Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 64 Number 2: 117-125
- August 2002

A publication of the National Speleological Society

A Late Quaternary Paleoecological Record from Caves of Southern Jamaica, West Indies
D.A. McFarlane, J. Lundberg, and A. G. Fincham


Studies of an unusual and diverse system of caves in coastal southern Jamaica have yielded a paleoclimatic record associated with a fossil vertebrate record that provides useful insights into the poorly documented paleoecology of latest Wisconsinan and Holocene Jamaica. Episodes of significantly increased precipitation during the Holocene have left characteristic deposits of speleothems, and have supported both faunal and archaeological communities that were dependent on these mesic conditions. Deposits of fossil bat guano preserved in the caves provide a d13C record of alternating mesic and xeric climatic episodes that supports the interpretation of the faunal and archaeological record.

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