Late Pleistocene vegetation of Kings Canyon, Sierra Nevada, California
Quaternary Research 19(1): 117-129
ISSN/ISBN: 0033-5894 DOI: 10.1016/0033-5894(83)90031-5
Seven packrat midden samples make possible a comparison between the modern and late Pleistocene vegetation in Kings Canyon on the western side of the southern Sierra Nevada. One modern sample contains macrofossils and pollen derived from the present-day oak-chaparral vegetation. Macrofossils from the six late Pleistocene samples record a mixed coniferous forest dominated by the xerophytic conifers Juniperus occidentalis, Pinus cf. ponderosa, and P. monophylla. The pollen spectra of these Pleistocene middens are dominated by Pinus sp., Taxodiaceae-Cupressaceae-Taxaceae (TCT), and Artemisia sp. Mesophytic conifers are represented by low macrofossil concentrations. Sequoiadendron giganteum is represented by a few pollen grains in the full glacial. Edaphic control and snow dispersal are the most likely causes of these mixed assemblages.