Fire and vegetation shifts in the Americas at the vanguard of Paleoindian migration

Fire and vegetation shifts in the Americas at the vanguard of Paleoindian migration Across North and South America, the final millennia of the Pleistocene saw dramatic changes in climate, vegetation, fauna, fire regime, and other local and regional paleo-environmental characteristics. Rapid climate shifts following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) exerted a first-order influence, but abrupt post-glacial shifts in vegetation composition, vegetation structure, and fire regime also coincided with human arrival and transformative faunal extinctions in the Americas. We propose a model of post-glacial vegetation change in response to climatic drivers, punctuated by local fire regime shifts in response to megaherbivore-driven fuel changes and anthropogenic ignitions. The abrupt appearance of humans, disappearance of megaherbivores, and resulting changes in New World fire systems were transformative events that should not be dismissed in favor of climate-only interpretations of post-glacial paleo-environmental shifts in the Americas. Fire is a mechanism by which small human populations can have broad impacts, and growing evidence suggests that early anthropogenic influences on regional, even global, paleo-environments should be tested alongside other potential causal mechanisms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quaternary Science Reviews Elsevier

Fire and vegetation shifts in the Americas at the vanguard of Paleoindian migration

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/fire-and-vegetation-shifts-in-the-americas-at-the-vanguard-of-5Rv9B4eAT5
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0277-3791
eISSN
1873-457X
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.12.010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Across North and South America, the final millennia of the Pleistocene saw dramatic changes in climate, vegetation, fauna, fire regime, and other local and regional paleo-environmental characteristics. Rapid climate shifts following the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) exerted a first-order influence, but abrupt post-glacial shifts in vegetation composition, vegetation structure, and fire regime also coincided with human arrival and transformative faunal extinctions in the Americas. We propose a model of post-glacial vegetation change in response to climatic drivers, punctuated by local fire regime shifts in response to megaherbivore-driven fuel changes and anthropogenic ignitions. The abrupt appearance of humans, disappearance of megaherbivores, and resulting changes in New World fire systems were transformative events that should not be dismissed in favor of climate-only interpretations of post-glacial paleo-environmental shifts in the Americas. Fire is a mechanism by which small human populations can have broad impacts, and growing evidence suggests that early anthropogenic influences on regional, even global, paleo-environments should be tested alongside other potential causal mechanisms.

Journal

Quaternary Science ReviewsElsevier

Published: Feb 1, 2011

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off