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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-111
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2018-111
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Oct 2018

Research article | 23 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Pollen-based quantitative land-cover reconstruction for northern Asia during the last 40 ka

Xianyong Cao1, Fang Tian1, Furong Li2, Marie-José Gaillard2, Natalia Rudaya1,3,4, and Ulrike Herzschuh1,4,5 Xianyong Cao et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Research Unit Potsdam, Telegrafenberg A43, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Linnaeus University, Kalmar 39182, Sweden
  • 3Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, pr. Akad. Lavrentieva 17, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia
  • 4Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
  • 5Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24, Potsdam 14476, Germany

Abstract. We collected the available relative pollen productivity (RPP) estimates for 27 major pollen taxa from Eurasia and applied them to estimate plant abundances during the last 40cal.kaBP (calibrated thousand-year before the present) using pollen counts from 203 fossil pollen records in northern Asia (north of 40°N). These pollen records were organised into 42 site groups; and regional mean plant abundances were calculated using the REVEALS (Regional Estimates of Vegetation Abundance from Large Sites) model. Time-series clustering, constrained hierarchical clustering, and detrended canonical correspondence analysis were performed to investigate the regional pattern, time, and strength of vegetation changes, respectively. Reconstructed regional land cover for each site group is generally consistent with in situ modern vegetation in that vegetation changes within the regions are characterized by minor changes in the abundance of major taxa rather than by invasions of new taxa, particularly during the Holocene. We argue that pollen-based REVEALS estimates of plant abundances should be a more reliable reflection of the vegetation as pollen may overestimate the turnover, particularly when a high pollen producer invades areas dominated by low pollen producers. Comparisons with vegetation-independent climate records show that climate change is the primary factor driving land-cover changes at broad spatial and temporal scales. Vegetation changes in certain regions or periods, however, could not be explained by direct climate change, for example inland Siberia, where a sharp increase in evergreen conifer tree abundance occurred at ca. 7~8cal.kaBP despite an unchanging climate, potentially reflecting their response to complex climate-permafrost-fire-vegetation interactions and thus a possible lagged climate response.

Xianyong Cao et al.
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The high-quality pollen records (collected from lakes and peat bogs) the last 40 cal ka BP form north Asia are homogenized and the plant abundance signals are calibrated by the modern relative pollen productivity estimates. Calibrated plant abundances for each site is generally consistent with in situ modern vegetation and vegetation changes within the regions are characterized by minor changes in the abundance of major taxa rather than by invasions of new taxa during the last 40 cal ka BP.
The high-quality pollen records (collected from lakes and peat bogs) the last 40 cal ka BP form...
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