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Sutherland Pond (SUTHRLND) Global Pollen Database

Record Type: Data Set

Description: Holocene vegetation, climate, and fire history of the Hudson Highlands, lower Hudson Valley, southeastern New York, are inferred from AMS radiocarbon-dated pollen, plant-macrofossil and charcoal records from Sutherland (41 degrees 23 minutes 29 seconds North, 74 degrees 02 minutes 16 seconds West) and Spruce Ponds (41 degrees 14 minutes 22 seconds North, 74 degrees 12 minutes 15 seconds West).

Expanding Quercus-dominated forests were invaded by Pinus strobus at 10175 radiocarbon years before present (BP), followed by Tsuga canadensis at 9645. Fagus grandifolia at 8100, Carya at 6200, and Castanea dentata at 3600 BO; ages are averaged over two sites. Large Quercus pollen percentage and influx values are associated with continuous charcoal influx throughout the record, suggesting that fire may have played an important role in the development and maintenance of Quercus in the forest.

At Sutherland Pond, a temporary decrease in fire at approximately 9500 BP apparently was a factor enabling expansion of Tsugo canadensis populations. Onset of Euroamerican agricultural practices in the regional (approximately AD 1700) is well documented by rises in pollen of Abmrosia, Gramineae and Tubuliflorae and presence of Rumex and Plantago. Domestic/industrial use of Quercus, Pinus and Tsuga canadensis is also recorded by decreased percentages of these trees. Increased charcoal influx during Euroamerican settlement, particularly at Spruce Pond, may be explained by fire in connections with land clearance, wood-related industries (charcoal, iron and brick manufacturing), and operation of railroads (track fires).

Accelerator mass spectrometry dated pollen, plant-macrofossil, and charcoal records from Sutherland Pond (41 degrees 23 minutes 29 seconds North, 74 degrees 02 minutes 16 seconds West), located in Black Rock Forest, provide a detailed account of forest history during the late-glacial Ð Holocene transition the Hudson Highlands, lower Hudson Valley, southeastern New York. Pollen assemblages dating more that 12 600 radiocarbon years before present (years BP) are dominated by herbaceous and shrub types (Salix, Betula, Almus, Ericaceae, Cyperaceae, Gramineae, and Tubuliflorae), with some arboreal types (Pinus and Picea), apparently representing an open landscape possibly with scattered trees. At 12 600 years BP increased organized deposition and pollen influx and the first occurrence of macrofossils indicate dramatic environmental change. Mixed assemblages of boreal and temperate taxa (Picea, Abies, Betula papyrifera, Quercus, Ostrya-Carpinus and Fraxinus) are evident from 12 600 to 11 200 years BP. Low charcoal influx suggests that fire was a minor component of early woodland development beginning around 12 600 years BP A Picea-Abies-Alnus assemblage, suggesting a cool climatic episode, dominates between 11 200 and 10 120 years BP, with rapid onset and termination each occurring within 150 years. Fire activity is also low during this colder interval. Warmer conditions, reestablished by 10 120 years BP, are inferred from expansion of Pinus strobus and increasing Quercus and Ostrya-Carpinus, followed by replacement of B. papyrifera by Betula populifolia and increased charcoal influx.

Collection Start Date: July 1, 1991

Collection End Date: July 1, 1991


People: Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch

Keyword: Herbaceous Plants, Paleoecological Studies, Plants, Woody Plants (Trees and Shrubs)