than the boundary of the land use plans. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer SEA should be an important instrument for climate protection. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Concrete steps for climate protection mainstreaming into SEA at the European Union and national levels have been suggested.

  14. Environmental change preceded Caribbean extinction by 2 million years

    PubMed Central

    O'Dea, Aaron; Jackson, Jeremy B. C.; Fortunato, Helena; Smith, J. Travis; D'Croz, Luis; Johnson, Kenneth G.; Todd, Jonathan A.

    2007-01-01

    Paleontologists typically treat major episodes of extinction as single and distinct events in which a major environmental perturbation results in a synchronous evolutionary response. Alternatively, the causes of biotic change may be multifaceted and extinction may lag behind the changes ultimately responsible because of nonlinear ecological dynamics. We examined these alternatives for the major episode of Caribbean extinction 2 million years ago (Ma). Isolation of the Caribbean from the Eastern Pacific by uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus was associated with synchronous changes in Caribbean near shore environments and community composition between 4.25 and 3.45 Ma. Seasonal fluctuations in Caribbean seawater temperature decreased 3-fold, carbonate deposition increased, and there was a striking, albeit patchy, shift in dominance of benthic ecosystems from heterotrophic mollusks to mixotrophic reef corals and calcareous algae. All of these changes correspond well with a simple model of decreased upwelling and collapse in planktonic productivity associated with the final stages of the closure of the isthmian barrier. However, extinction rates of mollusks and corals did not increase until 3–2 Ma and sharply peaked between 2 and 1 Ma, even though extinction overwhelmingly affected taxa commonly associated with high productivity. This time lag suggests that something other than environmental change per se was involved in extinction that does not occur as a single event. Understanding cause and effect will require more taxonomically refined analysis of the changing abundance and distribution patterns of different ecological guilds in the 2 million years leading up to the relatively sudden peak in extinction. PMID:17369359

  15. Environmental change preceded Caribbean extinction by 2 million years.

    PubMed

    O'Dea, Aaron; Jackson, Jeremy B C; Fortunato, Helena; Smith, J Travis; D'Croz, Luis; Johnson, Kenneth G; Todd, Jonathan A

    2007-03-27

    Paleontologists typically treat major episodes of extinction as single and distinct events in which a major environmental perturbation results in a synchronous evolutionary response. Alternatively, the causes of biotic change may be multifaceted and extinction may lag behind the changes ultimately responsible because of nonlinear ecological dynamics. We examined these alternatives for the major episode of Caribbean extinction 2 million years ago (Ma). Isolation of the Caribbean from the Eastern Pacific by uplift of the Panamanian Isthmus was associated with synchronous changes in Caribbean near shore environments and community composition between 4.25 and 3.45 Ma. Seasonal fluctuations in Caribbean seawater temperature decreased 3-fold, carbonate deposition increased, and there was a striking, albeit patchy, shift in dominance of benthic ecosystems from heterotrophic mollusks to mixotrophic reef corals and calcareous algae. All of these changes correspond well with a simple model of decreased upwelling and collapse in planktonic productivity associated with the final stages of the closure of the isthmian barrier. However, extinction rates of mollusks and corals did not increase until 3-2 Ma and sharply peaked between 2 and 1 Ma, even though extinction overwhelmingly affected taxa commonly associated with high productivity. This time lag suggests that something other than environmental change per se was involved in extinction that does not occur as a single event. Understanding cause and effect will require more taxonomically refined analysis of the changing abundance and distribution patterns of different ecological guilds in the 2 million years leading up to the relatively sudden peak in extinction. PMID:17369359

  16. Predicting changes in the distribution and abundance of species under environmental change

    PubMed Central

    Ehrlén, Johan; Morris, William F

    2015-01-01

    Environmental changes are expected to alter both the distribution and the abundance of organisms. A disproportionate amount of past work has focused on distribution only, either documenting historical range shifts or predicting future occurrence patterns. However, simultaneous predictions of abundance and distribution across landscapes would be far more useful. To critically assess which approaches represent advances towards the goal of joint predictions of abundance and distribution, we review recent work on changing distributions and on effects of environmental drivers on single populations. Several methods have been used to predict changing distributions. Some of these can be easily modified to also predict abundance, but others cannot. In parallel, demographers have developed a much better understanding of how changing abiotic and biotic drivers will influence growth rate and abundance in single populations. However, this demographic work has rarely taken a landscape perspective and has largely ignored the effects of intraspecific density. We advocate a synthetic approach in which population models accounting for both density dependence and effects of environmental drivers are used to make integrated predictions of equilibrium abundance and distribution across entire landscapes. Such predictions would constitute an important step forward in assessing the ecological consequences of environmental changes. PMID:25611188

  17. Predicting changes in the distribution and abundance of species under environmental change.

    PubMed

    Ehrlén, Johan; Morris, William F

    2015-03-01

    Environmental changes are expected to alter both the distribution and the abundance of organisms. A disproportionate amount of past work has focused on distribution only, either documenting historical range shifts or predicting future occurrence patterns. However, simultaneous predictions of abundance and distribution across landscapes would be far more useful. To critically assess which approaches represent advances towards the goal of joint predictions of abundance and distribution, we review recent work on changing distributions and on effects of environmental drivers on single populations. Several methods have been used to predict changing distributions. Some of these can be easily modified to also predict abundance, but others cannot. In parallel, demographers have developed a much better understanding of how changing abiotic and biotic drivers will influence growth rate and abundance in single populations. However, this demographic work has rarely taken a landscape perspective and has largely ignored the effects of intraspecific density. We advocate a synthetic approach in which population models accounting for both density dependence and effects of environmental drivers are used to make integrated predictions of equilibrium abundance and distribution across entire landscapes. Such predictions would constitute an important step forward in assessing the ecological consequences of environmental changes. PMID:25611188

  18. Neanderthal and Anatomically Modern Human interaction with Abrupt Late Pleistocene Environments - the data is finally good enough to talk about climate change!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blockley, Simon; Schreve, Danielle

    2015-04-01

    The timing and nature of the appearance of Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) in Europe, their interaction with, and eventual morphological replacement of Neanderthals (despite some shared genetic heritage) has been a matter of intense debate within archaeology for a generation. This period, often termed the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition occurs in the latter part of Marine Isotope Stage Three and in recent decades archaeological interest has been complemented by the input of palaeoclimate scientists, over the role of abrupt climate change in this process. This was due to the recognition from ice core and marine proxy archives, in particular, of periods if intense cooling, correlated to the marine record of Heinrich ice rafted debris layers from the Atlantic. As a result of these collaborations between the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental communities various drivers have been proposed for the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic Transition that include: (1) resource competition between two species occupying similar niches; (2) the impact of repeated cycles of Heinrich event cooling, leading to the decline and eventual disappearance of the Neanderthal populations, leaving a new region open for AMH exploitation; and (3) catastrophic impacts of large volcanic eruptions on Neanderthal populations. Attempts to address the above hypotheses have been dogged by the chronological precision available for a number of key archives. The accuracy of many of the radiocarbon ages that underpin the chronology for both Neanderthal and AMH archaeological sites has been questioned1. This has been exacerbated by uncertainties over the influence of variability in the radiocarbon marine reservoir effect on marine palaeoclimate records and a marine dominated radiocarbon calibration curve. Additionally, the counting uncertainties of the master Greenland palaeoclimate archives are also large by this time, meaning palaeoclimate interpretation can be equivocal. However, several research

  19. Western Mediterranean environmental changes: Evidences from fluvial archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, Daniel; Faust, Dominik

    2015-08-01

    When dealing with current and past landscape evolution, a key issue addresses responses of geomorphic systems to the large number of influencing variables. Identifying morphodynamic phases and revealing interrelations with specific driving forces are demanding tasks for Quaternary research. In this paper, we present late Pleistocene and Holocene fluvial sedimentation patterns of three Western Mediterranean river catchments, namely Jarama River, Guadalete River and Guadalquivir River that extent along a climatic transect from semi-humid SW-Spain to semi-arid central Spain. These studies are based on extensive fieldwork conducted on 36 exposures and 13 drillings in floodplain positions. Field data is supported by geochemical analyses, while the chronological framework was obtained from the analyses of 70 radiocarbon samples. Results show distinct patterns of fluvial sedimentation as well as soil formation linked to floodplain stability for each river catchment. On regional or catchment scale, pollen stratigraphical correlation and comparison with lacustrine records show that fluvial dynamics have a strong reaction to climatic shifts, with phases of high fragility characterized by catchment erosion and floodplain sedimentation in response to climatic aridification events and phases of climate change in general. The comparison of the examined river systems reveals that periods of supra-regional floodplain sedimentation in several catchments occurred from 8.0 to 7.0, 5.0 to 3.8, 2.2 to 1.5, and around 1.0 as well as 0.4 ka cal. BP, while we found periods of supra-regional soil formation from 13.3 to 12.7, 7.0 to 5.1 (with a short interruption around 6.0 to 5.5 ka), 2.8 to 2.3 ka, 1.4 to 1.2 ka, and 0.8 to 0.5 ka cal. BP. Beside these consistencies we found deviating dynamic patterns that are apparently expressed in terms of differing onset and offset, differing durations, or even the lack of fluvial system response. The main reasons for this can be seen in

  20. (Meeting on human dimensions of global environmental change)

    SciTech Connect

    Rayner, S.

    1990-12-18

    Traveler attended the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change of the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the Scientific Symposium organized by the Standing Committee. The purpose of the meeting and symposium was to discuss the Draft Framework and the Workplan of the Standing Committee prior to its presentation to the 1990 Congress of the ISSC on November 28--30, 1990. The meetings indicate that ORNL Global Environmental Studies Center is on the international leading edge of human dimensions research, except in the area of human dimensions data systems. This weakness could be rectified by close collaboration with the efforts of the Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) in Michigan.

  1. Pleistocene extinctions: haunting the survivors.

    PubMed

    Hofreiter, Michael

    2007-08-01

    For many years, the megafaunal extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene have been assumed to have affected only those species that became extinct. However, recent analyses show that the surviving species may also have experienced losses in terms of genetic and ecological diversity. PMID:17686436

  2. Polymorphism in pleistocene land snails.

    PubMed

    Owen, D F

    1966-04-01

    Under suitable conditions the colors and patterns of the shells of land snails may be preserved for thousands of years. In a late Pleistocene population of Limicolaria martensiana all the major color forms that occur in modern living snails may be distinguished, and the basic polymorphism is at least 8,000 to 10,000 year old. PMID:17830234

  3. Resilience vs. historical contingency in microbial responses to environmental change.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, Christine V; Keitt, Timothy H

    2015-07-01

    How soil processes such as carbon cycling will respond to future climate change depends on the responses of complex microbial communities, but most ecosystem models assume that microbial functional responses are resilient and can be predicted from simple parameters such as biomass and temperature. Here, we consider how historical contingencies might alter those responses because function depends on prior conditions or biota. Functional resilience can be driven by physiological, community or adaptive shifts; historical contingencies can result from the influence of historical environments or a combination of priority effects and biotic resistance. By modelling microbial population responses to environmental change, we demonstrate that historical environments can constrain soil function with the degree of constraint depending on the magnitude of change in the context of the prior environment. For example microbial assemblages from more constant environments were more sensitive to change leading to poorer functional acclimatisation compared to microbial assemblages from more fluctuating environments. Such historical contingencies can lead to deviations from expected functional responses to climate change as well as local variability in those responses. Our results form a set of interrelated hypotheses regarding soil microbial responses to climate change that warrant future empirical attention. PMID:25950733

  4. Coastal Aquifer Response to Environmental Change - Implications for Future Projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Post, V.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal aquifers are important resources for water supply, and are increasingly stressed by population increase and the growing water demand for irrigation and other uses. Concern exists that these current pressures will be compunded by the adverse impacts of future environmental change, in particular sea-level rise. Numerous studies have investigated the effect of the expected sea-level rise durring the 21st century on the salintiy distribution in coastal groundwater systems. In many of these studies, the predicted changes due to an increase in sea level are typically seen as a departure from a steady-state situation. But many other studies have provided abundant evidence that groundwater systems in coastal areas are not in equilibrium with the present-day boundary conditions, i.e., coastline configuration and climate. This is borne out by, for example, the salinity distribution of groundwater, which does not obey the classical configuration of an intruded wedge of seawater extending inland from the coastline. This paper will argue that coastal aquifers systems are in a continuous state of transition. The relevance of future environmental change within the context of long-term trends will be discussed and exemplified by case studies of coastal aquifers in different parts of the world. It will be argued that the conceptualization of coastal groundwater systems, and in particular the connection between their onshore and offshore parts, is a major source of uncertainty in studies that aim to quantify the impact of sea-level rise on coastal groundwater resources.

  5. Forest environmental investments and implications for climate change mitigation.

    PubMed

    Alig, Ralph J; Bair, Lucas S

    2006-01-01

    Forest environmental conditions are affected by climate change, but investments in forest environmental quality can be used as part of the climate change mitigation strategy. A key question involving the potential use of forests to store more carbon as part of climate change mitigation is the impact of forest investments on the timing and quantity of forest volumes that affect carbon storage. Using an economic optimization model, we project levels of U.S. forest volumes as indicators of carbon storage for a wide range of private forest investment scenarios. Results show that economic opportunities exist to further intensify timber management on some hectares and reduce the average timber rotation length such that the national volume of standing timber stocks could be reduced relative to projections reflecting historical trends. The national amount of timber volume is projected to increase over the next 50 yr, but then is projected to decline if private owners follow an economic optimization path, such as with more forest type conversions and shorter timber rotations. With perfect foresight, future forest investments can affect current timber harvest levels, with intertemporal linkages based on adjustments through markets. Forest investments that boost regenerated timber yields per hectare would act to enhance ecosystem services (e.g., forest carbon storage) if they are related to the rate of growth and extent of growing stock inventory. PMID:16825459

  6. Vegetation and climate changes during the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene in SW Turkey - Comment to the published paper by Jiménez-Moreno et al., Quaternary Research, 84 (2015), 448-456

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elitez, İrem; Yaltırak, Cenk; Şahin, Murat

    2016-05-01

    There are several Miocene to recent terrestrial and lacustrine basins along the NE-SW-trending Burdur-Fethiye Shear Zone in southwestern Turkey (Elitez and Yaltırak, 2014; Hall et al., 2014; Elitez et al., 2015). The stratigraphic positions of the sequences in these basins are controversial (e.g., Alçiçek, 2015; Elitez et al., 2015). Jiménez-Moreno et al. (2015) interpreted the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene climate based on the vegetation changes at the Ericek and Bıçakçı localities south of the Çameli town. Our observations at these localities (e.g., Elitez et al., 2015) revealed that there are three important geological problems with Jiménez-Moreno et al. (2015): (1) the geographic locations of the samples used in this manuscript are inacurate, (2) the lithologies and the associated thicknesses of the sequences reported in the manuscript are inconsistent, and (3) the positions of the fossils and pollens in an allocthonous stratigraphic succession has no stratigraphic control. The primary aim of this comment is to correctly identify the precise positions of the fossil and pollen data in the stratigraphic sequence rather than an objection to the interpretation of the vegetation and climate data in southwestern Turkey.

  7. Glacio-eustatic Control on Plio-Pleistocene Sedimentation Along the Northern California Ocean Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green Nylen, N. M.; Zinniker, D. A.; Ingle, J. C.; Moldowan, J. M.

    2002-12-01

    Over the last 3.5 million years major climatic and tectonic changes have resulted in high frequency fluctuations in relative sea level adjacent to the northern California shoreline. A detailed record of these changes is preserved in two sedimentary sequences currently exposed along the coast: the neritic to nonmarine Merced Formation near San Francisco and the bathyal to neritic Rio Dell Formation north of Cape Mendocino. With the goal of deciphering the Plio-Pleistocene paleoenvironmental histories of these expanded ocean margin sequences, detailed stratigraphic sections were measured and described from the lower portion of the Merced Formation and from the Upper Rio Dell Formation. Samples are being analyzed for benthic foraminiferal assemblage, palynological assemblage, stable carbon and oxygen isotope composition of foraminiferal carbonate, and organic geochemistry. These data provide insight into paleo-water characteristics and paleobathymetry, global ice volume and climate, terrestrial and marine ecosystem composition and structure, specific sources of sedimentary organic material, the frequency and magnitude of wildfires on land during deposition, and redox conditions during early diagenesis. Variations in these climate and environmental proxies appear to demarcate glacial and interglacial cycles. These results generally support previous interpretations of glacio-eustatic control on the cyclicity of sedimentary facies within the Merced and Rio Dell formations. Ongoing work aims to explore the relationship between local and global climate proxies and to develop a more detailed model of northern California ocean margin sedimentary response to rapid Plio-Pleistocene sea-level change.

  8. Environmental changes and vulnerability in the Gharbi Island (Kerkennah, Tunisia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etienne, L.; Bouaziz, R.; Dahech, S.; Daoud, A.; Beltrando, G.

    2012-04-01

    Most reliable models of climatic observation and forecast show that the south of the Mediterranean perimeter is threatened by important variations of environmental conditions. The Gharbi Island that belongs to the Kerkennah archipelago is located 20 km away from the Sfax coast and is likely to undergo the consequences of these regional-scale evolutions. In addition, the socio-economic changes that started in the 80's may have an impact on land use. Indeed, marine conditions changed and overfishing causes the decrease of fish quantity and the leaving of the fisher in favor of agriculture. To enlighten changes of various natures and understand the mechanisms of their origin or development, we performed a comparison of land use on 4 dates over the last 50 years, using photointerpretation on two high resolution images (1963: aerial photography and 2010: Spot image; 2,5m resolution) and remote sensing on two Landsat 5 TM images (1984 and 2011). To support and complete our large scale observations, we also added photographic data gathered during two field campaigns. The first change we observed is a urban extension (stakes) predominantly imputed to the construction of holiday resort for Tunisian citizen, and for a minority to international tourism. We also found that the number of agricultural parcels (stakes) has been multiplied during the past decades in response of changes on agricultural practices, and that an irrigated zone has been created in response to the increase of hydric stress and of farmers. Finally, we describe an enlargement of sebkhas (low, salty and liable to flooding areas (hazard)) that might likely be caused by climatic and environmental evolution like sea level rise and subsidence. We conclude one the one hand that vulnerability and also risks of salinization and loss of farmland around the sebkhas and in the irrigated zone have increase and on the other hand that human infrastructures that are very close or in the sebkhas are vulnerable to sea

  9. Planetary Habitability and Rapid Environmental Change: The Biological Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze-Makuch, D.; Fairen, A.; Irwin, L.

