Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 117–130 | Cite as

Late Pleistocene and Holocene palaeoenvironmental changes in central Tierra del Fuego (~54°S) inferred from pollen analysis

  • Lorena Laura MusottoEmail author
  • Ana María Borromei
  • Andrea Coronato
  • Brian Menounos
  • Gerald Osborn
  • Robert Marr
Original Article


A pollen record was obtained from a coring site at La Correntina mire (54°33′S, 66°59′W, 206 m a.s.l.) to the east of Lago Fagnano, centre of Tierra del Fuego. The results indicate that the valley bottom was free of ice shortly before 15,400 cal bp. Pioneer vegetation included dwarf shrub heaths, grasses and herbs with sparsely distributed Nothofagus trees, indicative of dry conditions. Nothofagus expanded by 10,000 cal bp and the forest-steppe ecotone was established by 9,400 cal bp, implying warm conditions and an increase in available moisture. After ca. 5,000 cal bp, the development of a closed-canopy forest is interpreted as the result of wetter and colder conditions. After 3,000 cal bp, Nothofagus forest became more open, and by about 400 cal bp there was a further decline of the forest. A closed-canopy Nothofagus forest re-established after 400 cal bp.


Pollen Late Pleistocene-Holocene Lago Fagnano La Correntina mire Tephrochronology Forest-steppe ecotone 



The authors are grateful to Juan Federico Ponce, María Soledad Candel (CADIC-CONICET, Ushuaia, Argentina) and Marcelo Adrián Martínez (INGEOSUR-CONICET, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina) for field assistance during the coring, and Charles Stern (University of Colorado, USA) for discussion of the tephrochronology. We are grateful to Daniela Olivera (INGEOSUR-CONICET, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina) for her help in the laboratory. Our thanks are also extended to Carlos Marcelo Distéfano (UAT-CONICET, Bahía Blanca, Argentina) for providing assistance with digital figures and to Mary Samolczyk (University of Calgary, Canada) for preparing tephra samples for microprobe analysis. We thank Vera Markgraf (University of Colorado, USA) and one anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments that helped to improve the final version of the manuscript. This paper was funded by Grants PICT 607 24/H083 of the SECyT (Universidad Nacional del Sur), PICTs 67/02 and 2012-0628 of the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica of Argentina (ANPCyT), PIP 6198/05 of the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET), the National Science and Engineering Research Council, and by the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Supplementary material

334_2015_537_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorena Laura Musotto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ana María Borromei
    • 1
  • Andrea Coronato
    • 2
  • Brian Menounos
    • 3
  • Gerald Osborn
    • 4
  • Robert Marr
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de GeologíaUniversidad Nacional del Sur, INGEOSUR-CONICETBahía BlancaArgentina
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Geomorfología y CuaternarioCADIC-CONICETUshuaiaArgentina
  3. 3.Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute and Geography ProgramUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  4. 4.Department of GeoscienceUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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