Diatom assemblages that span the late-glacial and early-Holocene period were analyzed from three small lakes in the Greater Yellowstone region. The sites vary in surficial geology, elevation, vegetation, and precipitation seasonality, and these differences provide a tool to evaluate the importance of large-scale climatic change relative to localized catchment proces%s on aquatic ecosystem evolution. All assemblages underwent synchronous shifts in community structure in the intervals of 13.9-13.8, 13.2-13.1, 11.3-11.0 and 8.8-8.7 cal ka. The shift at 11.3-11.0 cal ka also is evident in other proxy records from these sites, such as pollen and charcoal, which suggests large-scale climatic influences on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Because the shifts in diatom assemblages are synchronous in lakes with variable geological settings and local precipitation patterns, we infer that large-scale climatic change was the principal driver of aquatic ecosystem evolution in this region during the late-Glacial and early Holocene periods.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by National Science Foundation grant EAR-0816576 to Fritz and a GSA Graduate Student Research grant to Lu. We thank C. Hendrix and S. Gunther (Yellowstone National Park) for logistical support; C. Whitlock, T. Spanbauer, T. Krause, D. Navarro, and J. Giskaas for field assistance; and C. Whitlock and T. Krause for their contributions to project development and discussions on environmental interpretation.
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.
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- Alpine lakes
- Rocky Mountains
- Yellowstone National Park
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