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Magallania (Punta Arenas)
versión On-line ISSN 0718-2244
VELAZQUEZ, NADIA J; BURRY, LIDIA S; MANCINI, MARIA V y FUGASSA, MARTÍN H. CAMELID COPROLITES FROM THE HOLOCENE AS PALEOENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS. Magallania [online]. 2010, vol.38, n.2, pp.213-229. ISSN 0718-2244. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-22442010000200013.
The study of coprolites permits to deal with ecological and cultural aspects of past populations, such as palaeo environmental reconstructions, palaeo diets, inferences related to the use of resources and parasitism status. The objective of this work is the recognition of the contribution of studies of pollen in coprolites to the palaeo environmental reconstructions, and the identification of probable items in the diet of guanacos living during the Holocene in the area near the site Cerro Casa de Piedra 7 (Perito Moreno National Park, Santa Cruz, Argentina). The pollen content of 15 coprolites of guanacos coming from seven archaeological layers dated by 14C and resulting in ages between 9.640 ± 190 years BP and 5.400 ± 64 years BP were analysed. Pollen extraction was performed through acetolysis, and determination and counting under optical microscope. The presence of plant tissue and parasite remains was recorded. The coprolite pollen spectrum was compared with the sediment spectrum, and statistical analyses were conducted. The dominant pollen types were: Nothofagus, Empetrum rubrum, Asteraceae subfam. Asteroideae and Nassauvia, Poaceae and Caryophyllaceae. Pollen sets of contemporaneous coprolites and sediments show similarity in some cases, and different ratio or composition in some others. The similarities found between coprolites and sediments allow to infer that pollen in coprolites reveals the dominant vegetation taxa; on the contrary, a greater abundance of certain pollen types in coprolites than in sediments could be due to the fact that pollen in coprolites is biased with over-representations of the items preferred by guanacos, whereas a greater abundance in sediments than in coprolites could be due to the fact that the ingested plants were not in their flowering period. The results of this work show the value of coprolites as palaeoenvironmental indicators, and it contributes data to the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and to the guanacos` diet.
Palabras clave : coprolites; camelids; palaeoenvironment; Patagonia; pollen.