A new terrestrial palaeoenvironmental record from the Bering Land Bridge and context for human dispersal
AuthorWooller, Matthew J.
Potter, Ben A.
Cwynar, Les C.
Graham, Russell W.
Williams, John W.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Lab Tree Ring Res
MetadataShow full item record
CitationWooller MJ et al. 2018 A new terrestrial palaeoenvironmental record from the Bering Land Bridge and context for human dispersal. R. Soc. open sci.5: 180145. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180145
JournalROYAL SOCIETY OPEN SCIENCE
Rights© 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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AbstractPalaeoenvironmental records from the now-submerged Bering Land Bridge (BLB) covering the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to the present are needed to document changing environments and connections with the dispersal of humans into North America, Moreover, terrestrially based records of environmental changes are needed in close proximity to the re-establishment of circulation between Pacific and Atlantic Oceans following the end of the last glaciation to test palaeo-dimate models for the high latitudes. We present the first terrestrial temperature and hydrologic reconstructions from the LGM to the present from the BLB's south-central margin. We find that the timing of the earliest unequivocal human dispersals into Alaska, based on archaeological evidence, corresponds with a shift to warmer/wetter conditions on the BLB between 14700 and 13500 years ago associated with the early Balling/Aliened interstadial (BA), These environmental changes could have provided the impetus for eastward human dispersal at that time, from Western or central Beringia after a protracted human population standstill. Our data indicate substantial climate-induced environmental changes on the BLB since the LGM, which would potentially have had significant influences on megafaunal and human biogeography in the region.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Science Foundation, Directorate for Geosciences, Office of Polar Programs [PLR-1203772, PLR-1203990, PLR-1204233]