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Recovery of the forest ecosystem in the tropical lowlands of northern Guatemala after disintegration of Classic Maya polities

Andreas D. Mueller, Gerald A. Islebe, Flavio S. Anselmetti, Daniel Ariztegui, Mark Brenner, David A. Hodell, Irka Hajdas, Yvonne Hamann, Gerald H. Haug and Douglas J. Kennett
Recovery of the forest ecosystem in the tropical lowlands of northern Guatemala after disintegration of Classic Maya polities
Geology (Boulder) (June 2010) 38 (6): 523-526

Abstract

We employed paleolimnological methods to investigate tropical forest recovery and soil stabilization that followed abandonment of agricultural systems associated with disintegration of Classic Maya polities ca. A.D. 800-1000. We used lithological, geochemical, magnetic, and palynological data from sediment cores of Lake Peten Itza in the Maya Lowlands of northern Guatemala. Sediment core chronology was developed using radiocarbon dates on terrestrial wood and charcoal fragments. Our results indicate that in the absence of large human populations and extensive farming activities, Peten forests recovered under humid climate conditions within a span of 80-260 yr. Soil stabilization postdates pollen evidence of forest regrowth stratigraphically, and required between 120 and 280 yr. We conclude that the tropical forest ecosystem in the watershed of Lake Peten Itza had been reestablished by the early Postclassic Period (A.D. 1000-1200).


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 38
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Recovery of the forest ecosystem in the tropical lowlands of northern Guatemala after disintegration of Classic Maya polities
Affiliation: ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Geological Institute, Zurich, Switzerland
Pages: 523-526
Published: 201006
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 39
Accession Number: 2010-050214
Categories: Quaternary geologyGeochronology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2010150
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N16°55'00" - N16°55'00", W89°49'60" - W89°49'60"
Secondary Affiliation: El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, MEX, MexicoEAWAG, CHE, SwitzerlandUniversity of Geneva, CHE, SwitzerlandUniversity of Florida, USA, United StatesUniversity of Cambridge, GBR, United KingdomUniversity of Oregon, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201027
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