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This study is the first report of the fossil macroflora of the Paleolagoa Seca, an Upper Quaternary fossil locality of lacustrine origin in central Brazil. Here we present an analysis of well-preserved fossil leaves collected from an argillite level dated at ca. 43,000 cal yr BP and discuss the paleoclimatic implications of this record. We reconstructed paleotemperature and paleoprecipitation using Leaf Margin Analysis (LMA) and Leaf Area Analysis (LAA), respectively, and used mineralogical (XRD and IR) and palynological analyses of the fossiliferous level to assess a complete picture of the past landscape. To test the ability of LMA and LAA models available for Southern Hemisphere to correctly predict Mean Annual Temperature (MAT) and Mean Annual Precipitation (MAP) for the Paleolagoa Seca, we applied several calibration models to the leaf dataset of a modern Cerrado forest and then compared predictions with modern climate data. Six LMA calibration models presented consistent MAT results and all four LAA calibration models provided satisfactory estimations of the modern MAP. The botanical identification of the fossil leaves and the pollen record indicated a mosaic of open savanna, dry forests and gallery forest around the Paleolagoa Seca. The reconstructed MAP for the Paleolagoa Seca ranged between 647 and 948 mm depending on the LAA equation, which is at least 500 mm lower than the current MAP. The reconstructed Mean Annual Temperature (MAT) ranged between 22.6 and 26.3 °C, indicating a higher-than-present MAT, which we relate to a combination of high summer insolation and low humidity. Comparison with other local fossil macrofloras, including from nearby localities, and with other paleoclimatic records suggests that the observed dry conditions at Paleolagoa Seca were related to interhemispheric climate forcing and to a weakening of the South American Summer Monsoon (SASM).

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... Fossil foliage records within Ficus are abundant in China and northern India, Europe, and North America and seldom in South America (e.g., Wilde and Frankenhäuser, 1998;Zhao et al., 2004;Singh and Prasad, 2008;Bernabei et al., 2010;Compton et al., 2010;Cruaud et al., 2012;Huang et al., 2018). A few fossil species are defined based on associated vegetative and reproductive organs, such as pollen, woods, endocarps, seeds, and fruits (Zhao et al., 2004;Bernabei et al., 2010;Compton et al., 2010;Cruaud et al., 2012;Huang et al., 2018;Follador et al., 2021). Ficus has a broad geographic range in both hemispheres and is well represented after the Paleocene, with the greatest number of occurrences in the Miocene from Asia (Appendix 2; Fig. 7), especially in India and China (Srivastava et al., 2011;Huang et al., 2018). ...
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The last glacial period was marked by multiple, abrupt reorganizations of ocean and atmosphere circulation. On thousand-year timescales, slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation was associated with cooling in the high northern latitudes, whereas strengthened circulation was linked to northern warming. In the tropics, these millennial-scale events were primarily reflected in altered patterns of precipitation. These hydrologic fluctuations induced ecological changes in the Atlantic seaboard and the high Andes, but less is known about the Amazon Basin. Here we reconstruct precipitation over Amazonian Ecuador over the past 94,000 years using a δ18O record from speleothems collected in Santiago Cave in western Amazonia. We interpret the variability of the δ18O record as changes in the source and amount of precipitation. With the exception of the period between 40,000 and 17,000 years ago, abrupt, high-frequency changes coincide with shifts in North Atlantic circulation, indicating a high-latitude influence on Amazonian precipitation over millennial timescales. On longer timescales, the record shows a relationship to precessional changes in the Earth's orbit. In light of the lack of extreme aridity in our records, we conclude that ecosystems in western Amazonia have not experienced prolonged drying over the past 94,000 years.
