Late-Glacial Pollen, Macrofossils and Fish Remains in Northeastern U.S.A.--The Younger Dryas Oscillation

TitleLate-Glacial Pollen, Macrofossils and Fish Remains in Northeastern U.S.A.--The Younger Dryas Oscillation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsPeteet, D, Daniels, RA, Heusser, LE, Vogel, JS, Southon, JR, Nelson, DE
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
KeywordsAllamuchy Pond, Connecticut, environmental histories, fish scales, late-glacial, Linsley Pond, macrofossil, New Jersey, pollen
The late-glacial environmental histories of Allamuchy Pond, New Jersey and Linsley Pond, Connecticut are reconstructed from pollen, macrofossil and fish scale remains. Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C dating of seeds and needles indicates that the first organic deposition, evidenced by fossil Picea (spruce) needles, occurred approximately 12,400 BP. A major regional warming began in the northeastern United States at this time, correlative with the Bølling/Allerød warming of Europe and Greenland. The increase in Quercus (oak) pollen and presence of Pinus strobus (white pine) needles demonstrates the magnitude of warming reached at about 11,000 BP. The subsequent decline of thermophilous species and increase in boreal Picea, Abies (fir), Larix (larch), Betula papyrifera (paper birch) and Alnus (alder) from 10,800-10,000 BP was a regional vegetational reversal. Thus we find a North American expression of the Younger Dryas with a mean annual temperature depression of 3–4° C. The subsequent classical southern New England pine pollen zone ‘B’ and Pinus strobus macrofossils signalled a return to warmer conditions at approximately 10,000 BP, regionally, within approximately 50–100 years. A large increase in Quercus follows. This study is unique in documenting a continuous late-glacial record of fish remains from Allamuchy Pond, New Jersey sediments, indicating that members of the families Centrarchidae (sunfish), Salmonidae (trout), Percidae (perch) and Cyprinidae (minnow) were regionally present.