The Late Holocene upper montane cloud forest and high altitude grassland mosaic in the Serra da Igreja, Southern Brazil

2013 Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências  
Many soils of the highlands of Serra do Mar, as in other mountain ranges, have thick histic horizons that preserve high amounts of carbon. However, the age and constitution of the organic matter of these soils remain doubtful, with possible late Pleistocene or Holocene ages. This study was conducted in three profiles (two in grassland and one in forest) in Serra da Igreja highlands in the state of Paraná. We performed δ13C isotope analysis of organic matter in soil horizons to detect whether C3
more » ... o detect whether C3 or C4 plants dominated the past communities and 14C dating of the humin fraction to obtain the age of the studied horizons. C3 plants seem to have dominated the mountain ridges of Serra da Igreja since at least 3,000 years BP. Even though the Serra da Igreja may represents a landscape of high altitude grasslands in soils containing organic matter from the late Pleistocene, as reported elsewhere in Southern and Southeastern Brazil, our results indicate that the sites studied are at least from the beginning of the Late Holocene, when conditions of high moisture enabled the colonization/recolonization of the Serra da Igreja ridges by C3 plants. This is the period, often reported in the literature, when forests advanced onto grasslands and savannas.
doi:10.1590/s0001-37652013000200020 pmid:23828336 fatcat:c5ail65ykve6xb7ttqg5typaoe