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Article
Precise estimates of past temperatures are critical for understanding the evolution of organisms and the physical biosphere, and data from continental areas are an indispensable complement to the marine record of stable isotopes. Climate is considered to be a primary selective force on leaf morphology, and two widely used methods exist for estimating past mean annual temperatures from assemblages of fossil leaves. The first approach, Leaf Margin Analysis, is univariate, based on the positive correlation in modern forests between mean annual temperature and the proportion of species in a flora with untoothed leaf margins. The second approach, known as the Climate-Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program, is based on a modern data set that is multivariate. I argue here that the simpler, univariate approach will give paleotemperature estimates at least as precise as the multivariate method because (1) the temperature signal in the multivariate data set is dominated by the leaf-margin character; (2) the additional characters add minimal statistical precision and in practical use do not appear to improve the quality of the estimate; (3) the predictor samples in the univariate data set contain at least twice as many species as those in the multivariate data set; and (4) the presence of numerous sites in the multivariate data set that are both dry and extremely cold depresses temperature estimates for moist and nonfrigid paleofloras by about 2°C, unless the dry and cold sites are excluded from the predictor set. New data from Western Hemisphere forests are used to test the univariate and multivariate methods and to compare observed vs. predicted error distributions for temperature estimates as a function of species richness. Leaf Margin Analysis provides excellent estimates of mean annual temperature for nine floral samples. Estimated temperatures given by 16 floral subsamples are very close both to actual temperatures and to the estimates from the samples. Temperature estimates based on the multivariate data set for four of the subsamples were generally less accurate than the estimates from Leaf Margin Analysis. Leaf-margin data from 45 transect collections demonstrate that sampling of low-diversity floras at extremely local scales can result in biased leaf-margin percentages because species abundance patterns are uneven. For climate analysis, both modern and fossil floras should be sampled over an area sufficient to minimize this bias and to maximize recovered species richness within a given climate.
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The clay particles in a kaolin deposit from Brazil were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential thermal analysis (DTA), analytical transmission electron microscopy (ATEM), and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) to examine the relationships between morphological and chemical properties of the crystals and to relate these properties to formation conditions. The XRD patterns show the dominant presence of kaolinite with minor amounts of gibbsite, illite, quartz, goethite, hematite, and anatase. ATEM observations show two discontinuities in the deposit as indicated by changes in morphology and size of the kaolinite crystals. At the base of the deposit, hexagonal platy and lath-shaped particles (mean area of 001 face = 0.26 μm2) maintain the original fabric of the parent rock which characterizes an in situ evolution. In the middle of the deposit a bimodal population of large (mean area of 001 face > 0.05 μm2) and small (mean area of 001 face < 0.05 μm2) sub-hexagonal platy kaolinite crystals occurs. This zone defines the boundary between the saprolitic kaolinite and the pedogenic kaolinite. Near the top of the profile, laths and irregular plates of kaolinite, together with sub-hexagonal particles, define two different depositional sources in the history of formation of the deposit. Crystal thickness as derived from the width of basal reflections and the Hinckley index are compatible with the morphological results, but show only one discontinuity. At the base of the deposit, kaolinite has a low-defect density whereas in the middle and at the top of the profile, kaolinite has a high-defect density. Likewise, EPR spectroscopy shows typical spectra of low-defect kaolinite for the bottom of the deposit and typical spectra of high-defect kaolinite for the other portions of the deposit. Despite the morphological changes observed through the profile, the elemental composition of individual kaolinite crystals did not show systematic variations. These results are consistent with the deposit consisting of a transported pedogenic kaolinite over saprolite consisting of in situ kaolinized phyllite.
Chapter
Several examples of phosphorite weathering (Morocco, Senegal, Israel), are studied. Weathering of phosphorites is shown to begin by loss of CO2 from the carbonate-fluor-apatite, which tends toward a fluor-apatite; dolomite loses its Mg, then calcite is leached. When calcium carbonates are eliminated, calcium apatite transforms to aluminum- or iron-phosphates. Four cases are studied, two of slight weathering by J. L. and L. P., one of intense weathering in an aluminous environment by R. F. and one of intense weathering in an environment rich in iron by Y. N. and Y. S.; the discussion is by all authors.
