A reexamination of late-Pleistocene boreal forest reconstructions for the Southern High Plains

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Abstract

Previous paleoecological research on the Southern High Plains resulted in development of a late Quaternary chronology of "pollen-analytical episodes" and the proposal that boreal forest existed in the region in the late Pleistocene. These interpretations are now considered untenable because (1) a number of the radiocarbon ages are questionable, (2) there are serious problems of differential pollen preservation and reproducibility of the pollen data, (3) there is an absence of supporting geological or paleontological data, and (4) the soils of the area contain none of the distinctive pedological characteristics produced by a boreal forest. Available data suggest that the region was primarily an open grassland or grassland with some nonconiferous trees through most of the Quaternary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages7
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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