Hudson+Highlands+vegetation+history+2012+edition.doc -...

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FOREST, CLIMATE, AND FIRE HISTORY OF THE HUDSON HIGHLANDS, SOUTHEAST NEW YORK DURING THE LAST >12,500 YEARS Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch, Ph.D. [email protected] Over 12,500 years of Hudson Highlands forest, climate, and fire history have been revealed through analysis of plant fossils (pollen, seeds, conifer needles, and charcoal) isolated from sediment cores of Sutherland Pond (Black Rock Forest, New York) and Spruce Pond (Harriman State Park, New York). These fossils serve as biological indicators of past environmental conditions. The ages were determined using the AMS radiocarbon dating method and are reported in radiocarbon years. The earliest pollen assemblages deposited after glacial retreat, some time greater than 12,500 years ago, are dominated by herbaceous and shrub types such as Willow ( Salix ), Birch ( Betula ), Adler ( Alnus ), Heath (Ericaceae), Sedge (Cyperaceae), Grass (Gramineae), and Composites (Tubuliflorae), with some trees, Pine ( Pinus ) and Spruce (Picea ), possibly representing a tundra-like environment with scattered trees.
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