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Keywords:

  • wetlands;
  • palaeopalynology;
  • stable isotopes;
  • ‘Las Tablas de Daimiel’;
  • palustrine carbonates

Abstract

The Middle Pleistocene palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment evolution of the Las Tablas de Daimiel wetlands is described using a combination of sedimentology, pollen and δ13C and δ18O isotopic records of Unit B of core LT-199906. This unit mostly contains fluvial and palustrine sediments. U/Th and amino acid racemization (AAR) dating and a comparison of the δ18O curve of Unit B with oceanic records suggests that Unit B spans the period from the end of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 10 (340 ka) to the first stages of MIS 7 (ca. 210 ka). MIS 9 was characterised by a regional vegetation dominated by Cupressaceae, with Pinus as a tree element. The water level was high and temperatures were very probably higher than during the Holocene. MIS 8 and the first substages of MIS 7 (7e, 7d and 7c) were dominated by xerophilous steppe vegetation in lowlands (elevations around 610 m above sea level) near to the wetland. At higher altitudes, far away from the wetland, there were fewer Pinus than in MIS 9, and a greater presence of warm, temperate and cool climate tree elements. The aquatic system in MIS 9 became shallower, with eutrophication and the accumulation of organic matter occurring; temperatures were similar to or lower than those of the Holocene. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.