Abstract

The Peace Creek site in the central Florida Peninsula is a sinkhole completely filled with sediment. The basal ∼50 m of an ∼70- m-long core contains well-preserved pollen. The regular occurrence of Pterocarya and other regionally extinct taxa indicates a late Neogene age. Geological data place the age in the Pliocene, and high sea levels during the middle Pliocene argue for a late Pliocene age. The most probable time of formation and infilling is in the late Pliocene, after 2.8 Ma, corresponding with the onset of significant Eurasian and North American glaciation and lower sea levels. In addition to Pterocarya and Sciadopitys, well- known indicators of late Neogene pollen assemblages from the Atlantic coastal region, we identify cf. Ginkgo and cf. Dacrydium for the first time from Neogene sediments in eastern North America (cf. here indicates a type that is similar in morphology to an extant family, genus, or species). However, these regionally extinct types are rare, and the overall pollen assemblage is quantitatively similar to late Holocene assemblages from Florida and quite distinct from late Pleistocene glacial stage assemblages. A rich and diverse aquatic pollen assemblage indicates that a shallow, fresh- water wetland occupied the sinkhole throughout the time of deposition. Three cycles having a long Pinus phase and a short Quercus phase characterize the upland pollen assemblage.

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