    2012-12-01

    Environmental conditions can change drastically and rapidly during the natural history of a planetary body. We have detailed evidence of these dramatic events from Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan. Most of these occurrences seem to be triggered by astronomical events such as asteroid impacts or supernova explosions; others are triggered by the planet or moon itself (e.g., supervolcano eruptions). The associated question is always how these events affect the habitability of a planet, particularly the origin and presence of life. Under what conditions would such a drastic event be so catastrophic that it would prohibit the origin of life or be so devastating to existing organisms, that life would not be able to recover and be all but extinguished from a planet? Under what conditions would such an event be positive for the evolution of life, for example spurring life via mass extinctions and associated vacant habitats to the invention of new body plans and higher complexity? Here, we provide insights of what we can learn from the natural history of our own planet, which experienced many environmental disasters and abrupt climate changes, from the impact event that created the Moon to the extinction of the dinosaurs. We apply these insights to other planetary bodies and the question about the presence of life. One example is Mars, which underwent drastic environmental changes at the end of the Noachian period. Assuming that microbial life became established on Mars, could it have survived, perhaps by retreating to environmental niches? Life just starting out would have certainly been more vulnerable to extinction. But how far would it have to have evolved to be more resistant to potential extinction events? Would it have to be global in distribution to survive? Another example is Venus. Should Venus be seen as an example where life, which possibly arose in the first few hundred million years when the planet was still in the habitable zone, would have had no chance to

  10. Anticipation of periodic environmental changes in an amoeba

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saigusa, Tetsu; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki

    2007-07-01

    The amoeboid organism of true slime mold, the plasmodium of Physarum polycephalum, had capacity of memorizing a periodic event. The organism showed vigorous locomotion in the favorite conditions. When stimulation of the unfavorable conditions was given in a pulse-like regime and was repeated three times at interval of 60 minutes, the amoeba reduced the locomotion speed in response to each pulse. Even though the favorite conditions were kept to be constant after the periodic pulses, the amoeba spontaneously reduced the locomotion speed at the timing of next pulse (after 60 minutes). This means that the amoeba anticipated the next environmental change.

  11. Self-organizing change? On drivers, causes and global environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Elverfeldt, Kirsten; Embleton-Hamann, Christine; Slaymaker, Olav

    2016-01-01

    Within global environmental change research, certain external drivers generally are assumed to cause the environmental system to change. The most commonly considered drivers are relief, sea level, hydroclimate, and/or people. However, complexity theory and self-organizing systems provide a very different framework and means of explanation. Self-organization - understood as the aggregate processes internal to an environmental system that lead to a distinctive spatial, temporal, or other organization - reduces the possibility of implicating a specific process as being causal. The principle of equifinality, whereby two or more different drivers can generate the same form, has long been recognized within a process-response framework, as well as the concept of divergence, which states that similar causes or processes result in different effects. Both ideas differ from self-organization in that they (i) deal with drivers external to the system and (ii) imply concrete cause-and-effect relations that might be difficult to discern. The assumption is, however, that careful study will eventually lead to the true causes and processes. Studies of self-organization deal with the ways in which internal processes interact and may drive a system toward an instability threshold, the so-called bifurcation point. At this point, the system develops by chance and no single external or internal cause for the change can be defined. For research into environmental change this is a crucial theory for two reasons:

  12. Late Pleistocene and Holocene Hydroclimate Variability in the Tropical Andes from Alpine Lake Sediments, Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, D. J.; Abbott, M. B.; Polissar, P. J.

    2014-12-01

    The tropics play a major role in the global hydrologic cycle and changes to tropical rainfall patterns have critical implications for water resources and ecosystem dynamics over large geographic scales. In tropical South America, late Pleistocene and Holocene precipitation variability has been documented in geologic records and associated with numerous external and internal variables, including changes in summer insolation, South American summer monsoon strength, Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures, continental moisture recycling, and other climate processes. However, there are few records from the northern hemisphere tropical Americas, a key region for understanding interhemispheric linkages and the drivers of tropical hydroclimate variability. Here, we present a ~13 ka record of coupled hydroclimate and environmental changes from Laguna Brava, a small (~0.07 km2), hydrologically closed lake basin situated at 2400 m asl in the Cordillera de Mérida, Venezuela. Sediment cores collected from varying water depths and proximity to shore are placed in a chronologic framework using radiocarbon ages from terrestrial macrofossils, and analyzed for a suite of physical, bulk geochemical, and stable isotopic parameters. Compound specific hydrogen isotope (D/H) measurements of terrestrial plant waxes (long-chain n-alkanes) show a sharp increase in the late Pleistocene, followed by a long-term trend toward more negative values that suggest a ~20‰ decrease in the D/H ratios of South American tropical precipitation during the Holocene. This pattern is consistent in sign and magnitude to other South American precipitation reconstructions from both hemispheres, indicating interhemispheric similarities in tropical hydroclimate variability. Superimposed on this continent-scale trend are changes in moisture balance and environmental conditions in the Venezuelan Andes. We reconstruct these parameters at Laguna Brava at multidecadal and centennial resolution and evaluate this

  13. Transposons, environmental changes, and heritable induced phenotypic variability.

    PubMed

    Piacentini, Lucia; Fanti, Laura; Specchia, Valeria; Bozzetti, Maria Pia; Berloco, Maria; Palumbo, Gino; Pimpinelli, Sergio

    2014-08-01

    The mechanisms of biological evolution have always been, and still are, the subject of intense debate and modeling. One of the main problems is how the genetic variability is produced and maintained in order to make the organisms adaptable to environmental changes and therefore capable of evolving. In recent years, it has been reported that, in flies and plants, mutations in Hsp90 gene are capable to induce, with a low frequency, many different developmental abnormalities depending on the genetic backgrounds. This has suggested that the reduction of Hsp90 amount makes different development pathways more sensitive to hidden genetic variability. This suggestion revitalized a classical debate around the original Waddington hypothesis of canalization and genetic assimilation making Hsp90 the prototype of morphological capacitor. Other data have also suggested a different mechanism that revitalizes another classic debate about the response of genome to physiological and environmental stress put forward by Barbara McClintock. That data demonstrated that Hsp90 is involved in repression of transposon activity by playing a significant role in piwi-interacting RNA (piRNAs)-dependent RNA interference (RNAi) silencing. The important implication is that the fixed phenotypic abnormalities observed in Hsp90 mutants are probably related to de novo induced mutations by transposon activation. In this case, Hsp90 could be considered as a mutator. In the present theoretical paper, we discuss several possible implications about environmental stress, transposon, and evolution offering also a support to the concept of evolvability. PMID:24752783

  14. Environmental consequences of the climate change in tropical regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonima, L.

    2010-09-01

    The present study shows the first evidence of the global warming in the Colombian Caribbean region and more particularly in the Departamento de Córdoba. According to the results obtained for six selected meteorological stations of the mentioned Departamento, the analysis of the air temperature variation and the calculation of the water deficit for a time period of 30 years show an air temperature increase between 0.5 °C and 0.7 °C and the subsequent water déficit increment as a result of the great water evaporation of the different surfaces. The ENSO influence on the global warming will by also discussed.The global warming of this region, caused by uncontrollable forest deforestation and unsuitable agricultural and livestock activities, yields to environmental alterations, specially in vegetation cover and soil quality. Meteorological data, agrarian information and digital satellite images were used for analizing the environmental changes ocurred in the studied zone during the selected period of time. Besides the identification of the global warming and the quantification of the environmental deterioration of the zone of study (digital thematic maps), the results obtained can be considered as a contribution for establishing general criteria for the further adequate management of it.

  15. A Novel Tropical Dry Forests: A Response to Environmental Change.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lugo, A. E.; Molina, S.

    2015-12-01

    Dry Forest environments are favorable to human settlement and activities, leading to deforestation, agricultural enterprises, land degradation, and abandonment. As a result, tropical dry forests are vulnerable and experience a high rate of cover loss, which often requires restoration activities. We have studied the natural regeneration of dry forests in Puerto Rico following a variety of human activities including farming, cattle pasturing, charcoal production, and human dwellings. Our results show a high level of forest resilience to anthropogenic disturbances but also a change of species composition relative to undisturbed native forests. This novelty of forest composition represents a natural response to environmental changes induced by human activity and pre-adapts forests to conditions in the Anthropocene.

  16. Microevolution of European temperate oaks in response to environmental changes.

    PubMed

    Kremer, Antoine

    2016-01-01

    This review reconstructs microevolutionary processes that allowed long-lived species as temperate oaks (Quercus petraea and Q. robur) to cope with climate change since the last glacial maximum, by assembling insights from complementary synchronic and allochronic approaches. Paleobotanical and genetic investigations show that oaks migrated at larger velocities than expected, thanks to long-distance rare events and most likely human interferences. Hybridization was a key mechanism accelerating migration and enhancing species succession. Common garden experiments and genome wide association studies demonstrated that diversifying selection across large environmental gradients contributed to rapid local adaptation. Finally the review explores how lessons taken from past evolutionary scenarios may help to predict future responses of oaks to ongoing climate change. PMID:27263361

  17. Late Miocene biomarker and pollen records in Southeast Atlantic Ocean sediments indicate environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rommerskirchen, Florian; Dupont, Lydie; Condon, Tegan; Mollenhauer, Gesine; Schefuß, Enno

    2010-05-01

    The Late Miocene epoch is characterized by fundamental changes in Earth‘s climate system: sea-level variability, changes in surface- and deep-water circulation, increase in upwelling intensity along the coasts and turnover in marine and terrestrial biota [1,2]. It is thought that plants using the CO2 concentrating C4 mechanism for photosynthesis potentially evolved during times of a global drop in atmospheric CO2 content and at relatively hot and dry habitats. During the Late Miocene C4 plants expanded nearly simultaneously at different places in the world, while temperatures declined and global CO2 levels exhibited no corresponding change [1,3]. Our objectives concern the climatic and environmental change of Miocene Southwest Africa between ~14 to ~5 Myrs BP and how these conditions may be linked to the C4 plant expansion. We use a variety of organic geochemical techniques combined with palynology on sediments of ODP Site 1085. The site is situated in the Cape Basin at the south-west African continental margin, within the today's upwelling zone of the Benguela Coastal Current. Miocene sea surface temperature (SST) estimates applying two indices (TEX86 and UK'37) suggest a transition to cooler temperatures from above 27 to 18°C over a time period from ~14 to ~5 Myrs BP, but are different in rate and timing. Increased upwelling leads to cooler SSTs and enhanced marine primary production as implied by a small but clear overall shift in total organic carbon content after 11 Myrs BP. Concurrently, the abundance of both marine cysts and terrestrial pollen and spores increase and the relative contribution river run-off from the nearby Orange River declines, as indicated by the BIT-index (from ~0.8 to <0.1). We connect these findings to a change in strength and the predominant direction of the wind combined with an intensification of the Benguela upwelling current bringing cold, nutrient-rich waters from the South Atlantic and the Antarctic circumpolar current

  18. Environmental health risk assessment and management for global climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, P.

    2014-12-01

    This environmental health risk assessment and management approach for atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution is based almost entirely on IPCC AR5 (2014) content, but the IPCC does not make recommendations. Large climate model uncertainties may be large environmental health risks. In accordance with environmental health risk management, we use the standard (IPCC-endorsed) formula of risk as the product of magnitude times probability, with an extremely high standard of precaution. Atmospheric GHG pollution, causing global warming, climate change and ocean acidification, is increasing as fast as ever. Time is of the essence to inform and make recommendations to governments and the public. While the 2ºC target is the only formally agreed-upon policy limit, for the most vulnerable nations, a 1.5ºC limit is being considered by the UNFCCC Secretariat. The Climate Action Network International (2014), representing civil society, recommends that the 1.5ºC limit be kept open and that emissions decline from 2015. James Hansen et al (2013) have argued that 1ºC is the danger limit. Taking into account committed global warming, its millennial duration, multiple large sources of amplifying climate feedbacks and multiple adverse impacts of global warming and climate change on crops, and population health impacts, all the IPCC AR5 scenarios carry extreme environmental health risks to large human populations and to the future of humanity as a whole. Our risk consideration finds that 2ºC carries high risks of many catastrophic impacts, that 1.5ºC carries high risks of many disastrous impacts, and that 1ºC is the danger limit. IPCC AR4 (2007) showed that emissions must be reversed by 2015 for a 2ºC warming limit. For the IPCC AR5 only the best-case scenario RCP2.6, is projected to stay under 2ºC by 2100 but the upper range is just above 2ºC. It calls for emissions to decline by 2020. We recommend that for catastrophic environmental health risk aversion, emissions decline

  19. South Polar Residual Cap Geomorphology and Inferred Environmental Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, S.; Ingersoll, A.; Pathare, A.

    2003-12-01

    The CO2 southern residual cap (SRC) both controls circulation patterns regionally and buffers the atmospheric pressure globally. In turn this CO2 deposit is affected by changes in environmental conditions wrought by external forces such as dust storm activity. Mars Global Surveyor data of this area have revealed a rich variety of geomorphic features (1) of which there are several distinct classes. These different classes may be end members of the same basic process of insolation driven ablation. We are currently investigating two types of SRC features. Swiss-cheese features (SCF) are depressions characterized by flat floors and steep walls, which retreat 1-3 meters each Martian year (2). In some regions they have a definite symmetry axis along the north-south direction (3). After the seasonal frost disappears the residual ice exposed in the walls has a lower albedo (4). Previously (5) we modeled the evolution and growth of these depressions as a hole in a layer of CO2 ice underlain by water ice, which best explains their morphologic and thermal properties. The observed thickness of the CO2 slab can be as high as 8 meters but in general is much lower. Larger SCF?s commonly possess a raised central island of CO2 surrounded by a moat that penetrates to the underlying water ice (3). The fast rate of wall retreat observed (2) combined with the small sizes of the SCF?s indicate that all SCF?s visible today were created geologically recently. Within a particular region the size distribution is quite narrow (3): no larger (older) or smaller (younger) features were seen indicating that some relatively abrupt change in environmental conditions initiated the growth of this particular population of features. Fingerprint terrain (1) are areas with evenly spaced parallel ridges, which are steeper on one side. These ridges may have small areas of water ice exposed in the intervening troughs. Their wavelength is on the order of 70-90m with the steep edges facing northeast although

  20. Carbon trading, climate change, environmental sustainability and saving planet Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yim, W. W.

    2009-12-01

    Carbon trading namely the reduction of future carbon dioxide levels has been widely touted as a solution needed to counter the problem of climate change. However, there are enormous risks involved as the measure tackles only one of the causes of climate change and may prove to be ineffective. This presentation highlights ten points relevant to the discussion on carbon trading, climate change, environmental sustainability and saving planet Earth for increasing public awareness. They include: (1) Climate has changed throughout Earth’s history. (2) The present level of about 388 parts per million level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has already exceeded the maximum level of the past 800,000 years. This value is obtained from air bubbles trapped within the ice in Antarctica but the consequence of further increases remains uncertain. (3) Earth scientists do not have an overwhelming consensus on whether carbon trading alone is an effective measure in mitigating climate change. (4) The present state of the Earth’s demise is largely the result of human actions including population growth and the mismanagement of the Earth. (5) The latest evidence on sea-level changes in the South China Sea a far-field region unaffected by glacial isostatic readjustment is not in support of a ‘rapid’ rate of future sea-level rise through global warming. (6) Volcanic eruptions have an important role in driving the Earth’s climate. Examples of temperature lowering as well as abnormally wet and dry years can both be found in the instrumental record. (7) Humans have drastically modified the ‘natural’ water cycle. This is however not a well recognized cause of climate change compared to the emission of greenhouse gases through fossil fuel consumption. (8) The bulk (~75%) of the rise in mean annual temperature of about 1oC observed at the Hong Kong Observatory Station since record began in 1884 is best explained by the thermal heat island effect. (9) No evidence has been found

  1. Coping with global environmental change -- role of science and democracy.

    PubMed

    Menon, M G

    The world's population increased form about 3 billion in 1960 to 4 billion in 1974, to 5 billion in 1987, and it is projected to grow to 6 billion by 1991 and to 8 billion by 1992. Finite, nonrenewable resources have to satisfy the increased need for sustenance of this population excess in a sustainable economic development mold. Human activity has upset natural processes with negative environmental effects: Minamata disease in Japan caused by heavy metal pollution, global deforestation, and acid rain. The 1972 Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm dealt with industrial pollution. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) was established subsequently. The theory of global warming caused by emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, and halogens as predicted by a Swedish scientist decades ago is accumulating a body of evidence. The International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) of the International Council of Scientific Unions attempt to explore the Earth's physical, chemical, and biological processes to predict global environmental changes. Success mandates data availability. Paleoclimatic evidence indicates previous cataclysms caused by climate change, thus agriculture could be affected massively by global warming. Improved scientific analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and crop simulation models for major agricultural areas are needed. The North-South dialogue in UN forums has been acrimonious without much success, although international cooperation has been fruitful with the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on phasing out ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons. Such cooperation is needed on energy consumption and sources. PMID:12285904

  2. Interactions between environmental changes and brain plasticity in birds.

    PubMed

    Barnea, Anat

    2009-09-01

    Neurogenesis and neuronal recruitment occur in many vertebrates, including humans. Most of the new neurons die before reaching their destination. Those which survive migrate to various brain regions, replace older ones and connect to existing circuits. Evidence suggests that this replacement is related to acquisition of new information. Therefore, neuronal replacement can be seen as a form of brain plasticity that enables organisms to adjust to environmental changes. However, direct evidence of a causal link between replacement and learning remains elusive. Our hypothesis is that increased neuronal recruitment is associated with increase in memory load. Moreover, since neuronal recruitment is part of a turnover process, we assume that the same conditions that favor survival of some neurons induce the death of others. I present studies that investigated the effect of various behaviors and environmental conditions (food-hoarding, social change, reproductive cycle) on neuronal recruitment and survival in adult avian brains, and discuss how these phenomena relate to the life of animals. I offer a frame and rationale for comparing neuronal replacement in the adult brain, in order to uncover the pressures, rules, and mechanisms that govern its constant rejuvenation. The review emphasizes the importance of using various approaches (behavioral, anatomical, cellular and hormonal) in neuroethological research, and the need to study natural populations, in order to fully understand how neurogenesis and neuronal replacement contribute to life of animals. Finally, the review indicates to future directions and ends with the hope that a better understanding of adult neuronal replacement will lead to medical applications. PMID:19361509

  3. A decade of environmental change in the Pacific Arctic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Kevin R.; Bond, Nicholas A.; Danielson, Seth L.; Overland, James E.; Salo, Sigrid A.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.; Whitefield, Jonathan

    2015-08-01

    Over the decade 2004-2013 environmental changes in the Pacific sector of the Arctic have been dramatic enough to suggest that a 'new normal' climate is emerging. The clearest indicator of this change is the dramatic loss of sea ice during the summer, which in some years has already resulted in essentially ice-free conditions in this region. For example, between 7 August and 11 October 2012, sea ice concentration in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas between 70 and 80°N fell below 20% (with a record minimum concentration of only 5% on 2 September). Thick multiyear sea ice (older than 2 years) has almost entirely disappeared, replaced by thin and more mobile first-year ice. Year-to-year variability in ice concentration is associated with anomalous wind forcing linked to larger-scale atmospheric circulation patterns, which also affect ocean currents, including transport through Bering Strait. With reduced sea ice extent the area of ice-free ocean susceptible to rapid solar heating has increased. More heat is stored in the upper ocean early in the summer melt season and persists later into the autumn freeze-up. Monthly surface air temperature anomalies greater than 6 °C have occurred frequently in the autumn in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Environmental variations in the Bering Sea over the last decade have been subtle by comparison, and include an increase in winter sea-ice extent between 2007 and 2013.

