Out of Beringia?

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Science  28 Feb 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6174, pp. 979-980
DOI: 10.1126/science.1250768

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Based on the distribution of tundra plants around the Bering Strait region, Eric Hultén proposed in the 1930s that the now-submerged plain between Chukotka and Alaska—the Bering land bridge—became a refugium for shrub tundra vegetation during cold periods (1), which include the last glacial maximum (LGM) between ∼28,000 and 18,000 cal BP (calibrated radiocarbon years before the present). Adjoining areas to the west and east supported drier plant communities with a higher percentage of grasses during glacial periods. According to Hultén, when warmer and wetter conditions returned to these areas, the land bridge, which he named Beringia, became a center of dispersal for tundra plants. Now it appears that it also may have been a glacial refugium and postglacial center of dispersal for the people who first settled the Americas.

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