Chapter
The known natural phosphate minerals exceed 250 in number (Fisher 1973). However, the more common ones are small in number and belong to the apatite family. This family constitutes the main group of primary phosphates of the lithosphere. The majority of the other minerals result from a supergene alteration by groundwaters, or bat- and bird-guanos. This alteration has been well described in detail by Altschuler (1973), in a fundamental synthesis based on three main topics: the weathering of marine phosphorites, the weathering of carbonatites and the weathering caused by acid guanos. The weathering of phosphatic igneous and metamorphic rocks is not mentioned, probably because it is little known, except in the northeast of Brazil (Lima Da Costa, verbal comm.). Since Altschuler’s synthesis, many studies have been published, some related to the weathering of phosphorites, others to the genesis of new minerals during the weathering process. Most of the mineralogical results obtained from these works are shown in Table 1. Consideration of Table 1 permits the findings of Altschuler (1973, p 78–80) to be extended and allows some general conclusions on the conditions of phosphate minerals weathering and on their behavior during weathering.
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A substantial strengthening of the South American monsoon system (SAMS) during Heinrich Stadials (HS) points toward decreased cross-equatorial heat transport as the main driver of monsoonal hydroclimate variability at millennial time scales. In order to better constrain the exact timing and internal structure of HS1 over tropical South America, we assessed two precisely dated speleothem records from central-eastern and northeastern Brazil in combination with two marine records of terrestrial organic and inorganic matter input into the western equatorial Atlantic. During HS1, we recognize at least two events of widespread intensification of the SAMS across the entire region influenced by the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ) at 16.11–14.69 kyr B.P. and 18.1–16.66 kyr B.P. (labeled as HS1a and HS1c, respectively), separated by a dry excursion from 16.66 to 16.11 kyr B.P. (HS1b). In view of the spatial structure of precipitation anomalies, the widespread increase of monsoon precipitation over the SACZ domain was termed “Mega-SACZ.”
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Entire structures of freshwater sponges are rare in the paleontological record and no register existed for the Pleistocene. A previous study of the spicules of such sponges composing pleistocenic strata of the Cemiterio Paleolake, Brazil, led to the discovery of several in situ preserved gemmules. The present research aimed to identify the sponge species which produced these gemmules, their relationship to the already described spicules found in the lake strata and enter a taphonomic enquiry towards the factors which would have led to this remarkable preservation. The materials were mounted for analysis at SEM. The gemmules pertain to the extant species Corvoheteromeyenia australis, Dosilia pydanieli, Radiospongilla amazonensis and Corvomeyenia thumi. Young gemmules of Heterorotula fistula, a sponge known only from loose spicules in spongillite deposits were also detected and are for the first time figured, confirming the species status. Two factors would have favored this exceptional gemmular preservation. The abundance ofyoung gemmules indicates short immersion periods, which led to the incipient development of pneumatic coats, impairing their buoyancy and accelerating deposition in the lake bottom. Algal blooms, formed next with probable heat and desiccation, would have provided an elastic but consistent crust over the recently deposited gemmules, preventing their dismantling. Radiocarbon dating of the basal-most layer indicated an age of more than 53,780 C-14 years BP.
Article
The percentage of woody dicots with entire-margined leaves in a flora is known to be positively correlated with mean annual temperature (Leaf Margin Analysis — LMA) but this relationship is not globally uniform. In particular the floras of Australia and New Zealand have been regarded as displaying a different physiognomic relationship to climate than floras seen in the Northern Hemisphere. This difference is more marked in New Zealand where the LMA relationship appears entirely absent. Here we amass data for both Northern and Southern hemispheres using standard protocols and show that regional variations in the leaf margin–mean annual temperature relationship are real but become less significant when other characters are included. Even New Zealand falls into line and most of the mean annual temperature signal in New Zealand floras is encoded in non-margin features. We introduce a new CLAMP (Climate Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program) calibration dataset for the Southern Hemisphere, comprising leaf physiognomic data from Argentina, Bolivia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands that offers comparable precision for climate prediction to similar datasets derived from the Northern Hemisphere.
