Insights into the Holocene environmental history of the highlands of central Mexico

Socorro Lozano-García, Margarita Caballero, Beatriz Ortega-Guerrero, Susana Sosa-Nájera

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


With the aim of highlighting the present stage of development in the scenario of environmental and climate research during the Holocene in central Mexico, we present a synthesis of relevant events preserved in continental records. Climate conditions and intricate topography of this region led to the development of lake basins, whose records were the sources for several paleoecological studies. These records suggest higher moisture during the early Holocene, although the high insolation promoted higher evaporation. Toward the mid-Holocene, the southward displacement of the ITCZ led to drier conditions in the area. During the Late Holocene, environmental change and human activities are intertwined, with the latter expanding over the last 2000 years. A review of paleoecological signals such as cultural pollen taxa, microcharcoal, deforestation, and erosion reveals human activities during the Late Holocene. Understanding the past climate of central Mexico is important for predictions of global warming, as a large part of the Mexican population reside in this region. Additionally, changes in forest composition and hydrological conditions observed in this region provide important ecological and climatic information to characterize the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Holocene and Anthropocene Environmental History of Mexico
Subtitle of host publicationA Paleoecological Approach on Mesoamerica
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030317195
ISBN (Print)9783030317188
StatePublished - Dec 2 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Droughts
  • Late Holocene
  • Pollen records
  • Trans-Mexican volcanic belt

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • MOLE


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