Fire events and vegetation dynamics during the late Pleistocene-Meghalayan interval in the southernmost Brazilian coastal plain

Authors

  • Veridiana Ribeiro Programa de Pós-Graduação em Geografia, Centro Polar e Climático, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul/UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, 91501-970, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
  • Margot Guerra-Sommer Programa de Pós-Graduação em Geociências, Instituto de Geociências, UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, 91501-970, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
  • Rualdo Menegat Departamento de Paleontologia e Estratigrafia, Instituto de Geociências, UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, 91501-970, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
  • Lidia Aumond Kuhn Programa de Pós-Graduação em Geociências, Instituto de Geociências, UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, 91501-970, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
  • Jefferson Cardia Simões Programa de Pós-Graduação em Geografia, Centro Polar e Climático, Instituto de Geociências, UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, 91501-970, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
  • Ricardo Burgo Braga Laboratório de Gerenciamento Costeiro, Centro de Estudos de Geologia Costeira e Oceânica, Instituto de Geociências, UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, 91501-970, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
  • Soraia Girardi Bauermann Laboratório de Palinologia, Universidade Luterana do Brasil, Av. Farroupilha, 8001, 92425-900, Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil.
  • Wagner Guimarães da Silva Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio Grande do Sul, Campus Restinga, Rua Alberto Hoffmann, 285, 91791-508, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4072/rbp.2020.4.02

Abstract

The present study analyzes the correspondence between charcoal concentrations and changes in the palynological composition in a core from Águas Claras peatland (30º06’24.39” S; 50º49’04.90” W) in the coastal plain of southernmost Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul State) from approximately 38,900 yrs BP until 1,500 yrs BP. The dominance of grassland vegetation (mainly Poaceae) in Late Pleistocene sediments persisted into the Holocene during the development of a peatland. Analysis of fragment size distribution and concentration were useful to discriminate local fires from regional wildfires. Late Pleistocene regional fires registered in shallow pond deposits (older than 21,545 cal yrs BP) were distinguished from a local Holocene fire by the presence of higher proportions of small particles in charcoal assemblages. A charcoal peak related to a natural fire signal, composed by high concentration of charcoal with larger diameters, was identified at the topmost level of the peat facies (1,590–1,515 cal yrs BP). Correlated with palynological data, this charcoal peak originated by local fires indicates a change in vegetation during a dry climate interval that occurred around 1,500–1,600 yrs BP.

Keywords: charcoal peak, palynology, climate, Holocene.

RESUMO – O presente estudo analisa a correspondência entre as concentrações de carvão vegetal e as alterações na composição palinológica em um testemunho sedimentar da turfeira de Águas Claras (30º06’24,39” S; 50º49’04,90”O) na planície costeira do extremo sul do Brasil (Rio Grande do Sul) em um intervalo de cerca de 38.900 anos AP a 1.500 anos AP. A dominância de vegetação herbácea (principalmente Poaceae) no intervalo glacial tardio do Neopleistoceno persistiu até o Holoceno, durante o desenvolvimento de uma turfeira. A análise da distribuição e concentração de tamanho dos fragmentos de charcoal foi utilizada para distinguir incêndios florestais locais de incêndios regionais. Incêndios regionais no Neopleistoceno (mais antigos do que 21.545 anos cal AP) foram diferenciados de um incêndio local do Holoceno, dadas as grandes quantidades de pequenos fragmentos de charcoal com diâmetros semelhantes. Um pico de charcoal que corresponde a um sinal incêndio natural, composto por alta concentração de fragmentos com grandes diâmetros indicando incêndio local, foi identificado no nível de topo de fácies originadas em turfeira (1.590–1.515 anos cal AP). Esse pico de charcoal, correlacionado aos dados palinológicos, indicou uma mudança na vegetação relacionada a um intervalo climático de seca que ocorreu por volta de 1.500–1.600 anos AP.

Palavras-chave: pico de carvão vegetal, palinologia, clima, Holoceno.

Author Biography

Veridiana Ribeiro, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Geografia, Centro Polar e Climático, Instituto de Geociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul/UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, 91501-970, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Instituto de Geociências, Programa de Pós-graduação em Geografia- Ênfase Análise Ambiental. Centro Polar e Climático da UFRGS.

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2020-12-16

How to Cite

Ribeiro, V., Guerra-Sommer, M., Menegat, R., Kuhn, L. A., Simões, J. C., Braga, R. B., Bauermann, S. G., & Silva, W. G. da. (2020). Fire events and vegetation dynamics during the late Pleistocene-Meghalayan interval in the southernmost Brazilian coastal plain. Revista Brasileira De Paleontologia, 23(4), 234-250. https://doi.org/10.4072/rbp.2020.4.02