  4. Long-term Environmental Observatories as Predictors of Regional Environmental Change: An Oregon Example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashkenas, L.; Gregory, S.; van Sickle, J.

    2005-05-01

    Predictions of future environmental change often rest on long-term datasets collected in reference areas. However, many current landscape conversions occur on very different portions of the landscape than these sites. Can information from localized reference sites be used to predict regional environmental changes? We compared results from three nested watersheds: a small reference basin, the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (a Long-Term Ecological Research site, 64 km2), the McKenzie (3465 km2) and the Willamette (29727 km2) for past (1850, pre-Euroamerican settlement), present, and three alternate futures in 2050. Based on empirical field studies, we modeled changes to aquatic and riparian indicators, such as numbers and potential habitat of cutthroat trout, and riparian cover type. The relatively small, homogenous reference observatory was a poor predictor of more complex landscapes. For example, between 1850 and 1990, cutthroat trout habitat declined 50% in the Willamette, 19% in the McKenzie, but only 10% in the H.J. Andrews. Regional networks of observatories ideally should consist of (1) relatively pristine reference areas used to elucidate fundamental local ecological processes, (2) extensively altered sites, and (3) locations on the periphery of rapidly changing portions of the landscape where future intensive impacts, such as landscape conversion, are probable.

  5. Changes in environmental impacts of major crops in the US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yi; Suh, Sangwon

    2015-09-01

    As with life cycle assessment (LCA) studies in general, agricultural LCAs often rely on static and outdated inventory data, but literature suggests that agricultural systems may be highly dynamic. Here, we applied life cycle impact assessment methods to investigate the trends and underlying drivers of changes in non-global environmental impacts of major crops in the US. The results show that the impact per hectare corn and cotton generated on the ecological health of freshwater systems decreased by about 50% in the last decade. This change is mainly due to the use of genetically modified (GM) crops, which has reduced the application of insecticides and relatively toxic herbicides such as atrazine. However, the freshwater ecotoxicity impact per hectare soybean production increased by 3-fold, mainly because the spread of an invasive species, soybean aphid, has resulted in an increasing use of insecticides. In comparison, other impact categories remained relatively stable. By evaluating the relative ecotoxicity potential of a large number of pesticides, our analysis offers new insight into the benefits associated with GM crops. Our study also implies that because different impact categories show different degrees of changes, it is worthwhile focusing on the rapidly changing categories when updating agricultural LCA databases under time and resource constraints.

  6. Adjusting Behavior to Changing Environmental Demands with Development

    PubMed Central

    Lourenco, Frederico; Casey, BJ

    2013-01-01

    Plasticity refers to changes in the brain that enable an organism to adapt its behavior in the face of changing environmental demands. The evolutionary role of plasticity is to provide the cognitive flexibility to learn from experiences, to monitor the world based on learned predictions, and adjust actions when these predictions are violated. Both progressive (myelination) and regressive (synaptic pruning) brain changes support this type of adaptation. Experience-driven changes in neural connections underlie the ability to learn and update thoughts and behaviors throughout life. Many cognitive and behavioral indices exhibit nonlinear life-span trajectories, suggesting the existence of specific sensitive developmental periods of heightened plasticity. We propose that age-related differences in learning capabilities and behavioral performance reflect the distinct maturational timetable of subcortical learning systems and modulatory prefrontal regions. We focus specifically on the developmental transition of adolescence, during which individuals experience difficulty flexibly adjusting their behavior when confronted with unexpected and emotionally salient events. In this article, we review the findings illustrating this phenomenon and how they vary by individual. PMID:23518271

  7. Environmental changes in Southwest Africa during the Miocene C4 plant expansion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupont, L. M.; Rommerskirchen, F.; Condon, T.; Mollenhauer, G.; Schefuss, E.

    2009-12-01

    The Late Miocene epoch is characterized by fundamental changes in Earth's climate system: sea-level variability, changes in surface- and deep-water circulation, increase in upwelling intensity along the coasts and turnover in marine and terrestrial biota [1,2]. It is thought that plants using the CO2 concentrating C4 mechanism for photosynthesis potentially evolved during times of a global drop in atmospheric CO2 content and at relatively hot and dry habitats. During the Late Miocene C4 plants expanded nearly simultaneously at different places in the world, while temperatures declined and global CO2 levels exhibited no corresponding change [1,3]. Our objectives concern the climatic and environmental change of Miocene Southwest Africa between ~14 to ~5 Myrs BP and how these conditions may be linked to the C4 plant expansion. We use a variety of organic geochemical techniques combined with palynology on sediments of ODP Site 1085. The site is situated in the Cape Basin at the south-west African continental margin, within the today’s upwelling zone of the Benguela Coastal Current. Miocene sea surface temperature (SST) estimates applying two indices (TEX86 and UK'37) suggest a transition to cooler temperatures from above 27 to 18°C over a time period from ~14 to ~5 Myrs BP, but are different in rate and timing. Increased upwelling leads to cooler SSTs and enhanced marine primary production as implied by a small but clear overall shift in total organic carbon content after 11 Myrs BP. Concurrently, the abundance of both marine cysts and terrestrial pollen and spores increase and the relative contribution river run-off from the nearby Orange River declines, as indicated by the BIT-index (from ~0.8 to <0.1). We connect these findings to a change in strength and the predominant direction of the wind combined with an intensification of the Benguela upwelling current bringing cold, nutrient-rich waters from the South Atlantic and the Antarctic circumpolar current

  8. Environmental change and the natural link between Kazakh Steppe and Northern Eurasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baibatsha, Adilkhan

    2014-05-01

    In the early to the middle of the Quarternary the southern region of the Kazakh steppe was under the favorable influence of high temperature coming from the depths along faults of mountain ranges and warm moist air mass is nearby at the time of the Indian Ocean. In connection with this region ranges Karatau, western spurs of the Alatau and the southern suburbs Saryarka maintained favorable environmental conditions for life. In periods of prolonged freezing of adjacent territories of Eastern Europe and Western Siberia in the northern regions of the Kazakh steppe developed freezing phenomenon, frozen soil conditions, extended cold snap. The alternation of glaciations with warm interglacial periods caused significant changes of ecological conditions in the environment. In periods of cold weather, caused by glaciation in North Eurasia, animals and primitive people The alternation of cold and warm periods that are favorable and unfavorable conditions for life continues to this day. This life is transitory. Ended and the cold period, which seemed endless. Special cosmic phenomena gave rise to the surface of the earth's unknown in previous epochs of events about 12 thousand years ago, at the turn of the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs of the Quarternary active tectonic movement. Fallen from the sky and the comet's impact with the ground and burning in the atmosphere flows meteor caused a sharp rise in temperature on the surface of the earth. The sudden rise in temperature caused extensive melting of glaciers and permafrost, the flood was on Earth. Eastern Europe and the western part of the Kazakh steppe fully embraced the flood; it flooded the Black Sea and Caspian Sea area. Raising the water level of the seas caused flooding of the isthmus connecting Eurasia and Africa, lost his connection by land between the continents. After a sudden strong warming that caused floods and fires, about 10-9 thousand years BC in the environment established standard conditions with

  9. Timing and dynamics of Late Pleistocene mammal extinctions in southwestern Australia.

    PubMed

    Prideaux, Gavin J; Gully, Grant A; Couzens, Aidan M C; Ayliffe, Linda K; Jankowski, Nathan R; Jacobs, Zenobia; Roberts, Richard G; Hellstrom, John C; Gagan, Michael K; Hatcher, Lindsay M

    2010-12-21

    Explaining the Late Pleistocene demise of many of the world's larger terrestrial vertebrates is arguably the most enduring and debated topic in Quaternary science. Australia lost >90% of its larger species by around 40 thousand years (ka) ago, but the relative importance of human impacts and increased aridity remains unclear. Resolving the debate has been hampered by a lack of sites spanning the last glacial cycle. Here we report on an exceptional faunal succession from Tight Entrance Cave, southwestern Australia, which shows persistence of a diverse mammal community for at least 100 ka leading up to the earliest regional evidence of humans at 49 ka. Within 10 millennia, all larger mammals except the gray kangaroo and thylacine are lost from the regional record. Stable-isotope, charcoal, and small-mammal records reveal evidence of environmental change from 70 ka, but the extinctions occurred well in advance of the most extreme climatic phase. We conclude that the arrival of humans was probably decisive in the southwestern Australian extinctions, but that changes in climate and fire activity may have played facilitating roles. One-factor explanations for the Pleistocene extinctions in Australia are likely oversimplistic. PMID:21127262

  10. Timing and dynamics of Late Pleistocene mammal extinctions in southwestern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Prideaux, Gavin J.; Gully, Grant A.; Couzens, Aidan M. C.; Ayliffe, Linda K.; Jankowski, Nathan R.; Jacobs, Zenobia; Roberts, Richard G.; Hellstrom, John C.; Gagan, Michael K.; Hatcher, Lindsay M.

    2010-01-01

    Explaining the Late Pleistocene demise of many of the world's larger terrestrial vertebrates is arguably the most enduring and debated topic in Quaternary science. Australia lost >90% of its larger species by around 40 thousand years (ka) ago, but the relative importance of human impacts and increased aridity remains unclear. Resolving the debate has been hampered by a lack of sites spanning the last glacial cycle. Here we report on an exceptional faunal succession from Tight Entrance Cave, southwestern Australia, which shows persistence of a diverse mammal community for at least 100 ka leading up to the earliest regional evidence of humans at 49 ka. Within 10 millennia, all larger mammals except the gray kangaroo and thylacine are lost from the regional record. Stable-isotope, charcoal, and small-mammal records reveal evidence of environmental change from 70 ka, but the extinctions occurred well in advance of the most extreme climatic phase. We conclude that the arrival of humans was probably decisive in the southwestern Australian extinctions, but that changes in climate and fire activity may have played facilitating roles. One-factor explanations for the Pleistocene extinctions in Australia are likely oversimplistic. PMID:21127262

  11. A record of barite accumulation rate for marine export productivity changes in the tropical Indian Ocean during the Mid-Pliocene--Early-Pleistocene transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Liping; Ma, Zhongwu; Ding, Xuan

    2016-04-01

    One of the most interesting features in the marine oxygen isotope records is the gradual shift towards heavier 18O from the Mid-Pliocene, which ends with the initiation of Northern Hemisphere glaciation (NHG) around 2.7 Ma. The lack of significant change in sea surface temperature in the tropical Indian Ocean as revealed in the previous studies does not rule out their possible contributions to this dramatic climate change during the Mid-Pliocene transition. Changing circulation systems in the region will control the supply of nutrients for the water masses which in turn determine the marine productivity. In the areas of high productivity, ocean export productivity may potentially provide a mechanism of CO2 draw-down into the deep ocean, through which contributing to the lowering of the global temperature. In this study, we present a record of barite accumulation rate (BAR) for DSDP Site 214 drilled on the Ninetyeast Ridge. Here we use the marine barite, which is formed during the decay of organism in the twilight zone, as a proxy for ocean export productivity. Our results show that the BAR of Site 214 varies between 0.25 and 1.25 mg/cm2/kyr during the period between 4 Ma and 2 Ma. Five intervals of increased BAR from 3.6 Ma to 2.4 Ma are identified with the most distinct peak centred around 3 Ma. The overall pattern does not follow either the oxygen isotope record for the Site or the sea surface temperature and subsurface temperature reconstructed with the Mg/Ca of foraminifera. This suggests that regional changes in ocean circulation and water masses may have played more important role than temperature in controlling the productivity change in the tropical Indian Ocean. The relative higher productivity around 3 Ma may imply a biogenetic process towards the intensification of NHGs.

  12. Environmental change within the Balkan region during the past ca. 50 ka recorded in the sediments from lakes Prespa and Ohrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, B.; Vogel, H.; Zanchetta, G.; Sulpizio, R.

    2010-10-01

    Lakes Prespa and Ohrid, in the Balkan region, are considered to be amongst the oldest lakes in Europe. Both lakes are hydraulically connected via karst aquifers. From Lake Ohrid, several sediment cores up to 15 m long have been studied over the last few years. Here, we document the first long sediment record from nearby Lake Prespa to clarify the influence of Lake Prespa on Lake Ohrid and the environmental history of the region. Radiocarbon dating and dated tephra layers provide robust age control and indicate that the 10.5 m long sediment record from Lake Prespa reaches back to 48 ka. Glacial sedimentation is characterized by low organic matter content and absence of carbonates in the sediments, which indicate oligotrophic conditions in both lakes. Holocene sedimentation is characterized by particularly high carbonate content in Lake Ohrid and by particularly high organic matter content in Lake Prespa, which indicates a shift towards more mesotrophic conditions in the latter. Long-term environmental change and short-term events, such as related to the Heinrich events during the Pleistocene or the 8.2 ka cooling event during the Holocene, are well recorded in both lakes, but are only evident in certain proxies. The comparison of the sediment cores from both lakes indicates that environmental change affects particularly the trophic state of Lake Prespa due to its lower volume and water depth.

  13. Holocene sedimentation processes and environmental changes along the Namibian coastline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schüller, Irka; Belz, Lukas; Wilkes, Heinz; Wehrmann, Achim

    2016-04-01

    The regional oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns strongly control environmental conditions in southern Africa. Changes in the system may have significant consequences on climate and related processes. The hyper arid coast of Namibia is mainly influenced by (1) the cold Benguela upwelling, (2) the Benguela current and (3) the Angola current. The Benguela current transports the cool, upwelling water from south to north and interacts with the warm, contrary flowing Angola current at the Angola-Benguela Front (ABF). Today the ABF is located around the Namibian-Angolan border with minor seasonal changes. Therefore, climate and environment at the Namibian coast are affected by the cold water conditions. It is known evidently that the location of the ABF changed during the Holocene over several latitudes and enabled warm water species to expand their range farther south. Several (paleo-) lagoons (coastal salt pans) exist along the Namibian coastline. Most of them are already barred and filled by longshore sediment transport processes. Tidal flooding and active sedimentation processes are restricted to the southernmost lagoons. Two different types of sediments occur. The northern pans contain well sorted, siliciclastic medium sands. Fine-layered alternation refers to changes in mineral composition. The southern pans are dominated by typical tidal sediments with a high amount of benthic fauna (mainly bivalves and gastropods). At Cape Cross the distinct shift between both facies is documented in the cores. Age determinations of core material prove a very fast sediment filling of the distinct lagoons with high sedimentation rates. However, the age of closure differs from lagoon to lagoon. Northern pan sediments are much older (Cape Cross: ~ 5000 a BP) than southern (Sandwich Bay and Conception Bay: 1800 - 300 a BP). Additional information are supported by river clay deposits (~ 36600 a BP) and fossil reed systems (~ 47900 a BP) in Conception Bay and peat deposits at

  14. Water loss in insects: an environmental change perspective.

    PubMed

    Chown, Steven L; Sørensen, Jesper G; Terblanche, John S

    2011-08-01

    In the context of global environmental change much of the focus has been on changing temperatures. However, patterns of rainfall and water availability have also been changing and are expected to continue doing so. In consequence, understanding the responses of insects to water availability is important, especially because it has a pronounced influence on insect activity, distribution patterns, and species richness. Here we therefore provide a critical review of key questions that either are being or need to be addressed in this field. First, an overview of insect behavioural responses to changing humidity conditions and the mechanisms underlying sensing of humidity variation is provided. The primary sensors in insects belong to the temperature receptor protein superfamily of cation channels. Temperature-activated transient receptor potential ion channels, or thermoTRPs, respond to a diverse range of stimuli and may be a primary integrator of sensory information, such as environmental temperature and moisture. Next we touch briefly on the components of water loss, drawing attention to a new, universal model of the water costs of gas exchange and its implications for responses to a warming, and in places drying, world. We also provide an overview of new understanding of the role of the sub-elytral chamber for water conservation, and developments in understanding of the role of cuticular hydrocarbons in preventing water loss. Because of an increasing focus on the molecular basis of responses to dehydration stress we touch briefly on this area, drawing attention to the role of sugars, heat shock proteins, aquaporins, and LEA proteins. Next we consider phenotypic plasticity or acclimation responses in insect water balance after initial exposures to altered humidity, temperature or nutrition. Although beneficial acclimation has been demonstrated in several instances, this is not always the case. Laboratory studies show that responses to selection for enhanced ability to

  15. Out of Africa and into an ice age: on the role of global climate change in the late Pleistocene migration of early modern humans out of Africa.

