Ecosystem service provision sets the pace for pre-Hispanic societal development in the central Andes

July 31, 2013
WDG

Water resources in the Vacas region (near Cochabamba, Bolivia) deminished around the time of the founding of the urban centre at Tiawanaku

Water resources in the Vacas region (near Cochabamba, Bolivia) deminished around the time of the founding of the urban centre at Tiawanaku

Gosling, W.D. & Williams, J.J. (2013) Ecosystem service provision sets the pace for pre-Hispanic societal development in the central Andes. The Holocene, 23(11): 1617-1622. doi: 10.1177/0959683613496296

Click here to download an open access version of this manuscript via The Open University Open Reseach Online repository.

Lake coring equipment

July 17, 2013
WDG

Trecking with sediment corer in the high Andes of Peru

Trecking with sediment corer in the high Andes of Peru

When it comes to collecting sediments from lakes its all about having the right tools for the job. Working in remote areas of the tropics we tend to favour the Colinvaux-Vohnout corer; supplied by Vince Vohnout at Geo-core). The advantages of this system are:

  1. its light-weight nature (can be backpacked or donkeyed into field sites), and 
  2. the cam system (which allows hammering to penetrate tough sediments).

    Eric Martinez carrying an Avon Redstart back out from Laguna Khomer Kotcha (Williams et al., 2011)

    Eric Martinez carrying an Avon Redstart back out from Laguna Khomer Kotcha (Williams et al., 2011a)

With the right platform (two banana boats and an A-frame) we have manged to retrive c. 20 m of sediment from  20 m of water (c. 40 m of drill rod extended); Lake Pacucha, Peru (Hillyer et al., 2009). More typically we use two Avon Redstart inflatables and a platform following the design of Colinvaux et al. (1999).

Recent debate on the International Paleolimnology Association list server saw recommendations for a number of other systems.

Including: UWITECH gravity corer, Pylonex gravity corer, Aquatic Research Instrument products, and modified systems by Jason Curtis at University of Florida.

I would be interested if anyone has any thoughts on the relative merits of these systems (or others) and there capabilities.

Photos and references below:

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PCRG March

April 12, 2013
WDG

Rachel Gill and Encarni Montoya with sediment cores from Jamaica.

Rachel Gill and Encarni Montoya with sediment cores from Jamaica.

Quick and belated update on activity in March! Not sure where the time is going at the moment…

Early in the month we were delighted to welcome Prof. Jonathan Holmes and Rachel Gill from UCL who came to use our core splitter to open new sediment cores from Wally Wash Pond in Jamaica! A visit from Steve Brooks (Natural History Museum) early in the month to discuss midgy progress with Frazer was great. We are getting ever closer to developing a training data set… Also popping by was ex-PhD student and now Aberystwyth lecturer Joe Williams who we will hopefully be developing some new collaborations with over the summer and fingers crossed mounting an expedition back to Bolivia!

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PCRG publications 2012

February 15, 2013
WDG

Bush, M.B. & Gosling, W.D. (2012) Environmental change in the humid tropics and monsoonal regions. The SAGE Handbook of Environmental Change (ed. by J.A. Matthews, P.J. Bartlein, K.R. Briffa, A.G. Dawson, A. De Vernal, T. Denham, S.C. Fritz and F. Oldfield), pp. 113-140. SAGE, London.

Mosblech, N.A.S., Bush, M.B., Gosling, W.D., Hodell, D., Thomas, L., Van Calsteren, P., Correa-Metrio, A., Valencia, B.G., Curtis, J. & Van Woesik, R. (2012) North Atlantic forcing of Amazonian precipitation during the last ice age. Nature Geoscience, 5, 817-820

Williams, J.J., Brooks, S.J. & Gosling, W.D. (2012) Response of chironomids to late Pleistocene and Holocene environmental change in the eastern Bolivian Andes. Journal of Paleolimnology, 48, 485-501

PCRG publications 2005

February 15, 2013
WDG

Bush, M.B., Hansen, B.C.S., Rodbell, D.T., Seltzer, G.O., Young, K.R., Leon, B., Abbott, M.B., Silman, M.R. & Gosling, W.D. (2005) A 17,000-year history of Andean climate and vegetation change from Laguna de Chochos, Peru. Journal of Quaternary Science, 20, 703-714

Gosling, W.D. & Bush, M.B. (2005) A biogeographic comment on Wüster et al. (2005): Tracing an invasion: Landbridges, refugia, and the phylogeography of the neotropical rattlesnake (serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalus durissus). Molecular Ecology, 14, 3615-3617

Gosling, W.D., Mayle, F.E., Tate, N.J. & Killeen, T. (2005) Modern pollen-rain characteristics of tall terra firme moist evergreen forest, southern Amazonia. Quaternary Research, 64, 284-297

Hanselman, J.A., Gosling, W.D., Ralph, G.M. & Bush, M.B. (2005) Contrasting histories of MIS 5e and the Holocene from Lake Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru). Journal of Quaternary Science, 20, 663-670

Encarni Montoya

January 9, 2013
WDG

Hi all,

I am Encarni Montoya and I have recently joined the Palaeoenvironmental Change Research Group.

Field work in Ecuador 2012

Field work in Ecuador 2012

I am a NERC Research Fellow with a project entitled “Evaluation of forests sensitivity to past climatic changes” (FORSENS), which will be running until September 2015. The project is based on a multi-site, multi-proxy and multi-disciplinary approach to aid the understanding of Neotropical forests’ dynamics since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; c. 21,500 years ago).

I presented details in a poster at the recent INTIMATE/CELL-50k Join Workshop this 12-15th November at Budapest, Hungary. Click here to view my poster and find out more details about the project.

Prior my arrival to PCRG, I was working at The Botanical Institute of Barcelona (CSIC-ICUB, Palynology and Paleoecology Lab) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Tropical and High Mountain Paleoecology). I am a palaeoecologist mainly focused on Late Glacial environmental change in Neotropics, being interested in the climate-vegetation-human relationships. For this purpose, I mainly use pollen, microscopic charcoal and non-pollen palynomorphs. I am also involved in several editor tasks, as regular referee os several Q1 journals, and the editor of the “Humans and Biosphere Commission” Newsletter.

If you are interested in my project please do not hesitate to get in contact.

NERC Fellowship success

July 4, 2012
WDG

I am delighted to report that Dr Encarnacion Montoya Romo (currently of the Botanical Institute of Barcelona) has been awarded a NERC Fellowship to join the PCRG. The project is entitled “Evaluation of tropical forests sensitivity to past climate change” (FORSENS) and will examine environmental change at four study sites from different regions of the Neotropics: 1) Khomer Kotcha (Bolivia; 17oS, 4100 m above sea level [asl]) [1-3], 2) Consuelo (Peru, 13oS; 1400 m asl) [4-5], 3) Banos (Ecuador; 0oS, 4000 m asl), and 4) a new lowland site from Columbia/Ecuador to be collected during field work during the project.

The aim of the project is to explore the spatial and temporal consitance of tropical vegetation response to aridity (mid-Holocene dry period) and warming (last deglaciation). The project will use fossil pollen, chironomids, charcoal, non pollen palynomorphs and organic biomarkersto build up a comprehnsive picture of environmental change. The diversity of the project means we have a number of exciting partners, including: Steve Brooks (Natural History Museum), Prof. Mark Bush (Florida Tech),  Prof. Valenti Rull (Botanical Institute of Barcelona) and the Dr. Pauline Gulliver (NERC radicarbon facility).

The fellowship will commence in October 2012. Further information will appear on is blog and group website soon.

REFERENCES
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