Medieval Warming, Little Ice Age, and European impact on the environment during the last millennium in the lower Hudson Valley, New York, USA

LDEO Publication: 
Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2005
Authors  Pederson, D. C.; Peteet, D. M.; Kurdyla, D.; Guilderson, T.
Journal Title  Quaternary Research
Volume  63
Issue  3
Pages  238-249
Journal Date  May
ISBN Number  0033-5894
Accession Number  ISI:000228947300003
LDEO Publication Number  6714
Key Words  pollen; charcoal; climate; medieval warming; little ice age; land use; hudson valley; phragmites; typha; estuarine sediment accumulation; new-england; chesapeake bay; united-states; tidal marsh; southern connecticut; holocene vegetation; north-america; ne

Establishing natural climate variability becomes particularly important in large urban areas in anticipation of droughts. We present a welldated bi-decadal record of vegetation, climate, land use, and fire frequency from a tidal marsh in the Hudson River Estuary. The classic Medieval Warm Period is evident through striking increases in charcoal and Pinus dominance from ∼ 800-1300 A.D., paralleling paleorecords southward along the Atlantic seaboard. Higher inputs of inorganic sediment during this interval suggest increased watershed erosion during drought conditions. The presence of the Little Ice Age ensues with increases in Picea and Tsuga, coupled with increasing organic percentages due to cooler, moister conditions. European impact is manifested by a decline in arboreal pollen due to land clearance, increased weedy plant cover (i.e., Ambrosia, Plantago, and Rumex), and an increase in inorganic particles to the watershed. © 2005 University of Washington. All rights reserved.


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URL  <Go to ISI>://000228947300003
DOI  DOI 10.1016/j.yqres.2005.01.001