    PubMed

    Carto, Shannon L; Weaver, Andrew J; Hetherington, Renée; Lam, Yin; Wiebe, Edward C

    2009-02-01

    The results from two climate model simulations are used to explore the relationship between North Atlantic sea surface temperatures and the development of African aridity around 100,000 years ago. Through the use of illustrative simulations with an Earth System Climate Model, it is shown that freshwater fluxes associated with ice sheet surges into the North Atlantic, known as Heinrich events, lead to the southward shift of the intertropical convergence zone over Africa. This, combined with the overall increased aridity in the cooler mean climate, leads to substantial changes in simulated African vegetation cover, particularly in the Sahel. We suggest that Heinrich events, which occurred episodically throughout the last glacial cycle, led to abrupt changes in climate that may have rendered large parts of North, East, and West Africa unsuitable for hominin occupation, thus compelling early Homo sapiens to migrate out of Africa. PMID:19019409

  16. The magnitude and rapidity of the climate change marking the end of the Pleistocene in the mid-latitudes of South America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ashworth, A.C.; Hoganson, J.W.

    1993-01-01

    The chi-squared test of independence and cluster analysis of Otsuka similarity coefficients of fossil beetle assemblages from the Chilean Lake Region in the mid-latitudes of South America support the following conclusions: (1) the mean summer temperature of the glacial climate was 4-5??C lower than today's climate; (2) the climatic change from glacial to interglacial mode was in a single step centered on about 14,000 yr B.P.; (3) the climatic change was rapid, and within 1500 years the biota of a moorland had been completely replaced by a biota of a rain forest; (4) by 12,500 yr B.P., the low elevation beetle fauna of the Chilean Lake Region was similar in composition to that of the present day; and (5) no reversal in the postglacial warming trend, equivalent in age to the Younger Dryas Stade, was detected. ?? 1993.

  17. Dancing to the rhythms of the Pleistocene? Early Middle Paleolithic population dynamics in NW Iberia (Duero Basin and Cantabrian Region)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez Yustos, Policarpo; Diez Martín, Fernando

    2015-08-01

    The Northwest of Iberia has yielded one of the most complete European Middle Paleolithic records. Despite this wealth of information, very little is known about population dynamics during this period. For that reason, the main concern of this paper is to provide socio-environmental models that may help explain Early Middle Paleolithic (EMP) population dynamics in NW Iberia, assessing to what extent they were shaped by climate forces. The archaeological record is analyzed on the basis of the heuristics of ecological models, already employed in the European Pleistocene record but never at a regional scale, in order to detect long-term changes in the composition of EMP populations, and the environmental, biological and sociocultural process influencing those changes. According to the models proposed, we have detected a long-term population dynamic between MIS 11 and MIS 6, characterized by low environmental stress, high biological productivity, interaction among populations and sociocultural complexity. Eventually, this population dynamic was broken due to an extreme climate phase in late MIS 6 that had a profound impact on populations and sociocultural structures. As a result, the Upper Pleistocene population of NW Iberia was concentrated in the Cantabrian region. This area became an isolated Neanderthal glacial refugium that hosted a population with different origins and fragile long-term demographic stability.

  18. Soil carbon responses to environmental change across temporal scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sierra, Carlos; Müller, Markus; Metzler, Holger

    2016-04-01

    Different biotic and abiotic factors modify the rates of soil carbon cycling at a variety of temporal scales, posing challenges in determining appropriate model abstractions to represent soil carbon dynamics in the context of global environmental change. Although a large variety of models of soil organic matter dynamics have been proposed previously, it is difficult to compare different model structures and their scale of application. We present here a mathematical framework that can be used to synthesize models with different structure, i.e. number of distinctive pools, their cycling rates and their connection. This framework can also be used to identify the scale of operability of a model and how carbon stocks and respiration fluxes would respond to external perturbations. In this contribution, we present the main concepts behind our mathematical framework and how through eigenvalue analyses we can identify the scale of operability of a model. We also present an analysis of the potential sensitivity of soil carbon stocks to changes in temperature and moisture, and identify regions with larger sensitivities to climate change. Although different models provide very diverse responses, we predict larger sensitivities of soil C stocks in humid tropical regions to increases in temperature and decreases in soil moisture.

  19. Predicting effects of environmental change on a migratory herbivore

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stillman, R A; Wood, K A; Gilkerson, Whelan; Elkinton, E; Black, J. M.; Ward, David H.; Petrie, M.

    2015-01-01

    for which birds were disturbed. We discuss the consequences of these predictions for Black Brant conservation. A wide range of migratory species responses are expected in response to environmental change. Process-based models are potential tools to predict such responses and understand the mechanisms which underpin them.

  20. Late Pleistocene climatic change in the French Jura (Gigny) recorded in the δ 18O of phosphate from ungulate tooth enamel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabre, Magali; Lécuyer, Christophe; Brugal, Jean-Philip; Amiot, Romain; Fourel, François; Martineau, François

    2011-05-01

    Oxygen isotope compositions of phosphate in tooth enamel from large mammals (i.e. horse and red deer) were measured to quantify past mean annual air temperatures and seasonal variations between 145 ka and 33 ka in eastern France. The method is based on interdependent relationships between the δ 18O of apatite phosphate, environmental waters and air temperatures. Horse ( Equus caballus germanicus) and red deer ( Cervus elaphus) remains have δ 18O values that range from 14.2‰ to 17.2‰, indicating mean air temperatures between 7°C and 13°C. Oxygen isotope time series obtained from two of the six horse teeth show a sinusoidal-like signal that could have been forced by temperature variations of seasonal origin. Intra-tooth oxygen isotope variations reveal that at 145 ka, winters were colder (- 7 ± 2°C) than at present (3 ± 1°C) while summer temperatures were similar. Winter temperatures mark a well-developed West-East thermal gradient in France of about - 9°C, much stronger than the -4°C difference recorded presently. Negative winter temperatures were likely responsible for the extent and duration of the snow cover, thus limiting the food resources available for large ungulates with repercussions for Neanderthal predators.

  1. EDITORIAL: Northern Hemisphere high latitude climate and environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groisman, Pavel; Soja, Amber

    2007-10-01

    High Northern Hemisphere latitudes are undergoing rapid and significant change associated with climate warming. Climatic change in this region interacts with and affects the rate of the global change through atmospheric circulation, biogeophysical, and biogeochemical feedbacks. Changes in the surface energy balance, hydrologic cycle, and carbon budget feedback to regional and global weather and climate systems. Two-thirds of the Northern Hemisphere high latitude land mass resides in Northern Eurasia (~20% of the global land mass), and this region has undergone sweeping socio-economic change throughout the 20th century. How this carbon-rich, cold region component of the Earth system functions as a regional entity and interacts with and feeds back to the greater global system is to a large extent unknown. To mitigate the deficiencies in understanding these feedbacks, which may in turn hamper our understanding of the global change rates and patterns, an initiative was formed. Three years ago the Northern Eurasia Earth Science Partnership Initiative (NEESPI) was established to address large-scale and long-term manifestations of climate and environmental change in this region. The NEESPI Science Plan and its Executive Summary have been published at the NEESPI web site (neespi.org). Since 2004, NEESPI participants have been able to seed several waves of research proposals to international and national funding agencies and institutions and also contribute to the International Polar Year. Currently, NEESPI is widely recognized and endorsed by several Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) programmes and projects: the International Geosphere and Biosphere Programme, the World Climate Research Programme through the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment and Climate and Cryosphere Projects, the Global Water System Project, Global Carbon Project, Global Land Project, and the Integrated Land Ecosystem—Atmosphere Processes Study. Through NEESPI, more than 100 individually

  2. Late Pleistocene aeolian dust provenances and wind direction changes reconstructed by heavy mineral analysis of the sediments of the Dehner dry maar (Eifel Mountains, Germany)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehmkuhl, Frank; Römer, Wolfgang; Sirocko, Frank

    2016-04-01

    The study presents the results of a heavy mineral analysis from a 38 m long record of aeolian sediments from a core section of the Dehner dry maar (Eifel Mountains, Germany). The record encompasses the period from 30 to about 12.5 ka. Heavy-mineral analysis of the silt fraction has been performed at a sampling interval of 1 m. Statistical analyses enabled the distinction of local and regional source areas of aeolian material and revealed pronounced changes in the amounts of different heavy mineral species and corresponding changes in the grain size index (GSI). The results indicate that during the early stages of MIS 2 (40 to 30m depth) aeolian sediments were supplied mostly from local sources. This period is characterized by a low GSI ratio resulting from a reduced mobility of material due to a vegetation cover. The climax of the LGM is characterized by a higher supply of heavy minerals from regional and more distant sources. Changes in the provenance areas are indicated in inverse relationships between zircon, rutile, tourmaline (ZRT) and carbonate particles. Shifts in the wind direction are documented in pronounced peaks of carbonate particles indicating easterly winds that have crossed the limestone basins in the Eifeler North South Zone. ZRT-group minerals on the other hand suggest a westerly source area and a supply from areas consisting of Paleozoic clastic sedimentary rocks. In the periods following the LGM the analyses indicate an increasing degree of mixing of heavy minerals from various provinces. This suggests the existence of a presumably incomplete, thin cover of deflatable loessic sediments that has been repeatedly reworked on the elevated surfaces of the Eifel.

  3. Vegetation and climate changes during the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene in SW Turkey - Response to comments by Elitez et al., Quaternary Research, 84, pp. 448-456

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez-Moreno, Gonzalo; Alçiçek, Hülya; Alçiçek, Mehmet Cihat; van den Hoek Ostende, Lars; Wesselingh, Frank P.

    2016-05-01

    We found the comments by Elitez et al. irrelevant to the scientific study on the vegetation history of the Çameli Basin in SW Anatolia, as presented by Jiménez-Moreno et al. (2015). The comments are far from the scientific debate but instead deal with technical issues raised after looking for the studied sites on Google Earth. Elitez et al. argue about the geographic coordinates of the localities and the thickness of the studied successions, appear to have a stationary view of a fossil site as a single spot on the Earth' surface, and forget that a sedimentary layer containing fossils can outcrop laterally with changes in thickness.

  4. One Species, Three Pleistocene Evolutionary Histories: Phylogeography of the Italian Crested Newt, Triturus carnifex

    PubMed Central

    Canestrelli, Daniele; Salvi, Daniele; Maura, Michela; Bologna, Marco A.; Nascetti, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    Phylogeographic patterns of temperate species from the Mediterranean peninsulas have been investigated intensively. Nevertheless, as more phylogeographies become available, either unique patterns or new lines of concordance continue to emerge, providing new insights on the evolution of regional biotas. Here, we investigated the phylogeography and evolutionary history of the Italian crested newt, Triturus carnifex, through phylogenetic, molecular dating and population structure analyses of two mitochondrial gene fragments (ND2 and ND4; overall 1273 bp). We found three main mtDNA lineages having parapatric distribution and estimated divergence times between Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. One lineage (S) was widespread south of the northern Apennine chain and was further geographically structured into five sublineages, likely of Middle Pleistocene origin. The second lineage (C) was widespread throughout the Padano–Venetian plain and did not show a clear phylogeographic structure. The third lineage (N) was observed in only two populations located on western Croatia/Slovenia. Results of analysis of molecular variance suggested that partitioning populations according to the geographic distribution of these lineages and sublineages explains 76% of the observed genetic variation. The phylogeographic structure observed within T. carnifex and divergence time estimates among its lineages, suggest that responses to Pleistocene environmental changes in this single species have been as diverse as those found previously among several codistributed temperate species combined. Consistent with the landscape heterogeneity, physiographic features, and palaeogeographical evolution of its distribution range, these responses encompass multiple refugia along the Apennine chain, lowland refugia in large peri-coastal plains, and a ‘cryptic’ northern refugium. PMID:22848590

  5. Lineage diversification and historical demography of a montane bird Garrulax elliotii - implications for the Pleistocene evolutionary history of the eastern Himalayas

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Pleistocene climate fluctuations have shaped the patterns of genetic diversity observed in many extant species. In montane habitats, species' ranges may have expanded and contracted along an altitudinal gradient in response to environmental fluctuations leading to alternating periods of genetic isolation and connectivity. Because species' responses to climate change are influenced by interactions between species-specific characteristics and local topography, diversification pattern differs between species and locations. The eastern Himalayas is one of the world's most prominent mountain ranges. Its complex topography and environmental heterogeneity present an ideal system in which to study how climatic changes during Pleistocene have influenced species distributions, genetic diversification, and demography. The Elliot's laughing thrush (Garrulax elliotii) is largely restricted to high-elevation shrublands in eastern Himalayas. We used mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites to investigate how genetic diversity in this species was affected by Pleistocene glaciations. Results Mitochondrial data detected two partially sympatric north-eastern and southern lineages. Microsatellite data, however, identified three distinct lineages congruent with the geographically separated southern, northern and eastern eco-subregions of the eastern Himalayas. Geographic breaks occur in steep mountains and deep valleys of the Kangding-Muli-Baoxin Divide. Divergence time estimates and coalescent simulations indicate that lineage diversification occurred on two different geographic and temporal scales; recent divergence, associated with geographic isolation into individual subregions, and historical divergence, associated with displacement into multiple refugia. Despite long-term isolation, genetic admixture among these subregional populations was observed, indicating historic periods of connectivity. The demographic history of Garrulax elliotii shows continuous population growth

  6. The influence of Pleistocene climatic changes and ocean currents on the phylogeography of the southern African barnacle, Tetraclita serrata (Thoracica; Cirripedia).

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Terry V; Matthee, Conrad A; von der Heyden, Sophie

    2014-01-01

    due to differing environmental conditions. PMID:25054971

  7. The Influence of Pleistocene Climatic Changes and Ocean Currents on the Phylogeography of the Southern African Barnacle, Tetraclita serrata (Thoracica; Cirripedia)

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Terry V.; Matthee, Conrad A.; von der Heyden, Sophie

    2014-01-01

    due to differing environmental conditions. PMID:25054971

  8. Environmental change and the carbon balance of Amazonian forests.

    PubMed

    Aragão, Luiz E O C; Poulter, Benjamin; Barlow, Jos B; Anderson, Liana O; Malhi, Yadvinder; Saatchi, Sassan; Phillips, Oliver L; Gloor, Emanuel

    2014-11-01

    Extreme climatic events and land-use change are known to influence strongly the current carbon cycle of Amazonia, and have the potential to cause significant global climate impacts. This review intends to evaluate the effects of both climate and anthropogenic perturbations on the carbon balance of the Brazilian Amazon and to understand how they interact with each other. By analysing the outputs of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report 4 (AR4) model ensemble, we demonstrate that Amazonian temperatures and water stress are both likely to increase over the 21st Century. Curbing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon by 62% in 2010 relative to the 1990s mean decreased the Brazilian Amazon's deforestation contribution to global land use carbon emissions from 17% in the 1990s and early 2000s to 9% by 2010. Carbon sources in Amazonia are likely to be dominated by climatic impacts allied with forest fires (48.3% relative contribution) during extreme droughts. The current net carbon sink (net biome productivity, NBP) of +0.16 (ranging from +0.11 to +0.21) Pg C year(-1) in the Brazilian Amazon, equivalent to 13.3% of global carbon emissions from land-use change for 2008, can be negated or reversed during drought years [NBP = -0.06 (-0.31 to +0.01) Pg C year(-1) ]. Therefore, reducing forest fires, in addition to reducing deforestation, would be an important measure for minimizing future emissions. Conversely, doubling the current area of secondary forests and avoiding additional removal of primary forests would help the Amazonian gross forest sink to offset approximately 42% of global land-use change emissions. We conclude that a few strategic environmental policy measures are likely to strengthen the Amazonian net carbon sink with global implications. Moreover, these actions could increase the resilience of the net carbon sink to future increases in drought frequency. PMID:25324039

  9. Environmental Changes in the pre-Messinian Mediterranean Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayser, J. P.; Marzocchi, A.; Lunt, D. J.; Pancost, R. D.; Sierro, F. J.; Flecker, R.

    2015-12-01

    The Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) is an extreme event which occurred in the Mediterranean Basin at the end of the Miocene (5.97 to 5.33 Ma) resulting in thick evaporite deposits. There is evidence of restriction of the Atlantic-Mediterranean corridor several million years before the first evaporites. These pre-MSC successions are dominated by precession-controlled lithological variations which are putative responses to changing fluvial runoff. Recent climate simulations indicate that runoff into the Eastern Mediterranean is influenced by monsoonal precipitation from the North African continent. The Sorbas Basin in Spain and the Pissouri Section on Cyprus both contain pre-MSC successions from the margins of the Mediterranean Basin. We analysed biomarkers in conjunction with existing faunal records to understand whether simulated runoff changes were manifested in the sedimentological record and organic matter assemblages. This multi-proxy dataset allows us to compare the environmental evolution of the western vs. eastern basins prior to the MSC and allows us to test both climate models for Messinian climate variabitly and conceptual models for sedimentation. In the Sorbas Basin, pronounced orbital changes in faunal assemblages reflect Mediterrannean influences into the local Sorbas system; however, these are not manifested in biomarker assemblages, which are likely governed by more local hydrological processes, which in the Western Mediterranean lacked a strong precessional control. In the Pissouri Basin, however, terrigeous OM inputs sources exhibit strong orbital variations, suggesting a close link to precessionally driven changes in rainfall. Together, these results validate the sapropel formation hypothesis in the Mediterranean and confirm a strong precessional control on the African monsoon during the late Miocene; however, they also reveal the complex controls on the hydrology and sedimentology of marginal Mediterranean basins, such as the Sorbas Basin.

