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Sensitivity of wetland hydrology to external climate forcing in central Florida

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  • Emmy I. Lammertsma, Utrecht University
  • ,
  • Timme H. Donders, Utrecht University, Denmark
  • Christof Pearce
  • Holger Cremer, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)
  • ,
  • Evelyn E. Gaiser, Florida International University
  • ,
  • Friederike Wagner-Cremer, Utrecht University

Available proxy records from the Florida peninsula give a varying view on hydrological changes during the late Holocene. Here we evaluate the consistency and sensitivity of local wetland records in relation to hydrological changes over the past ~. 5. ka based on pollen and diatom proxies from peat cores in Highlands Hammock State Park, central Florida. Around 5. cal. ka BP, a dynamic floodplain environment is present. Subsequently, a wetland forest establishes, followed by a change to persistent wet conditions between ~. 2.5 and 2.0. ka. Long hydroperiods remain despite gradual succession and basin infilling with maximum wet conditions between ~. 1.3 and 1.0. ka. The wet phase and subsequent strong drying over the last millennium, as indicated by shifts in both pollen and diatom assemblages, can be linked to the early Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, respectively, driven by regionally higher sea-surface temperatures and a temporary northward migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Changes during the 20th century are the result of constructions intended to protect the Highlands Hammock State Park from wildfires. The multiple cores and proxies allow distinguishing local and regional hydrological changes. The peat records reflect relatively subtle climatic changes that are not evident from regional pollen records from lakes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQuaternary Research
Pages (from-to)287-300
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Central Florida, Diatoms, Hydroperiod, Late Holocene, Pollen, Precipitation variability, Wetland

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