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Geologic Publications for Mount Rainier

A 6000-year record of forest history on Mount Rainier, Washington

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Author(s): Peter W. Dunwiddie

Document Type:
Publisher: Ecology
Published Year: 1986
Volume: 67
Number: 1
Pages: 58 to 68
DOI Identifier: 10.2307/1938503
ISBN Identifier:
Keywords: tephra pollen coniferous forests climate change sediments forest ecology paleoclimatology forest succession trees ponds

Sediments in three ponds between 1300-1500 m on the south side of Mt. Rainier examined for plant macrofossils and pollen. Macrofossils of seral species such as Abies lasiocarpa, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Pinus monticola, Abies procera, and Pinus contorta are conspicuous from 6000 to 3400 BP. These species suggest a climate that was warmer/drier than today and favored frequent fires. Neoglacial cooling may have begun 3700-3400 BP, as species typical of higher elevations became prominent; a decline in seral species after 3400 BP suggests less frequent fires. In the last 100 yr, Tsuga heterophylla became abundant and then declined at the highest elevation site. General trends in percentages are similar to the macrofossil curves. Tephra deposition from Mt. Rainier and Mt. Helens did not produce conspicuous changes in forest composition. Few major fires are evident charcoal and macrofossils at these sites.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Dunwiddie (1986) or (Dunwiddie, 1986)

References Citation:
Dunwiddie, P.W., 1986, A 6000-year record of forest history on Mount Rainier, Washington: Ecology, Vol. 67, No. 1, pp. 58-68, doi: 10.2307/1938503.