Article
Fossil floras are an important source of quantitative terrestrial paleoclimate data. Many paleoclimate estimates are based on relationships observed in modern vegetation between leaf morphology and climate, such as the increase in the percentage of entire-margined species with increasing temperature and the increase in leaf size with increasing precipitation. An important question is whether these observed relationships are universal or regional; for example, recent stud- ies suggest that significant differences exist between floras from three domains: the Northern Hemi- sphere, New Zealand/Australia, and subalpine zones. Also, debate exists over which statistical models of modern data sets, univariate or multivariate, provide the most accurate estimates of pa- leoclimate. In this study, 12 foliage samples from living Bolivian forests are compared with data sets from different regions. Models based on data sets from North America and Japan, namely the Climate-Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program (CLAMP) data set of J. A. Wolfe, and from east Asia produce reasonably accurate estimates of temperature and precipitation, suggesting that the cli- mate-leaf morphology relationships for Bolivian vegetation do not differ significantly from those for Northern Hemisphere vegetation. The mean leaf size for a given mean annual precipitation is smaller than for a data set from the Western Hemisphere and Africa, but this difference is most likely due to different sampling methods. As for estimating climate from fossil floras, these results, along with the analysis of four other regional data sets, imply that the most accurate climate es- timates will be produced by the predictor data set with the most similar climate-leaf morphology relationships. Unfortunately, our present lack of understanding of why climate-morphology rela- tionships vary between the North America/Japan, New Zealand/Australia, and subalpine domains makes it difficult to identify data sets similar to paleofloras. Until we learn more, it is probably best to compare fossil floras to predictor data sets from the same domain. The performance of the var- ious statistical methods depends on the nature of the predictor data set. Multiple regression anal- ysis tends to produce the most accurate estimates for small data sets with a narrow range of en- vironmental variation that have similar relationships to the flora, and linear regression or canonical correspondence analysis for the larger and more varied CLAMP data set. If a similar predictor data set is not available, then nearest-neighbor analysis can still produce accurate paleoclimate esti- mates.
Article
Millennial climate oscillations of the glacial interval are interrupted by extreme events, the so-called Heinrich events of the North Atlantic. Their near-global footprint is a testament to coherent interactions among Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and cryosphere on millennial timescales. Heinrich detritus appears to have been derived from the region around Hudson Strait. It was deposited over approximately 500 ± 250 years. Several mechanisms have been proposed for the origin of the layers: binge-purge cycle of the Laurentide ice sheet, jökulhlaup activity from a Hudson Bay lake, and an ice shelf buildup/collapse fed by Hudson Strait. To determine the origin of the Heinrich events, I recommend (1) further studies of the timing and duration of the events, (2) further sedimentology study near the Hudson Strait, and (3) greater spatial and temporal resolution studies of the layers as well as their precursory intervals. Studies of previous glacial intervals may also provide important constraints.
Article
The clay particles in a kaolin deposit from Brazil were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential thermal analysis (DTA), analytical transmission electron microscopy (ATEM), and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) to examine the relationships between morphological and chemical properties of the crystals and to relate these properties to formation conditions. The XRD patterns show the dominant presence of kaolinite with minor amounts of gibbsite, illite, quartz, goethite, hematite, and anatase. ATEM observations show two discontinuities in the deposit as indicated by changes in morphology and size of the kaolinite crystals. At the base of the deposit, hexagonal platy and lath-shaped particles (mean area of 001 face = 0.26 μm 2 ) maintain the original fabric of the parent rock which characterizes an in situ evolution. In the middle of the deposit a bimodal population of large (mean area of 001 face > 0.05 μm 2 ) and small (mean area of 001 face < 0.05 μm 2 ) sub-hexagonal platy kaolinite crystals occurs. This zone defines the boundary between the saprolitic kaolinite and the pedogenic kaolinite. Near the top of the profile, laths and irregular plates of kaolinite, together with sub-hexagonal particles, define two different depositional sources in the history of formation of the deposit. Crystal thickness as derived from the width of basal reflections and the Hinckley index are compatible with the morphological results, but show only one discontinuity. At the base of the deposit, kaolinite has a low-defect density whereas in the middle and at the top of the profile, kaolinite has a high-defect density. Likewise, EPR spectroscopy shows typical spectra of low-defect kaolinite for the bottom of the deposit and typical spectra of high-defect kaolinite for the other portions of the deposit. Despite the morphological changes observed through the profile, the elemental composition of individual kaolinite crystals did not show systematic variations. These results are consistent with the deposit consisting of a transported pedogenic kaolinite over saprolite consisting of in situ kaolinized phyllite.
