Paleovegetation seesaw in Brazil since the Late Pleistocene: A multiproxy study of two biomes

Vitor Azevedo, Nicolás M. Strikis, Valdir F. Novello, Camila L. Roland, Francisco W. Cruz, Roberto V. Santos, Mathias Vuille, Giselle Utida, Fábio Ramos Dias De Andrade, Hai Cheng, R. Lawrence Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Paleovegetation studies in Brazil have been mostly based on pollen analysis and geochemical proxies in lacustrine and soil records. These records, however, are sparsely located in the continent and, in most of the cases, centered over the Holocene, giving a minor picture of past vegetation since the Last Glacial Maximum. Stalagmites have been long used as recorders of paleoprecipitation and monsoon activity over time in tropical and subtropical South America by using δ18O analyses, but recently they also showed the potential to record past vegetation and soil changes through the combined use of δ13C and 87Sr/86Sr. We utilize this new approach to determine the periods of paleovegetation transition and soil development in the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna) biome from central Brazil. Our results show a coherent period of transition from sparser vegetation and shallower soil above the cave to denser vegetation and thicker soil since the last deglaciation circa 15 ka BP. The timing of this transition is different from the multiproxy evidence found in the Caatinga (dry forest) biome, in northeastern Brazil, circa 4.2 ka BP, resulting in a period of paleovegetation seesaw pattern between central and northeastern regions of Brazil. Additionally, atmospheric pCO2 and temperature variations may have played a major role on the paleovegetation transition in the Cerrado region whereas precipitation linked to the Intertropical Convergence Zone was the major modulator of paleovegetation in the Caatinga.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116880
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume563
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank A. Barros for her support during the stable isotope data acquisition in the Stable Isotope Laboratory at the Institute of Geosciences, University of S?o Paulo and the Geochronology Laboratory at the University of Brasilia for the support during 87Sr/86Sr analyzes. We thank R. Cassino for providing the Lagoa Feia multiproxy dataset. We thank the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente/Instituto Chico Mendes de Conserva??o da Biodiversidade (IBAMA/ICMBio) for the permission to collect the stalagmite samples. This work was supported by S?o Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) (grants 2017/50085-3 PIRE NSF-FAPESP and 2016/15807-5 to V.F.N.), US NSF PIRE (grant OISE-1743738), CNPq (grants 423573/2018-7 and 308769/2018-0 to N.M.S), CAPES and FAPERJ (Master's scholarships to both V.A. and C.L.R.).

Funding Information:
We thank A. Barros for her support during the stable isotope data acquisition in the Stable Isotope Laboratory at the Institute of Geosciences, University of São Paulo and the Geochronology Laboratory at the University of Brasilia for the support during 87 Sr/ 86 Sr analyzes. We thank R. Cassino for providing the Lagoa Feia multiproxy dataset. We thank the Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente/Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (IBAMA/ICMBio) for the permission to collect the stalagmite samples. This work was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) (grants 2017/50085-3 PIRE NSF-FAPESP and 2016/15807-5 to V.F.N.), US NSF PIRE (grant OISE-1743738 ), CNPq (grants 423573/2018-7 and 308769/2018-0 to N.M.S), CAPES and FAPERJ (Master's scholarships to both V.A. and C.L.R.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Caatinga
  • Cerrado
  • carbon isotope
  • paleovegetation
  • speleothem
  • strontium isotope

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