Through the use of palaeoecological techniques we inferred the environmental and floristic history of the cloud forest with relict presence of Acer saccharum subsp. skutchii in west-central Mexico. A 37 cm depth sediment core (TLP-N2) was used to reconstruct the vegetation of the last 720 years; paleoenvironmental proxy consisted of magnetic susceptibility, XRF and loss of ignition, while microfossil charcoal was used as a proxy reflecting fire occurrence. The beginning of the Little Ice Age is reported around 1341-1858 with the presence of abundant woody taxa and pteridophytes. The driest period was detected from 1653 to 1720, which corresponds with the Maunder minimum in solar activity; this period is characterized by an increase in Poaceae, Piper and Arisaema. The present conditions were established since 1871, resembling the conditions of the Medieval Warm Period (1230-1319), while human activity related to the presence of maize pollen is inferred from 720 years ago. Results from this study suggest that cloud forests have been fluctuating but resilient over the last millennium.
Del Castillo-Batista, A. P., Figueroa-Rangel, B. L., Lozano-García, S., Olvera-Vargas, M., & Guzmán, R. C. (2016). Historia florística y ambiental del bosque mesófilo de montaña en el centro-occidente de México durante la pequeña edad de hielo. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, 87(1), 216–229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmb.2016.01.021