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The Apparent Resilience of the Dry Tropical Forests of the Nicaraguan Region of the Central American Dry Corridor to Variations in Climate Over the Last C. 1200 Years

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Long-Term Ecology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3SZ, UK
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Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
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School of Geography and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Quaternary 2019, 2(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat2030025
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 7 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
The Central American Dry Corridor (CADC) is the most densely populated area of the Central American Isthmus and is subject to the greatest variability in precipitation between seasons. The vegetation of this region is composed of Dry Tropical Forests (DTF), which are suggested to be highly susceptible to variations in climate and anthropogenic development. This study examines the vulnerability of past DTF surrounding the Asese peninsula, Nicaragua to climatic and anthropogenic disturbances over the past c. 1200 years. Past vegetation, climate, burning, and animal abundance were reconstructed using proxy analysis of fossil pollen, diatoms, macroscopic charcoal, and Sporormiella. Results from this research suggest that DTF have been highly resilient to past climatic and anthropogenic perturbations. Changes in DTF structure and composition appear to be linked to the abundance and intensity of fire. Pre-Columbian anthropogenic impacts on DTF are not detected in the record; however, DTF taxa decline slightly after European contact (1522 C.E.). Overall the DTF for the Nicaraguan region of the CADC were found to be highly resilient to both climatic and anthropogenic disturbances, suggesting that this region will continue to be resilient in the face of future population expansion and climatic variation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dry Tropical Forests; Palynology; Diatoms; Charcoal; Sporormiella; Nicaragua; Central American Dry Corridor; Resilience; Palaeolimnology Dry Tropical Forests; Palynology; Diatoms; Charcoal; Sporormiella; Nicaragua; Central American Dry Corridor; Resilience; Palaeolimnology
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Harvey, W.J.; Stansell, N.; Nogué, S.; Willis, K.J. The Apparent Resilience of the Dry Tropical Forests of the Nicaraguan Region of the Central American Dry Corridor to Variations in Climate Over the Last C. 1200 Years. Quaternary 2019, 2, 25.

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