Palynology of late-glacial and postglacial sediments in Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada, as related to the Great Lakes history /
McAtee, Christopher L.
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This investigation comprises three parts: (1) the source, mechanism of transport, and distribution of pollen, spores and other palynomorphs in Georgian Bay bottom sediments and a comparison of these data with the contemporary vegetation, (2) the relative significance of fluvial transportation of pollen and spores, and (3) the late- and postglacial history of vegetational and climatic changes in the Georgicin Bay region. Modem pollen and spore assemblages in Georgian Bay do reflect the surrovinding vegetation when preservation and pollen production by the different species are considered and accounted for. Relative pollen percentage and concentration isopoll patterns indicate that rivers contribute large quantities of pollen and spores to Georgian Bay. This is further substantiated by large amounts of pollen and spores which were caught in traps in the Moon, Muskoka, and Nottawasaga Rivers which flow into Georgian Bay. The majority of pollen and spores caught in these traps were washed into the rivers by surface water runoff and so reflect the vegetation of the watershed in a regional sense. In a 12.9 metre long sediment core from northeastern Georgian Bay the relative percentage and absolute pollen concentrations allow correlation of Georgian Bay Lake phases with climatic and forest history. Four distinct pollen zones are distinguished: zone GB IV which is the oldest, reflects the succession from open spruce woodland to boreal forest; zone GB III represents a period of pine-mixed hardwoods forests from about 10,000 to 7,500 years ago. A pine-maplehemlock association dominated in zone GB II, although during the culmination of postglacial warming about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago the Georgian Bay forests had a more deciduous character. Zone GB I clearly shows European man's disturbance of the forest by logging activities.