Abstract

The presence of at least 12 species of well-preserved mites in two late Holocene stalagmites from Hidden Cave, Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, depicts changing climate over the past 3200 yr. Growth of both stalagmites, determined by uranium-series dating, occurred from at least 3171 ± 48 yr ago and ceased by 819 ± 82 yr ago. Some of the 12 subfossil genera and species in the stalagmites are like those currently found in wetter and cooler climates, northern-like, and distinctly different from those known in the cave (n = 16) and on the surface immediately around the cave (n = 32). The mismatch of genera and species in the stalagmites, cave, and surface near the cave argues for a wetter and cooler late Holocene climate in the southwestern United States from ca. 3200 to 800 yr ago.

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