A 370,000-year record of vegetation and fire history around Lake Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru)

Jennifer A. Hanselman, Mark B. Bush, William D. Gosling, Aaron Collins, Christopher Knox, Paul A. Baker, Sheri C. Fritz

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36 Scopus citations


Fossil pollen and charcoal analyses of sediments from Lake Titicaca, Peru/Bolivia, provide a record of palaeoclimatic variation spanning four full glacial cycles. Pollen, aquatic microfossils, and charcoal, as well as previously published data including diatom assemblages, carbonate content, and stable carbon isotopic ratios of organic carbon, indicate that interglacials were warm and dry whereas the peaks of glacials were cold and wet. Each of the interglacials documented in the record are somewhat different, with those of MIS 5e and MIS 9 inducing lower lake levels and a drier vegetation signature than those of MIS 7 and 1. The presence of charcoal particles in sediments deposited during previous interglacials provides evidence of the long-term role of fire in shaping Andean ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-214
Number of pages14
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - May 15 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the staff at LacCore for their help with core sampling and core logging. We wish to thank two anonymous reviewers who improved earlier versions of this manuscript and also our editor Peter Kershaw for his thoughtful comments. This study was funded by NSF grant ATM 0317539 (to Bush), NSF grant AGS 0602329 (to Baker), and NSF Grant EAR 0602154 (to Fritz). This is publication #3 of the Institute for Research on Global Climate Change at the Florida Institute of Technology.

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Andes
  • Climate change
  • Fire
  • Fossil charcoal
  • Fossil pollen
  • Interglacial


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