INSTITUTO SUPERIOR DE CORRELACION GEOLOGICA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
MICROMAMMALS AND PALEOENVIRONMENTS: CLIMATIC OSCILLATIONS IN THE MONTE DESERT OF CATAMARCA (ARGENTINA) DURING THE LAST TWO MILLENIA
ORTIZ, P. E.; MADOZZO JAÉN, M. C.; JAYAT, J. P.
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Lugar: Maryland Heights; Año: 2012 vol. 77 p. 103 - 103
Few publications have focused on Holocene paleoenvironmental dynamics in the Monte deserts of Northwestern Argentina. We report the first stratified micromammal assemblage from this region, which span the last two millennia, coming from Las Máscaras Cave, Catamarca, northern end of the Monte ecoregion. We studied 11 700 cranial and mandibular remains produced by the trophic activity of owls, representing 16 species (MNI= 5031). The composition of the overall assemblage is consistent with the species found in the area today, being the dominant Phyllotis xanthopygus, Eligmodontia spp., and Calomys musculinus. Relative frequencies and sample diversity measures show slight variations throughout the sequence, suggesting environmental stability. However, minor changes for several species indicate small-scale variations. We infer climatic conditions similar to those of the present for the period of 1600-1300 yBP, wetter conditions for 1000-600 yBP, and a return to xeric conditions up until the present. This reconstruction agrees with previous interpretations regarding global climatic dynamics, such as those involving the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Since there are no areas affected by agriculture within the owl hunting range around the site, the slight fluctuations in the frequencies are interpreted as primarily the result of changes in climatic conditions.