Article
Millennial climate oscillations of the glacial interval are interrupted by extreme events, the so-called Heinrich events of the North Atlantic. Their near-global footprint is a testament to coherent interactions among Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and cryosphere on millennial timescales. Heinrich detritus appears to have been derived from the region around Hudson Strait. It was deposited over approximately 500 ± 250 years. Several mechanisms have been proposed for the origin of the layers: binge-purge cycle of the Laurentide ice sheet, jökulhlaup activity from a Hudson Bay lake, and an ice shelf buildup/collapse fed by Hudson Strait. To determine the origin of the Heinrich events, I recommend (1) further studies of the timing and duration of the events, (2) further sedimentology study near the Hudson Strait, and (3) greater spatial and temporal resolution studies of the layers as well as their precursory intervals. Studies of previous glacial intervals may also provide important constraints.
Chapter
Five long-term oxygen isotope (δ) records along ice cores are discussed, in particular two from the Greenland ice sheet that exhibit persistent δ oscillations with a quasi-periodicity of ca. 2550 years. A detailed study of the δ cycles in the Wisconsin glaciation show that they cannot be ascribed to discontinuities in the cores, nor to ice-dynamic instabilities in the ice sheet. In the Holocene, the δ cycles are less pronounced, but they are concurrent with the fluctuating glacier extention elsewhere, which substantiates their climatic significance. An anti-correlation with 14C concentration in atmospheric CO2, and with 10Be deposition rates on the ice sheets, suggests a connection between climate and solar processes, but a conclusion on this point must await clarification of the terrestrial circulation and mixing processes, and the relationship between the solar outputs of radiation and particulate matter.
Article
Aim Our aims were: (1) to characterize the linear relationship between the proportion of woody dicotyledonous species with entire-margined leaves (E) and mean annual temperature (MAT) from a southern temperate flora that still harbours many lineages that originated under warmer climates; (2) to compare this relationship with those developed from floras of different regions of the world; and (3) to contrast temperature predictions based on leaf margins of the native southern flora versus the naturalized alien flora, mostly of boreal origin. Location The temperate forest of southern South America (TFSA). Methods At each 1° latitudinal band, we estimated E based on species latitudinal ranges and MAT from both an isotherm map and a global temperature grid. We also calculated E from five local floras located between 40 and 43° S, and from the naturalized alien flora of Nahuel Huapi National Park in southern Argentina. Results We found a close relationship between E and MAT for the TFSA. Equations developed from floras of the Northern Hemisphere overestimated extant temperatures of this biome by 6–10 °C at both geographical and local spatial scales. On the other hand, MAT predictions from leaf margins of the alien flora were similar to the actual MAT. A published regression between E and MAT from tropical South America was remarkably similar to the one we estimated from the TFSA. This tropical equation predicted accurately the temperatures observed for this temperate biome based on leaf margins of the native flora. Main conclusions Despite massive plant extinction due to environmental cooling and biogeographical isolation during the Tertiary, leaf-margin analysis reveals that the flora of the TFSA still reflects its original development under the warmer conditions of western Gondwana and its past connections with low-latitude forest floras of tropical South America.