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Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690


MEDEIROS, VANDA B. DE et al. New Holocene pollen records from the Brazilian Caatinga. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2018, vol.90, n.2, suppl.1, pp.2011-2023. ISSN 0001-3765.

We present two pollen diagrams from the semi-arid Caatinga of the Catimbau National Park, in Pernambuco and from a Mauritia palm forest in the Caatinga/Cerrado ecotone of southern Piauí, NE Brazil, spanning the last 10,000 cal. yrs BP and the last 1,750 cal yrs BP, respectively. These two records contain a signature of the local vegetation and permit the correlation of the pollen signal with regional climatic changes. The Catimbau record shows Zizyphus sp., a typical Caatinga taxon, in all three pollen zones indicating regional Caatinga vegetation and the predominance of local arboreal taxa adapted to high humidity from 10,000 to ca. 6,000 cal. yrs BP with a gradual tendency towards drier conditions revealed by a deposition hiatus between 6,000 to ca. 2,000 cal. yrs BP. This abrupt loss of sediments in both localities is interpreted as a consequence of the establishment of modern semi-arid climates. The subsequent return of humidity is signaled by increased sedimentation rates and 14C date inversions in agreement with high precipitation, revealed by σ18O ratios in speleothems from NE Brazil. Modern sediments deposited in the last 500 years reflect local conditions with the maintenance of humidity by geological faulting and surfacing water tables.

Keywords : paleoclimatology; palynology; Pernambuco; Piauí; caatinga vegetation.

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