A 16,000 year pollen record from Lake Wabamun, Alberta, Canada Academic Article uri icon


  • Analysis of fossil pollen from Lake Wabamun sediments record a Late Quaternary vegetational record for the last 16, 000 years and indicates that the area between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice centers was ice free since at least 16, 000 years B.P. Pollen influx and pollen percentage data indicate a vegetational sequence beginning with a tundra vegetation from 16, 000–11, 750 years ago. By 11, 750 years B.P., birch and alder colonized the area but was soon followed by a cold climate type coniferous forest composed primarily of spruce with some elements of birch and poplar. A warming trend begins around 9250 years B.P. which culminates in the Hypsithermal. However, pollen preservation is too poor during this portion of the record for direct vegetational reconstruction. Immediately following the Hypsithermal, a spruce-poplar vegetational association was present that was similar to some present boreal forest areas in northern Alberta. Around 2000 years B.P. the pollen influx values decline and suggest a shift to a poplar-dominated vegetation with spruce still abundant. This vegetation assemblage seems to have marked the beginning of the present aspen grove and parkland vegetation found in central Alberta today. © 1981 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

author list (cited authors)

  • Way, R., Bryant, V. M., & Valastro, S.

citation count

  • 18

publication date

  • December 1981