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3,000 Years of Ecosystem Change

November 1, 2011
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Researchers analyze pollen and spores in lake-sediment core

A new paper published in Quaternary Research by Emerson College professor Wyatt Oswald and Harvard Forest director David Foster describes changes in climate and ecosystems in southern New England over the last 3,000 years. The researchers analyzed pollen and spores in a lake-sediment core from Little Pond in the town of Bolton, Massachusetts, and found evidence for three periods of extended drought during this interval. Vegetation composition varied little in response to the environmental shifts, with the exception of the expansion of American chestnut during one of the dry periods around 1000 years ago.

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