  10. Late Pleistocene ice-shelf, valley-glacier and ice-sheet interactions on Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula: implications for climatic and ice-volume changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Bethan; Hambrey, Michael; Glasser, Neil; Smellie, John; Carrivick, Jonathan; Bentley, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Recent rapid warming across the Antarctic Peninsula has resulted in ice-sheet thinning, dramatic ice-shelf collapse, acceleration of ice-flow velocities and widespread glacier recession. Reconstructing past rates, volumes and magnitudes of cryospheric change, particularly with respect to the former configuration of ice sheets and ice shelves, and their response to changing oceanic and climatic regimes, is vital in providing a context for this change, in order to improve predictions of future ice-sheet behaviour, and to provide glacio-isostatic adjustment corrections for gravimetric measurements of contemporary ice loss. This research aimed to investigate valley glacier and ice-shelf interactions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Holocene Epoch across George VI Sound and Alexander Island, western Antarctic Peninsula, an area with a well-preserved but poorly dated record. We identify four principal stratigraphic units: (1) a high-elevation drift with Alexander Island erratics only (interpreted as recording older advances of ice from the interior of the island), (2) a lower-elevation drift with exotic Palmer Land erratics (interpreted as ice-shelf moraine, representing incursions of George VI Ice Shelf onto Ablation Point Massif), (3) multiple overlapping sequences of valley glacier moraine and ice-shelf moraine, presumed to be Holocene in age, and (4) more recent processes and units, including frozen epishelf lakes, slope processes and alluvial fans. On-going cosmogenic nuclide dating on these sediments (in progress; 25 10Be exposure ages) has the potential to unlock the complex history and interactions of ice streams, valley glaciers and ice shelves in this area. This work will also provide the first long-term record of sea-level indicators, allowing the first estimates of glacial unloading, rates of uplift and ice-sheet thinning to be calculated. The Holocene record of the ice shelf, preserved in the younger ice-shelf moraines and in the overlapping

  11. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration across the mid-Pleistocene transition.

    PubMed

    Hönisch, Bärbel; Hemming, N Gary; Archer, David; Siddall, Mark; McManus, Jerry F

    2009-06-19

    The dominant period of Pleistocene glacial cycles changed during the mid-Pleistocene from 40,000 years to 100,000 years, for as yet unknown reasons. Here we present a 2.1-million-year record of sea surface partial pressure of CO2 (Pco2), based on boron isotopes in planktic foraminifer shells, which suggests that the atmospheric partial pressure of CO2 (pco2) was relatively stable before the mid-Pleistocene climate transition. Glacial Pco2 was approximately 31 microatmospheres higher before the transition (more than 1 million years ago), but interglacial Pco2 was similar to that of late Pleistocene interglacial cycles (<450,000 years ago). These estimates are consistent with a close linkage between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global climate, but the lack of a gradual decrease in interglacial Pco2 does not support the suggestion that a long-term drawdown of atmospheric CO2 was the main cause of the climate transition. PMID:19541994

  12. Late Pleistocene adult mortality patterns and modern human establishment

    PubMed Central

    Trinkaus, Erik

    2011-01-01

    The establishment of modern humans in the Late Pleistocene, subsequent to their emergence in eastern Africa, is likely to have involved substantial population increases, during their initial dispersal across southern Asia and their subsequent expansions throughout Africa and into more northern Eurasia. An assessment of younger (20–40 y) versus older (>40 y) adult mortality distributions for late archaic humans (principally Neandertals) and two samples of early modern humans (Middle Paleolithic and earlier Upper Paleolithic) provides little difference across the samples. All three Late Pleistocene samples have a dearth of older individuals compared with Holocene ethnographic/historical samples. They also lack older adults compared with Holocene paleodemographic profiles that have been critiqued for having too few older individuals for subsistence, social, and demographic viability. Although biased, probably through a combination of preservation, age assessment, and especially Pleistocene mobility requirements, these adult mortality distributions suggest low life expectancy and demographic instability across these Late Pleistocene human groups. They indicate only subtle and paleontologically invisible changes in human paleodemographics with the establishment of modern humans; they provide no support for a life history advantage among early modern humans. PMID:21220336

  13. Interpreting physiological responses to environmental change through gene expression profiling.

    PubMed

    Gracey, Andrew Y

    2007-05-01

    Identification of differentially expressed genes in response to environmental change offers insights into the roles of the transcriptome in the regulation of physiological responses. A variety of methods are now available to implement large-scale gene expression screens, and each method has specific advantages and disadvantages. Construction of custom cDNA microarrays remains the most popular route to implement expression screens in the non-model organisms favored by comparative physiologists, and we highlight some factors that should be considered when embarking along this path. Using a carp cDNA microarray, we have undertaken a broad, system-wide gene expression screen to investigate the physiological mechanisms underlying cold and hypoxia acclimation. This dataset provides a starting point from which to explore a range of specific mechanistic hypotheses at all levels of organization, from individual biochemical pathways to the level of the whole organism. We demonstrate the utility of two data analysis methods, Gene Ontology profiling and rank-based statistical methods, to summarize the probable physiological function of acclimation-induced gene expression changes, and to prioritize specific genes as candidates for further study. PMID:17449823

  14. Teaching global and local environmental change through Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauri, Emanuela Paola; Rossi, Giovanni

    2013-04-01

    Human beings perceive the world primarily through their sense of sight. This can explain why the use of images is so important and common in educational materials, in particular for scientific subjects. The development of modern technologies for visualizing the scientific features of the Earth has provided new opportunities for communicating the increasing complexity of science both to the public and in school education. In particular, the use of Earth observation satellites for civil purposes, which started in the 70s, has opened new perspectives in the study of natural phenomena and human impact on the environment; this is particularly relevant for those processes developing on a long term period and on a global scale. Instruments for Remote Sensing increase the power of human sight, giving access to additional information about the physical world, which the human eye could not otherwise perceive. The possibility to observe from a remote perspective significant processes like climate change, ozone depletion, desertification, urban development, makes it possible for observers to better appreciate and experience the complexity of environment. Remote Sensing reveals the impact of human activities on ecosystems: this allows students to understand important concepts like global and local change in much more depth. This poster describes the role and effectiveness of Remote Sensing imagery in scientific education, and its importance towards a better global environmental awareness.

  15. Stable-Isotope Perspectives on Holocene Environmental Change at Archaeological Sites in the Middle Tanana Valley, Interior Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, W. C.; Gaines, E. P.

    2010-12-01

    Summer of 2009, Colorado State University Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands conducted test excavations of 29 prehistoric archaeological sites situated on a loess-mantled morainal ridge complex within the Jarvis Creek valley of the Tanana River system at Fort Wainwright in Interior Alaska. Initial loess deposition on the moraines began about 13,000 cal yr BP, with subsequent long-term, nomadic occupation of the area occurring from 9,500 to 1,060 cal yr BP. An array of data were extracted from bulk-sediment samples and used to assess past environmental conditions. Parameters and approaches used to generate these data included stable carbon isotope ratios, magnetic susceptibility, biogenic opal analysis, detrital charcoal content, quantitative color (L*a*b), and particle-size distribution. Stable carbon isotope trends, in combination with the other environmental proxy data, document major environmental changes. Data from the glacial till-loess transition and lower silt mantle indicate that the area was cold and slightly mesic, and dominated by treeless C3-dominated grassland immediately after the terminal Pleistocene glacial retreat (~12,700 cal yr BP). A dearth of particulate charcoal and charred phytoliths from sediments of this period suggests a minor role for fire, e.g., only localized, small fires. Cold, treeless environmental conditions continued throughout the Early Holocene (~12,000-7,000 cal yr BP), though it was more mesic than earlier. Middle Holocene (~7000-5000 cal yr BP) data display a shift in C3 grass species (increased δ13C values), the appearance of a shrub component to the plant community, significant surface stability, and more widespread fire occurrence. Picea glauca (white spruce) and Alnus sp. (alder) appear in the later parts of the Middle Holocene, and charcoal concentration increases. The Late Holocene (since ~5,000 cal yr BP) witnessed a decline in P. glauca by about 50%, a tenfold increase in Alnus, and the appearance

  16. Sedimentological imprints of environmental variability at the Balkan Peninsula on the sediment sequence of Lake Ohrid (Macedonia, Albania) between the Mid Pleistocene Transition and present days: The ICDP SCOPSCO project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francke, Alexander; Wagner, Bernd; Leicher, Niklas; Raphael, Gromig; Leng, Melanie; Lacey, Jack; Vogel, Hendrik; Baumgarten, Henrike; Thomas, Wonik; Zanchetta, Giovanni; Roberto, Sulpizio; Krastel, Sebastian; Lindhorst, Katja

    2015-04-01

    The UNESCO World Heritage site of Lake Ohrid in the Balkans is thought to be the oldest, continuously existing lake in Europe. In order to unravel the geological and evolutionary history of the lake, a deep drilling campaign was conducted in spring 2013 under the umbrella of the ICDP SCOPSCO project. At the coring site "DEEP" in central parts of the lake, more than 1,500 m of sediments were recovered down to a penetration depth of 569 m blf. This sediment sequence is assumed to be more than 1.2 Ma old and likely covers the entire lacustrine deposits of the Lake Ohrid Basin. Currently, an age model for the upper 260m of the DEEP- site sequence is available. This age model is based on chronological tie points (tephrochronology), and wiggle matching of down hole logging data and (bio-)geochemistry data (XRF, TIC, TOC) from the core sequence to the global benthic stack LR04 and local insolation patterns. The data suggests that the upper 260 m of the DEEP-site sequence corresponds to the time period between the Mid Pleistocene Transition (MPT) and present days. During this period, the sedimentological properties of the sediments show a strong dependency on environmental variability in the area. Interglacial deposits appear massive or marbled, contain up to 80 % of CaCO3 (high TIC), high amounts of organic matter (high TOC) and biogenic silica (high BSi), and low contents of clastic material. Glacial deposits are predominantly marbled and calcite is generally absent. Similarly, the amounts of organic matter and biogenic silica are low, and glacial sediments predominately consist of clastic matter. Distinct layers of siderite and uniformly distributed Fe- or Mn- oxides occur in the glacial deposits, vivianite concretions occur in both the glacial and interglacial periods. High CaCO3 contents in deposits formed during warm (interglacial) periods are also known from studies on short pilot cores from Lake Ohrid and are triggered by increased productivity in the lake, such as

  17. Introduction to Pliocene-Pleistocene paleoceanography of the Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Kozo; Ravelo, A. Christina; Okazaki, Yusuke

    2016-03-01

    High resolution paleoceanography of the Pliocene-Pleistocene is important in understanding climate forcing mechanisms and associated environmental changes during this major transition from global warmth to the Ice Ages. This is particularly true in high latitude marginal seas such as the Bering Sea. The Bering Sea has been very sensitive to changes in global climate during interglacial and glacial, or Milankovitch, time scales. This is due to significant changes in water circulation, land-ocean interaction, and sea-ice formation. With the aim to reveal the climate and oceanographic history of the Bering Sea over the past 5 My, IODP Expedition 323 cored a total of 5741 m of sediment (97.4% recovery) at seven sites in 2009 on D/V JOIDES Resolution covering three regions: the Umnak Plateau, the Bowers Ridge, and the Bering Slope. The water depths of the drill sites range from 818 m to 3174 m, allowing for the characterization of past vertical water mass distribution including changes in the oxygen minimum zone. The four deepest holes range from 600 m to 745 m below the seafloor, and resulted in the recovery of long sediment sequences ranging from 1.9 My to 5 My in age. Following the expedition, two sampling parties at Kochi Core Center (for acquisition of ca. 58,000 subsamples) and two scientific meetings were conducted in order to proceed with the analyses of sediment core samples and discussions. Here, pertinent results, primarily from IODP Expedition 323, are consolidated as a single special volume of Deep-Sea Research Part II Topical Studies in Oceanography.

  18. Drivers and Dynamics of Global Environmental Change in Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewitt, Graham; Munishi, Subira; Kunz, Richard; Viola, Paula

    2010-05-01

    Africa's potential to provide food, fuel, fibre and fodder for future global food and energy security has made it a target for a myriad investors from developed and developing countries alike. In many places, land grants and purchases have led to the establishment of huge monoculture production areas for food, fuel, fibre (maize, sugar cane, jatropha, plantation forestry etc) often preceded by deforestation and large scale utilisation and modification of available water resources. This coupled with the likelihood of rapid urbanisation in Africa over the next forty years and associated impacts linked to the high concentrations of inhabitants utilising and ultimately degrading available natural resources (e.g. wood for charcoal; water quality) have made Africa's ecosystems and people amongst the most vulnerable to global environmental change. Key questions that arise are how available scientific knowledge can best be utilized to reduce this vulnerability, where key gaps in knowledge in understanding the inter-linkages between societal needs and Food- Fibre-Energy-Water supply exist and how to best address the necessary complexity of considering these at different spatial and temporal scales. Drawing on the Ecosystem Goods and Services approach, we present key messages from ongoing research activities in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Tanzania and report on progress in applying management tools and systems to support decision making in these areas where development needs are critical. We also highlight lessons drawn from situations where unintended consequences have resulted from well meaning or politically expedient initiatives linked to large donor or foreign investment schemes, such as "outgrower" programmes, and where major environmental damage and ultimately the permanent loss of productivity of some landscapes has occurred.

  19. The Glacier Peak Tephra: A Continental-Scale Latest Pleistocene Time Horizon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pyne-O'Donnell, S.; Cwynar, L. C.; Vincent, J. H.; Spear, R.; Froese, D. G.

    2014-12-01

    The latest Pleistocene eruptions of Glacier Peak in the Cascade Range deposited a widespread set of tephras throughout much of western North America within a short time span where they serve as valuable marker layers for inter-site correlation and chronostratigraphical control. We report the detection of these tephras in microscopic form in three lakes along the Eastern Seaboard (Maine and Nova Scotia). These distinct distal lake layers occur as closely spaced couplets which retain the subtle geochemical variation that characterises the proximal Glacier Peak G and B layers. New radiocarbon dates for the tephras also closely corroborate the most recently revised proximal dates for the tephras (ca. 13,700 - 13,400 cal. yr B.P) which found that they are ca. 400 14C yr older than hitherto thought. Their presence this far eastward implies that their deposition spans the intervening continent (>4000 km) and adds to a developing distal tephrostratigraphical framework with applications to studies of latest Pleistocene deglaciation and environmental change, megafaunal extinction and archaeology.

  20. Late to middle Pleistocene climate variability recorded in stalagmites from Sofular Cave, Northern Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleitmann, D.; Cheng, H.; Edwards, R. L.; Badertscher, S.; Tüysüz, O.

    2012-04-01

    The modern climate in Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean is strongly affected by two major climate systems; the North Atlantic/Siberian pressure system in winter and the Indian monsoon in summer. Turkey is thus ideally situated to study how and to what extent both systems were dynamically linked during the Holocene and Pleistocene. Our current knowledge of continental climate variability in Turkey relies almost entirely on lake records with only a few extending back to the Last Glacial Maximum and beyond. Another source of information on Pleistocene and Holocene climate variability is speleothems, which can be found in caves throughout Turkey. Here we present composite stalagmite oxygen and carbon isotope records from Sofular Cave located at the Black Sea coast in north-western Turkey, which cover the last 670.000 discontinuously. Uranium-series dates with unprecedented small age uncertainties of only 0.25-2% and highly resolved isotope profiles allow us to (1) identify the climatic impacts of Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events, (2) compare climatic and environmental conditions during different interglacial and glacial periods (Marine Isotope Stages 1-7, 9, 13 and 15) and (3) reveal changes in the hydrological state of the Black Sea in unprecedented detail.

  1. Male strategies and Plio-Pleistocene archaeology.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, J F; Hawkes, K; Lupo, K D; Blurton Jones, N G

    2002-12-01

    Archaeological data are frequently cited in support of the idea that big game hunting drove the evolution of early Homo, mainly through its role in offspring provisioning. This argument has been disputed on two grounds: (1) ethnographic observations on modern foragers show that although hunting may contribute a large fraction of the overall diet, it is an unreliable day-to-day food source, pursued more for status than subsistence; (2) archaeological evidence from the Plio-Pleistocene, coincident with the emergence of Homo can be read to reflect low-yield scavenging, not hunting. Our review of the archaeology yields results consistent with these critiques: (1) early humans acquired large-bodied ungulates primarily by aggressive scavenging, not hunting; (2) meat was consumed at or near the point of acquisition, not at home bases, as the hunting hypothesis requires; (3) carcasses were taken at highly variable rates and in varying degrees of completeness, making meat from big game an even less reliable food source than it is among modern foragers. Collectively, Plio-Pleistocene site location and assemblage composition are consistent with the hypothesis that large carcasses were taken not for purposes of provisioning, but in the context of competitive male displays. Even if meat were acquired more reliably than the archaeology indicates, its consumption cannot account for the significant changes in life history now seen to distinguish early humans from ancestral australopiths. The coincidence between the earliest dates for Homo ergaster and an increase in the archaeological visibility of meat eating that many find so provocative instead reflects: (1) changes in the structure of the environment that concentrated scavenging opportunities in space, making evidence of their pursuit more obvious to archaeologists; (2) H. ergaster's larger body size (itself a consequence of other factors), which improved its ability at interference competition. PMID:12473486

  2. Geomorphic and paleoclimatic implications of latest Pleistocene radiocarbon dates from colluvium-mantled hollows, California

    SciTech Connect

    Reneau, S.L.; Dietrich, W.E.; Dorn, R.I.; Berger, C.R.; Rubin, M.

