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      The changing course of the Amazon River in the Neogene: center stage for Neotropical diversification


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          ABSTRACT We review geological evidence on the origin of the modern transcontinental Amazon River, and the paleogeographic history of riverine connections among the principal sedimentary basins of northern South America through the Neogene. Data are reviewed from new geochronological datasets using radiogenic and stable isotopes, and from traditional geochronological methods, including sedimentology, structural mapping, sonic and seismic logging, and biostratigraphy. The modern Amazon River and the continental-scale Amazon drainage basin were assembled during the late Miocene and Pliocene, via some of the largest purported river capture events in Earth history. Andean sediments are first recorded in the Amazon Fan at about 10.1-9.4 Ma, with a large increase in sedimentation at about 4.5 Ma. The transcontinental Amazon River therefore formed over a period of about 4.9-5.6 million years, by means of several river capture events. The origins of the modern Amazon River are hypothesized to be linked with that of mega-wetland landscapes of tropical South America (e.g. várzeas, pantanals, seasonally flooded savannahs). Mega-wetlands have persisted over about 10% northern South America under different configurations for >15 million years. Although the paleogeographic reconstructions presented are simplistic and coarse-grained, they are offered to inspire the collection and analysis of new sedimentological and geochronological datasets.

          Translated abstract

          RESUMO Este trabalho é uma revisão das evidências geológicas sobre a origem do moderno rio Amazonas transcontinental, e a história paleogeográfica das conexões ribeirinhas entre as principais bacias sedimentares do norte da América do Sul durante o Neógeno. São revisados novos conjuntos de dados geocronológicos usando isótopos radiogênicos e estáveis, e de métodos geocronológicos tradicionais, incluindo sedimentologia, mapeamento estrutural, exploração sísmica e bioestratigrafia. O atual rio Amazonas e sua bacia continental se formaram durante o final do Mioceno e do Plioceno, através de alguns dos maiores eventos de captura de rio na história da Terra. Os sedimentos andinos são registrados pela primeira vez no leque fluvial do Amazonas por volta de 10,1-9,4 Ma, com um grande aumento na sedimentação a cerca de 4,5 Ma. O rio Amazonas transcontinental, portanto, se formou durante um período de cerca de 4,9 a 5,6 milhões de anos, por meio de vários eventos de captura de rios. Acredita-se que as origens do moderno rio Amazonas estejam ligadas às paisagens de inundação da América do Sul tropical (por exemplo, várzeas, pantanais, savanas sazonalmente inundadas). As áreas pantanosas persistiram em cerca de 10% do norte da América do Sul sob diferentes configurações por mais de 15 milhões de anos. Embora as reconstruções paleogeográficas apresentadas sejam simplistas, elas são oferecidas para inspirar a coleta e análise de novos conjuntos de dados sedimentológicos e geocronológicos.

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          Since 65 million years ago (Ma), Earth's climate has undergone a significant and complex evolution, the finer details of which are now coming to light through investigations of deep-sea sediment cores. This evolution includes gradual trends of warming and cooling driven by tectonic processes on time scales of 10(5) to 10(7) years, rhythmic or periodic cycles driven by orbital processes with 10(4)- to 10(6)-year cyclicity, and rare rapid aberrant shifts and extreme climate transients with durations of 10(3) to 10(5) years. Here, recent progress in defining the evolution of global climate over the Cenozoic Era is reviewed. We focus primarily on the periodic and anomalous components of variability over the early portion of this era, as constrained by the latest generation of deep-sea isotope records. We also consider how this improved perspective has led to the recognition of previously unforeseen mechanisms for altering climate.
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              Fish biodiversity and conservation in South America.

              The freshwater and marine fish faunas of South America are the most diverse on Earth, with current species richness estimates standing above 9100 species. In addition, over the last decade at least 100 species were described every year. There are currently about 5160 freshwater fish species, and the estimate for the freshwater fish fauna alone points to a final diversity between 8000 and 9000 species. South America also has c. 4000 species of marine fishes. The mega-diverse fish faunas of South America evolved over a period of >100 million years, with most lineages tracing origins to Gondwana and the adjacent Tethys Sea. This high diversity was in part maintained by escaping the mass extinctions and biotic turnovers associated with Cenozoic climate cooling, the formation of boreal and temperate zones at high latitudes and aridification in many places at equatorial latitudes. The fresh waters of the continent are divided into 13 basin complexes, large basins consolidated as a single unit plus historically connected adjacent coastal drainages, and smaller coastal basins grouped together on the basis of biogeographic criteria. Species diversity, endemism, noteworthy groups and state of knowledge of each basin complex are described. Marine habitats around South America, both coastal and oceanic, are also described in terms of fish diversity, endemism and state of knowledge. Because of extensive land use changes, hydroelectric damming, water divergence for irrigation, urbanization, sedimentation and overfishing 4-10% of all fish species in South America face some degree of extinction risk, mainly due to habitat loss and degradation. These figures suggest that the conservation status of South American freshwater fish faunas is better than in most other regions of the world, but the marine fishes are as threatened as elsewhere. Conserving the remarkable aquatic habitats and fishes of South America is a growing challenge in face of the rapid anthropogenic changes of the 21st century, and deserves attention from conservationists and policy makers.

                Author and article information

                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Neotropical Ichthyology
                Neotrop. ichthyol.
                Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia (Maringá, PR, Brazil )
                October 2018
                : 16
                : 3
                : e180033
                [1] Lafayette Louisiana orgnameUniversity of Louisiana orgdiv1Department of Biology United States jalbert@ 123456louisiana.edu
                [2] San Diego orgnameUniversity of California orgdiv1Geosciences Research Division United States pval@ 123456ufop.edu.br
                [3] Ouro Preto Minas Gerais orgnameUniversidade Federal de Ouro Preto orgdiv1Departamento de Geologia Brazil
                [4] Amsterdam orgnameUniversity of Amsterdam orgdiv1Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen Netherlands M.C.Hoorn@ 123456uva.nl

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

                : 05 September 2018
                : 15 March 2018
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 213, Pages: 0

                SciELO Brazil

                Transcontinental Amazon,Amazonas transcontinental,Bioestratigrafia,Captura de rio,Geocronologia,Modelos de evolução de paisagem,Biostratigraphy,Geochronology,Landscape Evolution Model,River capture


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