Document Type

Yellowstone National Park Report

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The primary research objective has been to study the vegetational history of Yellowstone and its sensitivity to changes in climate and fire frequency. To establish a sequence of vegetational changes, a network of pollen records spanning the last 14,000 years has been studied from different types of vegetation within the Park. The relationship between modern pollen rain, modern vegetation and present­day climate in the northern Rocky Mountains has been the basis for interpreting past vegetation and climate from the fossil records. Changes in fire regime during the past 14,000 years have been inferred from sedimentary charcoal and other fire proxy in lake sediments. Calibration of the fire signal is based on a study that measures the input of charcoal into lakes following the 1988 fires in Yellowstone.