    1986-08-01

    Radiocarbon analyses of charcoal from basal colluvium in 11 California hollows show a clustering of dates between 9000 and 15,000 B.P., an indication that changes in the storage and discharge of colluvium from hillslopes accompanied the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Hollows are sites of topographically induced convergence and deposition of colluvial debris, and evacuation of this debris was apparently more thorough and possibly more frequent in the latest Pleistocene, perhaps due to a combination of changes in vegetation and rainfall characteristics. One hypothesis is that greater storm intensities occurred in the latest Pleistocene and induced a higher frequency of landslides in hollows and a regional extension of channel heads upslope relative to the Holocene. During the last Pleistocene, California hollows apparently contained smaller volumes of colluvium in storage. The increased storage of debris during the Holocene may have resulted in a diminished supply of sediment to stream channels.

  3. Using (1)(0)Be cosmogenic isotopes to estimate erosion rates and landscape changes during the Plio-Pleistocene in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dirks, Paul H G M; Placzek, Christa J; Fink, David; Dosseto, Anthony; Roberts, Eric

    2016-07-01

    Concentrations of cosmogenic (10)Be, measured in quartz from chert and river sediment around the Cradle of Humankind (CoH), are used to determine basin-averaged erosion rates and estimate incision rates for local river valleys. This study focusses on the catchment area that hosts Malapa cave with Australopithecus sediba, in order to compare regional versus localized erosion rates, and better constrain the timing of cave formation and fossil entrapment. Basin-averaged erosion rates for six sub-catchments draining the CoH show a narrow range (3.00 ± 0.28 to 4.15 ± 0.37 m/Mega-annum [Ma]; ±1σ) regardless of catchment size or underlying geology; e.g. the sub-catchment with Malapa Cave (3 km(2)) underlain by dolomite erodes at the same rate (3.30 ± 0.30 m/Ma) as the upper Skeerpoort River catchment (87 km(2)) underlain by shale, chert and conglomerate (3.23 ± 0.30 m/Ma). Likewise, the Skeerpoort River catchment (147 km(2)) draining the northern CoH erodes at a rate (3.00 ± 0.28 m/Ma) similar to the Bloubank-Crocodile River catchment (627 km(2)) that drains the southern CoH (at 3.62 ± 0.33 to 4.15 ± 0.37 m/Ma). Dolomite- and siliciclastic-dominated catchments erode at similar rates, consistent with physical weathering as the rate controlling process, and a relatively dry climate in more recent times. Erosion resistant chert dykes along the Grootvleispruit River below Malapa yield an incision rate of ∼8 m/Ma at steady-state erosion rates for chert of 0.86 ± 0.54 m/Ma. Results provide better palaeo-depth estimates for Malapa Cave of 7-16 m at the time of deposition of A. sediba. Low basin-averaged erosion rates and concave river profiles indicate that the landscape across the CoH is old, and eroding slowly; i.e. the physical character of the landscape changed little in the last 3-4 Ma, and dolomite was exposed on surface probably well into the Miocene. The apparent absence of early Pliocene- or Miocene-aged cave deposits and

  4. Environmental Proteomics: Changes in the Proteome of Marine Organisms in Response to Environmental Stress, Pollutants, Infection, Symbiosis, and Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomanek, Lars

    2011-01-01

    Environmental proteomics, the study of changes in the abundance of proteins and their post-translational modifications, has become a powerful tool for generating hypotheses regarding how the environment affects the biology of marine organisms. Proteomics discovers hitherto unknown cellular effects of environmental stressors such as changes in thermal, osmotic, and anaerobic conditions. Proteomic analyses have advanced the characterization of the biological effects of pollutants and identified comprehensive and pollutant-specific sets of biomarkers, especially those highlighting post-translational modifications. Proteomic analyses of infected organisms have highlighted the broader changes occurring during immune responses and how the same pathways are attenuated during the maintenance of symbiotic relationships. Finally, proteomic changes occurring during the early life stages of marine organisms emphasize the importance of signaling events during development in a rapidly changing environment. Changes in proteins functioning in energy metabolism, cytoskeleton, protein stabilization and turnover, oxidative stress, and signaling are common responses to environmental change.

  5. Mission to Planet Earth: A program to understand global environmental change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    A description of Mission to Planet Earth, a program to understand global environmental change, is presented. Topics discussed include: changes in the environment; global warming; ozone depletion; deforestation; and NASA's role in global change research.

  6. Mission to Planet Earth: A program to understand global environmental change

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-02-01

    A description of Mission to Planet Earth, a program to understand global environmental change, is presented. Topics discussed include: changes in the environment; global warming; ozone depletion; deforestation; and NASA's role in global change research.

  7. The Sima de los Huesos (Burgos, northern Spain): palaeoenvironment and habitats of Homo heidelbergensis during the Middle Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, Nuria; Arsuaga, Juan Luis

    2011-06-01

    Interpreting how environmental dynamics respond to global climate change and how this has affected human evolution and dispersal is an on-going topic of debate. During the early Middle Pleistocene (˜0.6-0.4 Ma), as compared to earlier, environmental conditions were relatively more stable, with longer climatic cycles alternating between open and forested landscapes. During this interval, humans spread successfully providing an important number of fossil sites where fossils or tools are reported. The Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos (Burgos, northern Spain) site (Atapuerca-SH) is one of the earliest localities with hominin evidence in the European Middle Pleistocene, with the most important accumulation of Homo heidelbergensis so far. We have analyzed the abundant faunal record from Sima de los Huesos, which is mainly comprised of carnivores, in order to approach an interpretation of the palaeoenvironmental circumstances where these hominids inhabited within the Sierra. Other sites from Sierra de Atapuerca referred to the same Faunal Unit (FU 6), are roughly contemporaneous, and include important ungulates, which are here analyzed with Atapuerca-SH. Additional information provided by isotopic analysis helps elucidate the ancient ecology of taxa present in Sima de los Huesos allowing for an accurate portrayal of the setting in which humans lived. The timing of the spread of Homo heidelbergensis is dominated by a relative climatic and environmental stability and points to a landscape dominated by savannah-like open woodland.

  8. Environmental Tracers for Determining Water Resource Vulnerability to Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    Singleton, M

    2009-07-08

    Predicted changes in the climate will have profound impacts on water availability in the Western US, but large uncertainties exist in our ability to predict how natural and engineered hydrological systems will respond. Most predictions suggest that the impacts of climate change on California water resources are likely to include a decrease in the percentage of precipitation that falls as snow, earlier onset of snow-pack melting, and an increase in the number of rain on snow events. These processes will require changes in infrastructure for water storage and flood control, since much of our current water supply system is built around the storage of winter precipitation as mountain snow pack. Alpine aquifers play a critical role by storing and releasing snowmelt as baseflow to streams long after seasonal precipitation and the disappearance of the snow pack, and in this manner significantly impact the stream flow that drives our water distribution systems. Mountain groundwater recharge and, in particular, the contribution of snowmelt to recharge and baseflow, has been identified as a potentially significant effect missing from current climate change impact studies. The goal of this work is to understand the behavior of critical hydrologic systems, with an emphasis on providing ground truth for next generation models of climate-water system interactions by implementing LLNL capabilities in environmental tracer and isotopic science. We are using noble gas concentrations and multiple isotopic tracers ({sup 3}H/{sup 3}He, {sup 35}S, {sup 222}Rn, {sup 2}H/{sup 1}H, {sup 18}O/{sup 16}O, and {sup 13}C/{sup 12}C) in groundwater and stream water in a small alpine catchment to (1) provide a snapshot of temperature, altitude, and physical processes at the time of recharge, (2) determine subsurface residence times (over time scales ranging from months to decades) of different groundwater age components, and (3) deconvolve the contribution of these different groundwater components

  9. Quaternary climate and environmental changes have shaped genetic differentiation in a Chinese pheasant endemic to the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Gu, Langyu; Liu, Yang; Que, Pinjia; Zhang, Zhengwang

    2013-04-01

    The geological complexity generated by the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the resulting habitat heterogeneity have functioned together with climatic oscillations in the Quaternary to have a profound impact on the patterns of genetic diversity and demography of the fauna in this region. To understand the effect of the climatic and environmental shifts of the Quaternary on intraspecific genetic patterns and evolutionary history, we investigated the population genetic structure of the blue eared pheasant (Crossoptilon auritum), an endemic bird inhabiting the easternmost region of the plateau. Our phylogeographic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences and eight autosomal microsatellites reveals that the blue eared pheasant is subdivided into four distinct subpopulations: a central group (Huzhu and Taizi Mountains), a southern Zoige group, a southernmost Wanglang group and the northernmost Helan Mountain group. These groups are likely to have diverged in the Pleistocene, corresponding to geological changes and the interglacial-glacial climate oscillations that occurred at the eastern margin of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. These subpopulations thus represent major conservation units, especially for the isolated Helan subpopulation. Our findings provide evidence of population divergence driven by complex Quaternary climate and environmental changes and, once more, highlight the importance of phylogeographic studies for conservation endeavours. PMID:23280367

  10. From nature-dominated to human-dominated environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Messerli, Bruno; Grosjean, Martin; Hofer, Thomas; Núñez, Lautaro; Pfister, Christian

    2000-01-01

    To what extent is it realistic and useful to view human history as a sequence of changes from highly vulnerable societies of hunters and gatherers through periods with less vulnerable, well buffered and highly productive agrarian-urban societies to a world with regions of extreme overpopulation and overuse of life support systems, so that vulnerability to climatic-environmental changes and extreme events is again increasing? This question cannot be fully answered in our present state of knowledge, but at least we can try to illustrate, with three case studies from different continents, time periods and ecosystems, some fundamental changes in the relationship between natural processes and human activities that occur, as we pass from a nature-dominated to a human dominated environment. 1. Early-mid Holocene: Nature dominated environment — human adaptation, mitigation, and migration. In the central Andes, the Holocene climate changed from humid (10,800-8000 BP) to extreme arid (8000-3600 BP) conditions. Over the same period, prehistoric hunting communities adopted a more sedentary pattern of resource use by settling close to the few perennial water bodies, where they began the process of domesticating camelids around 5000 BP and irrigation from about 3100 BP. 2. Historical period: An agrarian society in transition from an "enduring" to an innovative human response. Detailed documentary evidence from Western Europe may be used to reconstruct quite precisely the impacts of climatic variations on agrarian societies. The period considered spans a major transition from an apparently passive response to the vagaries of the environment during the 16th century to an active and innovative attitude from the onset of the agrarian revolution in the late 18th century through to the present day. The associated changes in technology and in agricultural practices helped to create a society better able to survive the impact of climatic extremes. 3. The present day: A human dominated

  11. A 70,000 year multiproxy record of climatic and environmental change from Rano Aroi peatland (Easter Island)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margalef, Olga; Cañellas-Boltà, Núria; Pla-Rabes, Sergi; Giralt, Santiago; Pueyo, Juan Jose; Joosten, Hans; Rull, Valentí; Buchaca, Teresa; Hernández, Armand; Valero-Garcés, Blas L.; Moreno, Ana; Sáez, Alberto

    2013-09-01

    The Rano Aroi mire on Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui; 27°09‧S, 109°27‧W, 430 m above sea level) provides a unique non-marine record in the central South Pacific Ocean for reconstructing Late Pleistocene environmental changes. The results of a multiproxy study on two cores from the center and margin of the Rano Aroi mire, including peat stratigraphy, facies analysis, elemental and isotope geochemistry on bulk organic matter, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) core scanning and macrofossil analysis, were used to infer past water levels and vegetation changes. The chronology was based on 18 14C AMS dates for the upper 8.7 m. The extrapolated age for the base of the sequence is 70 kyr, which implies that this record is the oldest paleolimnological record on Easter Island. The recovered Rano Aroi sequence consists of a radicel peat formed primarily from the remains of sedges, grasses and Polygonaceae that have accumulated since Marine Isotopic Stage (MIS) 4 (70 kyr BP) to the present. From 60 to 40 kyr BP (MIS 3), high precipitation/runoff events were recorded as organic mud facies with lighter δ13C, low C/N values and high Ti content, indicating higher detritic input to the mire. A gradual shift in δ13C bulk organic matter from - 14% to - 26%, recorded between 50 and 45 cal kyr BP, suggests a progressive change in local peat-forming vegetation from C4 to C3 plant types. Post-depositional Ca and Fe enrichment during sub-aerial peat exposure and very low sedimentation rates indicate lower water tables during Late MIS 3 (39-31 cal kyr BP). During MIS 2 (27.8-19 cal kyr BP), peat production rates were very low, most likely due to cold temperatures, as reconstructed from other Easter Island records during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Geochemical and macrofossil evidence shows that peat accumulation reactivates at approximately 17.5 cal kyr BP, reaching the highest accumulation rates at 14 cal kyr BP. Peat accretion decreased from 5.0 to 2.5 cal kyr BP, coinciding

  12. Size variation in Middle Pleistocene humans.

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, J L; Carretero, J M; Lorenzo, C; Gracia, A; Martínez, I; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Carbonell, E

    1997-08-22

    It has been suggested that European Middle Pleistocene humans, Neandertals, and prehistoric modern humans had a greater sexual dimorphism than modern humans. Analysis of body size variation and cranial capacity variation in the large sample from the Sima de los Huesos site in Spain showed instead that the sexual dimorphism is comparable in Middle Pleistocene and modern populations. PMID:9262474

  13. Mid Pleistocene foraminiferal mass extinction coupled with phytoplankton evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kender, Sev; McClymont, Erin L.; Elmore, Aurora C.; Emanuele, Dario; Leng, Melanie J.; Elderfield, Henry

    2016-06-01

    Understanding the interaction between climate and biotic evolution is crucial for deciphering the sensitivity of life. An enigmatic mass extinction occurred in the deep oceans during the Mid Pleistocene, with a loss of over 100 species (20%) of sea floor calcareous foraminifera. An evolutionarily conservative group, benthic foraminifera often comprise >50% of eukaryote biomass on the deep-ocean floor. Here we test extinction hypotheses (temperature, corrosiveness and productivity) in the Tasman Sea, using geochemistry and micropalaeontology, and find evidence from several globally distributed sites that the extinction was caused by a change in phytoplankton food source. Coccolithophore evolution may have enhanced the seasonal `bloom' nature of primary productivity and fundamentally shifted it towards a more intra-annually variable state at ~0.8 Ma. Our results highlight intra-annual variability as a potential new consideration for Mid Pleistocene global biogeochemical climate models, and imply that deep-sea biota may be sensitive to future changes in productivity.

  14. Unconventional politics of unconventional gas: Environmental reframing and policy change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kear, Andrew Robert

    The present Rocky Mountain West natural gas boom, enabled by historic pro-resource-development political, institutional, economic, and cultural structures, is a politically contested battle over values. Volatile political action, unconventional coalitions, and unconventional politics engulf this unconventional gas boom -- especially at the state level. In this comparative case study of natural gas policy in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, I measure and compare these values, expressed as frames, through textual analysis of interest group public documents and state legislative bills and statutes from 1999-2008. By developing a new measure of state legislative framing, I test the relationship between interest group and institutional framing and also provide a viable measure of policy change useful to Narrative Policy Analysis theory. Results show that competing interest group and state legislative framing efforts are dynamic, measurably different, and periodically correlative. Competing interest groups rarely engage each other, except as the conflict matures when status-quo-supporters break their silence and engage the challengers' frames that have gained legislative traction. Environmental and land-use counter-framing ensues, but status-quo-supporters remain vigilant in their economic framing. Economic frames retain their institutional privilege within Wyoming and New Mexico, but natural gas policy undergoes a complete environmental reframe in the Colorado state legislature. Although the historically dominant economy frame based on "Old West" values remains largely intact, the respective state legislatures partially reframe policy (within 4 years) using environment, alternative land-uses, and democracy frames based on "New West" and long-extant but previously marginalized status-quo-challenger definitions. This reframing is not a strictly partisan issue, but rather it is influenced by political context, policy diffusion, and long-term interest group advocacy and

  15. Design and Environmental Verification of Chang'E-3 Moon-night Survival Device for APXS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, D. Y.; Wu, J.; Hu, Y. M.; Chang, J.; Gong, Y. Z.; Cai, M. S.; Wang, H. Y.; Zhang, J. Y.; Cui, X. Z.; Wang, J. Y.

    2015-09-01

    The Active Particle X-ray Spectrum (APXS) is one of the 4 scientific payloads of Chang'E-3 (CE-3) Lunar Rover, of which the scientific object is to identify the elements of lunar soil and rock samples. In this paper, the moon-night temperature of the moon surface will be described, and due to the cold environment the APXS will undergo after its landing. Thus, a specialized instrument which is named the moon-night survival device using the Radioisotope Heat Unit (RHU) as its heater source is designed to ensure APXS storage temperature requirements with limited sources on the satellite. In the end, a series of environmental tests are performed, and the installation of RHU on the launch tower as well as the status of the APXS working on orbit is presented since its launching in 2013.

