Life on Land

Andean Tectonics and Mantle Dynamics as a Pervasive Influence on Amazonian Ecosystem

Tacio Cordeiro Bicudo, Victor Sacek, Renato Paes de Almeida, John M. Bates & Camila Cherem Ribas Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 16879 (2019)

The Amazonian landscape evolution is the result of the combined effect of Andean tectonism, climate and the Earth’s interior dynamics. To reconstruct the landscape evolution and its influence on paleoenvironmental variations within Amazonia since the Oligocene, we conducted numerical experiments that incorporate different surface and geodynamic processes, reproducing many paleogeographic features as inferred from the sedimentary record. We show that the evolution of the drainage pattern gradually reduced the area of sedimentation derived from the Guiana and Brazilian shields while expanded the Andean derived deposits during the Miocene, affecting the nutrient availability. First order biotic habitats were inferred from these paleogeographical reconstructions, showing an eastward expansion of várzea and terra firme forests and consequent retraction of igapó forests, with a millennial-scale reconfiguration of a mosaic of habitats in the lowlands. We conclude that this dynamism probably guided the observed patterns of speciation in the most biodiverse biome on Earth.


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Citation: Bicudo, T.C., Sacek, V., de Almeida, R.P. et al. Andean Tectonics and Mantle Dynamics as a Pervasive Influence on Amazonian Ecosystem. Sci Rep 9, 16879 (2019).

Posted by Claire Edwards 1 December 2020