  16. Comparison between the Amount of Environmental Change and the Amount of Transcriptome Change

    PubMed Central

    Ogata, Norichika; Kozaki, Toshinori; Yokoyama, Takeshi; Hata, Tamako; Iwabuchi, Kikuo

    2015-01-01

    Cells must coordinate adjustments in genome expression to accommodate changes in their environment. We hypothesized that the amount of transcriptome change is proportional to the amount of environmental change. To capture the effects of environmental changes on the transcriptome, we compared transcriptome diversities (defined as the Shannon entropy of frequency distribution) of silkworm fat-body tissues cultured with several concentrations of phenobarbital. Although there was no proportional relationship, we did identify a drug concentration “tipping point” between 0.25 and 1.0 mM. Cells cultured in media containing lower drug concentrations than the tipping point showed uniformly high transcriptome diversities, while those cultured at higher drug concentrations than the tipping point showed uniformly low transcriptome diversities. The plasticity of transcriptome diversity was corroborated by cultivations of fat bodies in MGM-450 insect medium without phenobarbital and in 0.25 mM phenobarbital-supplemented MGM-450 insect medium after previous cultivation (cultivation for 80 hours in MGM-450 insect medium without phenobarbital, followed by cultivation for 10 hours in 1.0 mM phenobarbital-supplemented MGM-450 insect medium). Interestingly, the transcriptome diversities of cells cultured in media containing 0.25 mM phenobarbital after previous cultivation (cultivation for 80 hours in MGM-450 insect medium without phenobarbital, followed by cultivation for 10 hours in 1.0 mM phenobarbital-supplemented MGM-450 insect medium) were different from cells cultured in media containing 0.25 mM phenobarbital after previous cultivation (cultivation for 80 hours in MGM-450 insect medium without phenobarbital). This hysteretic phenomenon of transcriptome diversities indicates multi-stability of the genome expression system. Cellular memories were recorded in genome expression networks as in DNA/histone modifications. PMID:26657512

  17. Comparison between the Amount of Environmental Change and the Amount of Transcriptome Change.

    PubMed

    Ogata, Norichika; Kozaki, Toshinori; Yokoyama, Takeshi; Hata, Tamako; Iwabuchi, Kikuo

    2015-01-01

    Cells must coordinate adjustments in genome expression to accommodate changes in their environment. We hypothesized that the amount of transcriptome change is proportional to the amount of environmental change. To capture the effects of environmental changes on the transcriptome, we compared transcriptome diversities (defined as the Shannon entropy of frequency distribution) of silkworm fat-body tissues cultured with several concentrations of phenobarbital. Although there was no proportional relationship, we did identify a drug concentration "tipping point" between 0.25 and 1.0 mM. Cells cultured in media containing lower drug concentrations than the tipping point showed uniformly high transcriptome diversities, while those cultured at higher drug concentrations than the tipping point showed uniformly low transcriptome diversities. The plasticity of transcriptome diversity was corroborated by cultivations of fat bodies in MGM-450 insect medium without phenobarbital and in 0.25 mM phenobarbital-supplemented MGM-450 insect medium after previous cultivation (cultivation for 80 hours in MGM-450 insect medium without phenobarbital, followed by cultivation for 10 hours in 1.0 mM phenobarbital-supplemented MGM-450 insect medium). Interestingly, the transcriptome diversities of cells cultured in media containing 0.25 mM phenobarbital after previous cultivation (cultivation for 80 hours in MGM-450 insect medium without phenobarbital, followed by cultivation for 10 hours in 1.0 mM phenobarbital-supplemented MGM-450 insect medium) were different from cells cultured in media containing 0.25 mM phenobarbital after previous cultivation (cultivation for 80 hours in MGM-450 insect medium without phenobarbital). This hysteretic phenomenon of transcriptome diversities indicates multi-stability of the genome expression system. Cellular memories were recorded in genome expression networks as in DNA/histone modifications. PMID:26657512

  18. Tepexpan revisited: A multiple proxy of local environmental changes in relation to human occupation from a paleolake shore section in Central Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedov, Sergey; Lozano-García, Socorro; Solleiro-Rebolledo, Elizabeth; McClung de Tapia, Emily; Ortega-Guerrero, Beatriz; Sosa-Nájera, Susana

    2010-10-01

    Building up a scenario of Late Pleistocene-Holocene environmental change and human-landscape interactions in Central Mexico - one of the key areas for the natural and cultural history of America - requires development of local paleoenvironmental reconstructions. We studied the Tepexpan section at the edge of Texcoco a paleolake, near the mouth of Teotihuacan Valley as a multiproxy record of the environmental dynamics at the shore in the Basin of Mexico throughout the period of human occupation. The section is located in an ecotone affected by intensive and variable geomorphic processes and includes lacustrine, fluvial and volcanic sediments as well as paleosols. Our chronological scale is based on 6 AMS 14C dates from pollen concentrates and paleosol organic matter. The lower segment of the section dominated by the lacustrine sediments yielded pollen spectra; in the upper segment the record is based on the pedogenetic characteristics of paleosols. Different proxies agree in demonstrating the general trend (although some reversals are apparent) of decreasing effective moisture since MIS3: it is reflected first in the increase of herbaceous pollen after 27 ka BP, the decrease of lake level, the cessation of lacustrine sedimentation and beginning of marsh soil development at 10 ka BP and finally, the shift from hydromorphic to dryland semiarid pedogenesis in the Late Holocene. We assume that this trend was climatically controlled, whereas the deposition of sedimentary layers enriched with tephra are related to the pulses of volcanic activity; the pedosedimentary features associated with the upper soil are human-induced. Comparing the proposed scheme of environmental change with the archaeological record we propose that the initial settlers, Late Paleolithic hunters, could have utilized the wet swampy meadows which expanded on the Basin bottom as the lake level lowered and provided the niche for large herbivores during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Development

  19. Record of Environmental Change in San Francisco Bay, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGann, M.

    2004-05-01

    Benthic foraminifera in a 3.52 m core recovered from San Francisco Bay, CA yield a 3,800-year sediment record of climate and environmental change. The microfaunal assemblage of the core contains abundant subtidal estuarine benthic foraminifers found today at shallow water depths (<10 m) in the bay. A Q-mode cluster analysis of the samples grouped them into two clusters and one outlier. Cluster A is dominated by the herbivorous species Elphidium excavatum; its abundance often comprises 70-90% of the foraminiferal assemblage. Today, the species typically resides in cold, estuarine waters. Its dominance in the core from 352-150 cm (1920 B.C. to A.D. 652) and 88-18 cm (from A.D. 1224 to A.D. 1980) suggests that this area of the bay has remained relatively cold and shallow for about 3400 years out of the last four millennia. Cluster B, the Ammonia beccarii-Elphidium gunteri association, occurs from 150-88 cm in the core and is interpreted as representing warmer and possibly lower oxygenated conditions from A.D. 652 to A.D. 1224. The outlier, Cluster C (A.D. 1980 to present), is attributable to the recent appearance of the invasive Japanese species Trochammina hadai. Oxygen isotopes and trace elements were measured in specimens of Elphidium excavatum at 10 cm intervals throughout the length of the core. From 150-88 cm (A.D. 652 to A.D. 1224), d 18O values (mean = -3.81 mil) average 0.3 and 0.2 mil lighter than below and above this interval, respectively, corresponding to an increase in water temperature of about 1 deg C in the bay. A heightened Mg/Ca ratio at this time also indicates an increase in water temperature (by 0.3 deg C). The timing of this warming correlates well with records of the Medieval Warm Period. Trochammina hadai was introduced into the bay in the early 1980s, presumably in ballast sediment released from transoceanic vessels. In its native Japan, this species is often found in the most heavily polluted urban areas; its presence being regarded as an

  20. Environmental Changes Can Produce Shifts in Chagas Disease Infection Risk

    PubMed Central

    Cordovez, Juan M; Sanabria, Camilo

    2014-01-01

    An epidemiological network contains all the organisms involved (types) in the transmission of a parasite. The nodes of the network represent reservoirs, hosts, and vectors, while the links between the nodes represent the strength and direction of parasite movement. Networks that contain humans are of special interest because they are of concern to public health authorities. Under these circumstances, it is possible, in principle, to identify cycles (closed paths in the network) that include humans and select the ones that carry the maximum probability of human infection. The basic reproduction number R0 in such a network gives the average number of new infections of any type after the introduction of one individual infected by any type. To obtain R0 for complex networks, one can use the next-generation matrix (NGM) approach. Every entry in NGM will average the contribution of each link that connects two types. To tease the contribution of every cycle apart, we define the virulence as the geometric mean of the NGM entries corresponding to the links therein. This approach allows for the quantification of specific cycles of interest while it also makes the computation of the sensitivity and elasticity of the parameters easier. In this work, we compute the virulence for the transmission dynamics of Chagas disease for a typical rural area in Colombia incorporating the effect of environmental changes on the vector population size. We concluded that the highest contribution to human infection comes from humans themselves, which is a surprising and interesting result. In addition, sensitivity analysis revealed that increasing vector population size increases the risk of human infection. PMID:25574142

  1. Changes in Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure: The Beaver Dam Experience

    PubMed Central

    Wichmann, Margarete A; Cruickshanks, Karen J; Nondahl, David M; Chappell, Richard; Klein, Barbara E K; Klein, Ronald; Fischer, Mary E

    2013-01-01

    Objectives Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure has been associated with adverse health outcomes. Our goal was to determine if ETS exposure changed between 1998–2000 and 2003–2005 among participants in the population-based Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study. Methods ETS exposure was ascertained using a cotinine-validated questionnaire at the 5-year (1998–2000) and 10-year follow-up examinations (2003–2005). Non-smoking participants with data from both visits were included (n=1898; ages 53–96 years at 5-yr follow-up). McNemar’s test was used to test differences in ETS exposure overall and in three settings: home, work, and social settings. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used for multivariate logistic regression models of exposure. Results The proportion of nonsmokers with no or little ETS exposure increased from 80% to 88% (p<0.0001). The percent living in a home with no indoor smokers increased from 94% to 97% (p<0.0001). The percent reporting no exposure at work increased from 91% to 95% (p<0.0001). The percent reporting the lowest frequency of social exposure increased from 65% to 77% (p<0.0001). In the GEE model, age was inversely associated with exposure (Odds Ratio (OR) per 5 yr=0.80, 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI)=0.76, 0.86), as was education (OR for college vs

  2. Evolutionary History of Lagomorphs in Response to Global Environmental Change

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Deyan; Wen, Zhixin; Xia, Lin; Zhang, Zhaoqun; Erbajeva, Margarita; Huang, Chengming; Yang, Qisen

    2013-01-01

    Although species within Lagomorpha are derived from a common ancestor, the distribution range and body size of its two extant groups, ochotonids and leporids, are quite differentiated. It is unclear what has driven their disparate evolutionary history. In this study, we compile and update all fossil records of Lagomorpha for the first time, to trace the evolutionary processes and infer their evolutionary history using mitochondrial genes, body length and distribution of extant species. We also compare the forage selection of extant species, which offers an insight into their future prospects. The earliest lagomorphs originated in Asia and later diversified in different continents. Within ochotonids, more than 20 genera occupied the period from the early Miocene to middle Miocene, whereas most of them became extinct during the transition from the Miocene to Pliocene. The peak diversity of the leporids occurred during the Miocene to Pliocene transition, while their diversity dramatically decreased in the late Quaternary. Mantel tests identified a positive correlation between body length and phylogenetic distance of lagomorphs. The body length of extant ochotonids shows a normal distribution, while the body length of extant leporids displays a non-normal pattern. We also find that the forage selection of extant pikas features a strong preference for C3 plants, while for the diet of leporids, more than 16% of plant species are identified as C4 (31% species are from Poaceae). The ability of several leporid species to consume C4 plants is likely to result in their size increase and range expansion, most notably in Lepus. Expansion of C4 plants in the late Miocene, the so-called ‘nature’s green revolution’, induced by global environmental change, is suggested to be one of the major ‘ecological opportunities’, which probably drove large-scale extinction and range contraction of ochotonids, but inversely promoted diversification and range expansion of leporids

  3. Differential physiological responses to environmental change promote woody shrub expansion.

    PubMed

    Heskel, Mary; Greaves, Heather; Kornfeld, Ari; Gough, Laura; Atkin, Owen K; Turnbull, Matthew H; Shaver, Gaius; Griffin, Kevin L

    2013-05-01

    Direct and indirect effects of warming are increasingly modifying the carbon-rich vegetation and soils of the Arctic tundra, with important implications for the terrestrial carbon cycle. Understanding the biological and environmental influences on the processes that regulate foliar carbon cycling in tundra species is essential for predicting the future terrestrial carbon balance in this region. To determine the effect of climate change impacts on gas exchange in tundra, we quantified foliar photosynthesis (A net), respiration in the dark and light (R D and R L, determined using the Kok method), photorespiration (PR), carbon gain efficiency (CGE, the ratio of photosynthetic CO2 uptake to total CO2 exchange of photosynthesis, PR, and respiration), and leaf traits of three dominant species - Betula nana, a woody shrub; Eriophorum vaginatum, a graminoid; and Rubus chamaemorus, a forb - grown under long-term warming and fertilization treatments since 1989 at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Under warming, B. nana exhibited the highest rates of A net and strongest light inhibition of respiration, increasing CGE nearly 50% compared with leaves grown in ambient conditions, which corresponded to a 52% increase in relative abundance. Gas exchange did not shift under fertilization in B. nana despite increases in leaf N and P and near-complete dominance at the community scale, suggesting a morphological rather than physiological response. Rubus chamaemorus, exhibited minimal shifts in foliar gas exchange, and responded similarly to B. nana under treatment conditions. By contrast, E. vaginatum, did not significantly alter its gas exchange physiology under treatments and exhibited dramatic decreases in relative cover (warming: -19.7%; fertilization: -79.7%; warming with fertilization: -91.1%). Our findings suggest a foliar physiological advantage in the woody shrub B. nana that is further mediated by warming and increased soil nutrient availability, which may facilitate shrub expansion and

  4. Differential physiological responses to environmental change promote woody shrub expansion

    PubMed Central

    Heskel, Mary; Greaves, Heather; Kornfeld, Ari; Gough, Laura; Atkin, Owen K; Turnbull, Matthew H; Shaver, Gaius; Griffin, Kevin L

    2013-01-01

    Direct and indirect effects of warming are increasingly modifying the carbon-rich vegetation and soils of the Arctic tundra, with important implications for the terrestrial carbon cycle. Understanding the biological and environmental influences on the processes that regulate foliar carbon cycling in tundra species is essential for predicting the future terrestrial carbon balance in this region. To determine the effect of climate change impacts on gas exchange in tundra, we quantified foliar photosynthesis (Anet), respiration in the dark and light (RD and RL, determined using the Kok method), photorespiration (PR), carbon gain efficiency (CGE, the ratio of photosynthetic CO2 uptake to total CO2 exchange of photosynthesis, PR, and respiration), and leaf traits of three dominant species – Betula nana, a woody shrub; Eriophorum vaginatum, a graminoid; and Rubus chamaemorus, a forb – grown under long-term warming and fertilization treatments since 1989 at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Under warming, B. nana exhibited the highest rates of Anet and strongest light inhibition of respiration, increasing CGE nearly 50% compared with leaves grown in ambient conditions, which corresponded to a 52% increase in relative abundance. Gas exchange did not shift under fertilization in B. nana despite increases in leaf N and P and near-complete dominance at the community scale, suggesting a morphological rather than physiological response. Rubus chamaemorus, exhibited minimal shifts in foliar gas exchange, and responded similarly to B. nana under treatment conditions. By contrast, E. vaginatum, did not significantly alter its gas exchange physiology under treatments and exhibited dramatic decreases in relative cover (warming: −19.7%; fertilization: −79.7%; warming with fertilization: −91.1%). Our findings suggest a foliar physiological advantage in the woody shrub B. nana that is further mediated by warming and increased soil nutrient availability, which may facilitate shrub

  5. Evolutionary history of lagomorphs in response to global environmental change.

    PubMed

    Ge, Deyan; Wen, Zhixin; Xia, Lin; Zhang, Zhaoqun; Erbajeva, Margarita; Huang, Chengming; Yang, Qisen

    2013-01-01

    Although species within Lagomorpha are derived from a common ancestor, the distribution range and body size of its two extant groups, ochotonids and leporids, are quite differentiated. It is unclear what has driven their disparate evolutionary history. In this study, we compile and update all fossil records of Lagomorpha for the first time, to trace the evolutionary processes and infer their evolutionary history using mitochondrial genes, body length and distribution of extant species. We also compare the forage selection of extant species, which offers an insight into their future prospects. The earliest lagomorphs originated in Asia and later diversified in different continents. Within ochotonids, more than 20 genera occupied the period from the early Miocene to middle Miocene, whereas most of them became extinct during the transition from the Miocene to Pliocene. The peak diversity of the leporids occurred during the Miocene to Pliocene transition, while their diversity dramatically decreased in the late Quaternary. Mantel tests identified a positive correlation between body length and phylogenetic distance of lagomorphs. The body length of extant ochotonids shows a normal distribution, while the body length of extant leporids displays a non-normal pattern. We also find that the forage selection of extant pikas features a strong preference for C(3) plants, while for the diet of leporids, more than 16% of plant species are identified as C(4) (31% species are from Poaceae). The ability of several leporid species to consume C(4) plants is likely to result in their size increase and range expansion, most notably in Lepus. Expansion of C(4) plants in the late Miocene, the so-called 'nature's green revolution', induced by global environmental change, is suggested to be one of the major 'ecological opportunities', which probably drove large-scale extinction and range contraction of ochotonids, but inversely promoted diversification and range expansion of leporids. PMID

  6. Paleosols as Archives of Environmental Change in Deep Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowley, Quentin

    2015-04-01

    Paleosols develop at the geosphere-atmosphere interface and potentially provide an archive of environmental conditions at the time of their formation. Although paleosols from deep time can be difficult to recognize due to the masking of pedogenic features by metamorphism and deformation, they may record transient (i.e. time-dependent) events which are often difficult to recognize in other geological proxies. Paleosols from the Archean and Paleoproterozoic are rare and complex to study, but offer an opportunity to gain insight into what may be relatively short-scale temporal variations in the Earth's atmospheric composition. For instance, it is widely believed that atmospheric oxygen saturation rose from <10E-05 present atmospheric level (PAL) in the Archean to >10E-02 PAL at the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) at ca. 2.4 Ga. Until recently however, chemical or physical evidence from paleosols for earlier oxygenation events were generally thought to be lacking. Recent studies of paleosols from eastern India (Keonjhar Paleosol, Singhbhum Craton) and South Africa (Nsuze Paleosol, Kaapvaal Craton) have provided chemical evidence for transient Mesoarchean atmospheric oxygenation at ca. 3.0 Ga. These paleosols are considered to preserve the earliest known vestiges of terrestrial oxidative weathering, signifying a transient, early oxygen accumulation in the Earth's atmosphere. This has far-reaching implications from both atmospheric and biological evolutionary perspectives in that chemical signatures preserved in these Mesoarchean paleosols are thought to signify the presence of molecular oxygen at levels higher than those attributable to photo-dissociation of atmospheric water alone. Such elevated levels of atmospheric oxygen could only be due to the presence of a sufficiently large biomass of micro-organisms capable of oxidative photosynthesis. Although the Archean-Paleoproterozoic paleosol geological record is fragmentary and geochemical signatures are not necessarily

  7. Changing Issue Representation among Major United States Environmental Movement Organizations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Erik

    2006-01-01

    Histories of the environmental movement have emphasized the importance of a shift in focus from those issues traditionally associated with the movement, such as resource and wildlife protection, towards "new" quality of life issues, such as environmental pollution and its human health effects. Here, time-series data between 1970 and 2000 on the…

  8. Changes and Trends in Environmental Education (1970-75)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trent, John H.

    1976-01-01

    Presented are the results of a study in which questionnaires were sent to each state department of education and 777 randomly selected colleges of education to determine the status of environmental education. There appears to be some detectable trends in environmental education. (BT)

  9. Potential Perils of Changing Environmental Context on Examination Scores

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Der Wege, Mija; Barry, Leslie A.

    2008-01-01

    Environmental context can affect memory retrieval in a wide range of situations. The authors investigate the relationship between the location of a collegiate final examination and student performance. Although several other studies have looked at the impact of environmental context on test taking, this study does so in a real-world environment,…

  10. Students as Catalysts of Environmental Change: A Framework for Researching Intergenerational Influence through Environmental Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ballantyne, Roy; Connell, Sharon; Fien, John

    2006-01-01

    Many environmental problems are desperately in need of attention. Educating both adults and young people is seen as part of the solution to such problems. Given this situation, and the already considerable investment in environmental education in schools, the notion of encouraging students to initiate environmental discussions with adults at home…

  11. Fragilariopsis diatom evolution in Pliocene and Pleistocene Antarctic shelf sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sjunneskog, Charlotte; Riesselman, Christina; Winter, Diane; Scherer, Reed

    2012-01-01

    The late Pliocene – early Pleistocene sediment record in the AND-1B core from the McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica, displays a rich diversity and high abundance of diatoms, including several new morphologies within the genus Fragilariopsis. These new morphologies exhibit similarities to the extinct late Miocene/early Pliocene species Fragilariopsis aurica Gersonde and Fragilariopsis praecurta Gersonde, as well as to the modern sea ice-associated species Fragilariopsis ritscheri Hustedt and Fragilariopsis obliquecostata van Heurck. From the diverse morphologies present, we use light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to identify and describe the characteristics of three new taxa, Fragilariopsis laqueata Riesselman, Fragilariopsis bohatyi Sjunneskog et Riesselman, and Fragilariopsis robusta Sjunneskog, which are common in the diatom-bearing intervals from ~3.2 to 1.95 Ma. Comparisons with extant and extinct species are made to assess possible environmental affinities, evolutionary relationships, and potential for future biostratigraphic utility. This complex of newmorphologies diversified as conditions cooled during the Pliocene, then went into decline as heavy sea ice conditions of the Pleistocene were established. Only the lineage of F. robusta appears to continue into the late Pleistocene, where it is interpreted to have evolved into F. obliquecostata.

  12. What Is Climate Change? (Environmental Health Student Portal)

    MedlinePlus

    ... vs Climate Change Global Warming (National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration) - Introduction to global warming with links to greenhouse effect, sea levels, and future climate change. Games and ...

  13. The forgotten casualties: women, children, and environmental change.

    PubMed

    Cutter, S L

    1995-06-01

    The author posits that women and children bear a disproportionate burden of environmental degradation and are in the worst position to mitigate the consequences of deteriorating environmental conditions. This article discusses the concept of environmental equity or fairness and its sociospatial impacts and the different adjustments made by women and children. Environmental equity is both an outcome and a process. Process equity includes the underlying causes of uneven distributions of resources. The 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development defines 27 specific principles that broadly follow three forms of equity: social equity, generational equity, and procedural equity. Social equity is defined as the role of social, economic, and political forces in resource consumption and environmental degradation. Environmental risk is related to locational criteria such as cheap land and transportation access and by the social geography of places. Hazardous waste dumping is used to illustrate inequitable waste disposal in developing countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and South Korea. Generational equity is defined as fairness over time. The issue of permanent radioactive waste disposal is a current issue that has implications for future generations. Three strategies are important in assuring generational equity: the maintenance of natural and cultural diversity; a reduction in environmental degradation; and the provision of equal access to resources. Preservation of parkland is a positive strategy and lack of access to health services and reproductive health care is a negative strategy. Procedural equity is defined as the extent to which regulations are applied fairly. The example is given of higher fines for dumping waste in "nice White communities" compared to minority ones. Environmental law regulating hazardous waste exports has been minimally effective. Women and children are affected by particulate pollution and

  14. From cause-effect-analysis to adaptation to hydrological change: Impacts of environmental change on catchment hydrology and water management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bormann, Helge

    2010-05-01

    The water cycle of catchments is influenced by different forcings and boundary conditions causing an observed or a possible future hydrological change. Regional climate is variable or even changing, land use is altered due socioeconomic drivers, and humans are taking actions directly in rivers or in the natural groundwater storage in order to regulate the water flows in a catchment. In those cases where hydrological change is observed, very often focus is set on single cause-effect-relationships, first. Sometimes, satisfying correlation is found, and a single cause-effect-relationship can be derived. But just as often correlations cannot sufficiently explain the hydrological change. Integrative approaches are required in order to consider that different changes occur simultaneously. However, interactions between the different causes of hydrological change are complex, and the differentiation of their individual share of hydrological change is difficult. This presentation points out that different strategies are required to investigate the effects of historical and future changes on catchment hydrological behaviour. These differences are due to limitations in data availability and model validity under changing environmental conditions. Examples on the value and the limitation of the analysis of individual cause-effect-relationships between environmental change (land use and climate change) and hydrological change are provided. Despite their limited consideration of the ‘complexity' of environmental change they can contribute to analyse the system. The problem of model validity for future environmental conditions is discussed, which can be reduced by applying multi-model-ensembles. Finally, it will be illustrated that scenario analysis is a valuable tool to quantify possible future hydrological change. Knowing reliable ‘numbers' of change is a prerequisite for a successful adaptation to changing environmental conditions, i.e. of the regional water management to

  15. Crime prevention through social and physical environmental change

    PubMed Central

    Nietzel, Michael T.; Himelein, Melissa J.

    1987-01-01

    One approach to crime prevention where behavior analysts can make important contributions is the modification of environmental opportunities and victim vulnerabilities that are related to higher rates of offending. Examples of environmental crime prevention are discussed in the following areas: (1) modifying physical environments in order to “harden” targets of crime, (2) training victims to be less vulnerable to victimization, (3) eliminating portrayals of certain groups of people that legitimize their victimization, and (4) organizing neighborhoods and communities to strengthen their means of social control. Two implications of environmental crime prevention—the role of individual differences and the scope of prevention—are discussed. PMID:22477962

  16. Lake Geneva sediments: Archive for past environmental changes and human activity during the last 3000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kremer, Katrina; Corella, Juan Pablo; Girardclos, Stéphanie

    2013-04-01

    Lake sediments are excellent archives of environmental changes in the watershed and provide high-resolution records of regional paleohydrological variability. Lake Geneva is the largest peri-alpine lake in western Europe, with a maximal water depth of 309 m. It is part of the Rhone river system and was formed during the Pleistocene by glacial erosion. Our study focuses on the deepest part of the lake basin, where sedimentation is mainly controlled by fluvial input from the Rhone and Dranse rivers. These two river systems are sensitive to regional climate variations in the alpine realm and to human activity that affect the discharge regime and sediment delivery to the lake. In Lake Geneva, high resolution seismic reflection profiles reveal two distinct units in the late Holocene sedimentation history. One unit (Unit 1) consists of a succession of five large lens-shaped seismic sub-units, characterized by transparent/chaotic seismic facies with irregular lower boundaries, interpreted as mass-movement deposits. These sub-units are interbedded within parallel, continuous, high-amplitude reflections, interpreted as the 'background' lake sediment. The second unit (Unit 2) consists of 5 m-thick 'background' seismic facies with parallel geometry. It displays alternating dm-thick chaotic/transparent and continuous, high amplitude reflections, which are interpreted as hemipelagic layers punctuated by turbidites. This turbidite layers, are interpreted as floods- and mass movement-related deposits. Four 7- to 12-m long sediment cores were retrieved with a modified Kullenberg system from the deepest part of Lake Geneva. The sedimentary sequence spans the last 3000 years. Magnetic susceptibility and density were measured by Geotek Multisensor Core Logger at 0.5 cm resolution. X-ray fluorescence was carried out using an Avaatech core scanner from the University of Barcelona at 1-cm resolution. This technique provides semi-quantitative information of the sediment elemental

  17. Environmental signaling and evolutionary change: can exposure of pregnant mammals to environmental estrogens lead to epigenetically induced evolutionary changes in embryos?

    PubMed

    Guerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Sabat, Pablo; Valladares, Luis

    2005-01-01

    DNA methylation is one of the epigenetic and hereditary mechanisms regulating genetic expression in mammalian cells. In this review, we propose how certain natural agents, through their dietary consumption, could induce changes in physiological aspects in mammalian mothers, leading to alterations in DNA methylation patterns of the developing fetus and to the emergence of new phenotypes and evolutionary change. Nevertheless, we hypothesize that this process would require (i) certain key periods in the ontogeny of the organism where the environmental stimuli could produce effects, (ii) particular environmental agents as such stimuli, and (iii) that a genomic persistent change be consequently produced in a population. Depending on the persistence of the environmental stimuli and on whether the affected genes are imprinted genes, induced changes in DNA methylation patterns could become persistent. Moreover, some fragments could be more frequently methylated than others over several generations, leading to biased base change and evolutionary consequences. PMID:15982371

  18. Megafauna and ecosystem function from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene

    PubMed Central

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Doughty, Christopher E.; Galetti, Mauro; Smith, Felisa A.; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Terborgh, John W.

    2016-01-01

    Large herbivores and carnivores (the megafauna) have been in a state of decline and extinction since the Late Pleistocene, both on land and more recently in the oceans. Much has been written on the timing and causes of these declines, but only recently has scientific attention focused on the consequences of these declines for ecosystem function. Here, we review progress in our understanding of how megafauna affect ecosystem physical and trophic structure, species composition, biogeochemistry, and climate, drawing on special features of PNAS and Ecography that have been published as a result of an international workshop on this topic held in Oxford in 2014. Insights emerging from this work have consequences for our understanding of changes in biosphere function since the Late Pleistocene and of the functioning of contemporary ecosystems, as well as offering a rationale and framework for scientifically informed restoration of megafaunal function where possible and appropriate. PMID:26811442

  19. Megafauna and ecosystem function from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Doughty, Christopher E; Galetti, Mauro; Smith, Felisa A; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Terborgh, John W

    2016-01-26

    Large herbivores and carnivores (the megafauna) have been in a state of decline and extinction since the Late Pleistocene, both on land and more recently in the oceans. Much has been written on the timing and causes of these declines, but only recently has scientific attention focused on the consequences of these declines for ecosystem function. Here, we review progress in our understanding of how megafauna affect ecosystem physical and trophic structure, species composition, biogeochemistry, and climate, drawing on special features of PNAS and Ecography that have been published as a result of an international workshop on this topic held in Oxford in 2014. Insights emerging from this work have consequences for our understanding of changes in biosphere function since the Late Pleistocene and of the functioning of contemporary ecosystems, as well as offering a rationale and framework for scientifically informed restoration of megafaunal function where possible and appropriate. PMID:26811442

  20. A Pleistocene Clone of Palmer's Oak Persisting in Southern California

    PubMed Central

    May, Michael R.; Provance, Mitchell C.; Sanders, Andrew C.; Ellstrand, Norman C.; Ross-Ibarra, Jeffrey

    2009-01-01

    Background The distribution of Palmer's oak (Quercus palmeri Engelm.) includes numerous isolated populations that are presumably relicts of a formerly larger range that has contracted due to spreading aridity following the end of the Pleistocene. Principal Findings We investigated a recently discovered disjunct population of Palmer's oak in the Jurupa Mountains of Riverside County, California. Patterns of allozyme polymorphism, morphological homogeneity, widespread fruit abortion, and evidence of fire resprouting all strongly support the hypothesis that the population is a single clone. The size of the clone and estimates of annual growth from multiple populations lead us to conclude that the clone is in excess of 13,000 years old. Conclusions The ancient age of the clone implies it originated during the Pleistocene and is a relict of a vanished vegetation community. Range contraction after climate change best explains the modern disjunct distribution of Q. palmeri and perhaps other plants in California. PMID:20041136

  1. Plio-pleistocene African climate

    SciTech Connect

    deMenocal, P.B.

    1995-10-06

    Marine records of African climate variability document a shift toward more arid conditions after 2.8 million years ago (Ma), evidently resulting from remote forcing by cold North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures associated with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glacial cycles. African climate before 2.8 Ma was regulated by low-latitude insolation forcing of monsoonal climate due to Earth orbital precession. Major steps in the evolution of African hominids and other vertebrates are coincident with shifts to more arid, open conditions near 2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma, and 1.0 Ma, suggesting that some Pliocene (Plio)-Pleistocene speciation events may have been climatically mediated. 65 refs., 6 figs.

  2. Plio-Pleistocene African Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demenocal, Peter B.

    1995-10-01

    Marine records of African climate variability document a shift toward more arid conditions after 2.8 million years ago (Ma), evidently resulting from remote forcing by cold North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures associated with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glacial cycles. African climate before 2.8 Ma was regulated by low-latitude insolation forcing of monsoonal climate due to Earth orbital precession. Major steps in the evolution of African hominids and other vertebrates are coincident with shifts to more arid, open conditions near 2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma, and 1.0 Ma, suggesting that some Pliocene (Plio)-Pleistocene speciation events may have been climatically mediated.

  3. Didelphidae marsupials (Mammalia, Didelphimorphia) from the late Pleistocene deposit of the Gruta dos Moura Cave, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nova, Patricia Villa; Avilla, Leonardo S; Oliveira, Édison V

    2015-03-01

    The present study acknowledges the diversity of fossil marsupials from the Gruta dos Moura cave, as well as environmental and climatic aspects during the Quaternary. The results show that this is the largest diversity of Pleistocene marsupials recorded in a single cave: Didelphis albiventris, D. aurita, Gracilinanus agilis, G. microtarsus, Marmosa murina, Monodelphis brevicaudata, M. domestica and Sairadelphys tocantinensis. Furthermore, the described specimens are also part of the only fossil assemblage unequivocally referable to the late Pleistocene. Paleontological studies suggest an intimate association with dry and open environments with high abundance of water sources. Since most of the identified taxa are characteristic of open forests and gallery forests, this could represent the actual environment around the Gruta dos Moura cave. Recent studies identified sympatric occurrences between species from open and dry environments and species from humid forests that were identified among our material and are characteristic of humid regions. Therefore, these species could inhabit gallery forests and capons, or even ecotones, inside a dry and open environment. Moreover, the extinction of Sairadelphys could also indicate that the climatic and environmental conditions changed or that the past environment was more heterogeneous than the current environment of the region. PMID:25806985

  4. Biostratigraphic expression of pleistocene sequence boundaries, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, R.E. ); Neff, E.D. ); Johnson, G.W. ); Krantz, D.E. )

    1993-04-01

    The quaternary section west of the Mississippi River delta consists of thousands of meters of terrigenous sediments, but the stratigraphic and paleoclimatic history recorded in these sequences is often distorted as a result of salt and shale diapirism. Quaternary sequences of the western Gulf of Mexico often reflect highly variable sediment accumulation rates within and between isolated salt-withdrawal basins and missing section resulting from unconformities and extensive faulting. The sedimentary record of Ocean Drilling Program's Core 625B (northeast Gulf of Mexico) contains significant unconformaties that represent a record of sea-level change during the Pleistocene. The core may thus serve as a standard for timing of sea-level changes of the Western Gulf. Utilizing primarily relative abundances of the warm-water Globorotalia menardii complex and cool water G. inflata, we have subdivided the pre-zone W Pleistocene of Core 625B into 17 subzones, resulting in an average duration of approximately 100,000 years per unit. Based on graphic correlation, subzonal boundaries are largely coeval between sites and can provide high-resolution biostratigraphic subdivision of the Pleistocene of industrial wells on an operational basis. Also, the subzonation delineates anomalous paleotops that are reworked, erosionally truncated at sequence boundaries or delta-depressed as a result of localized sediment influx. Graphic correlation of subzonal boundaries coupled with available biostratigraphic and magnetostrategraphic datums has demonstrated the near synchronomy of subzonal boundaries and their utility in the subdivision of the Pleistocene. Using graphic correlation, the paleontologist can build viable exploration models that can be used to predict the occurrence of hydrocarbon reservoir sands. 87 refs., 13 figs.

  5. The Effects of the National Environmental Education Development (NEED) Program on Self Concept and Change of Environmental Attitudes of Selected Elementary School Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Robert Aura

    Evaluated was the environmental education program conducted at the Tremond Environmental Education Center, Tremond, Tennessee to determine its effectiveness in changing and influencing environmental attitudes and self-concepts of elementary school children. As part of the study, instruments to assess environmental attitudes and attitude change in…

  6. Deforestation: Can We Balance Resource C