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Constraining the deforestation history of Europe : Evaluation of historical land use scenarios with pollen-based land cover reconstructions

Kaplan, Jed O. LU ; Krumhardt, Kristen M. ; Gaillard, Marie José ; Sugita, Shinya ; Trondman, Anna Kari ; Fyfe, Ralph M. ; Marquer, Laurent LU ; Mazier, Florence LU and Nielsen, Anne Birgitte LU (2017) In Land 6(4).
Abstract


Anthropogenic land cover change (ALCC) is the most important transformation of the Earth system that occurred in the preindustrial Holocene, with implications for carbon, water and sediment cycles, biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services and regional and global climate. For example, anthropogenic deforestation in preindustrial Eurasia may have led to feedbacks to the climate system: both biogeophysical, regionally amplifying winter cold and summer warm temperatures, and biogeochemical, stabilizing atmospheric CO
2
concentrations and thus influencing global climate. Quantification of these effects is difficult,... (More)


Anthropogenic land cover change (ALCC) is the most important transformation of the Earth system that occurred in the preindustrial Holocene, with implications for carbon, water and sediment cycles, biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services and regional and global climate. For example, anthropogenic deforestation in preindustrial Eurasia may have led to feedbacks to the climate system: both biogeophysical, regionally amplifying winter cold and summer warm temperatures, and biogeochemical, stabilizing atmospheric CO
2
concentrations and thus influencing global climate. Quantification of these effects is difficult, however, because scenarios of anthropogenic land cover change over the Holocene vary widely, with increasing disagreement back in time. Because land cover change had such widespread ramifications for the Earth system, it is essential to assess current ALCC scenarios in light of observations and provide guidance on which models are most realistic. Here, we perform a systematic evaluation of two widely-used ALCC scenarios (KK10 and HYDE3.1) in northern and part of central Europe using an independent, pollen-based reconstruction of Holocene land cover (REVEALS). Considering that ALCC in Europe primarily resulted in deforestation,we comparemodeled land usewith the cover of non-forest vegetation inferred from the pollen data. Though neither land cover change scenario matches the pollen-based reconstructions precisely, KK10 correlates well with REVEALS at the country scale, while HYDE systematically underestimates land use with increasing magnitude with time in the past. Discrepancies between modeled and reconstructed land use are caused by a number of factors, including assumptions of per-capita land use and socio-cultural factors that cannot be predicted on the basis of the characteristics of the physical environment, including dietary preferences, long-distance trade, the location of urban areas and social organization.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Environmental history, Human-environment interactions, Land use, Paleoecology
in
Land
volume
6
issue
4
article number
91
pages
20 pages
publisher
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
external identifiers
  • scopus:85040781220
DOI
10.3390/land6040091
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
131132a8-6d4b-44d9-8981-b2e3a207ad9e
date added to LUP
2019-04-25 15:43:15
date last changed
2020-01-22 07:33:12
@article{131132a8-6d4b-44d9-8981-b2e3a207ad9e,
  abstract     = {<p><br>
                            Anthropogenic land cover change (ALCC) is the most important transformation of the Earth system that occurred in the preindustrial Holocene, with implications for carbon, water and sediment cycles, biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services and regional and global climate. For example, anthropogenic deforestation in preindustrial Eurasia may have led to feedbacks to the climate system: both biogeophysical, regionally amplifying winter cold and summer warm temperatures, and biogeochemical, stabilizing atmospheric CO<br>
                            <sub>2</sub><br>
                             concentrations and thus influencing global climate. Quantification of these effects is difficult, however, because scenarios of anthropogenic land cover change over the Holocene vary widely, with increasing disagreement back in time. Because land cover change had such widespread ramifications for the Earth system, it is essential to assess current ALCC scenarios in light of observations and provide guidance on which models are most realistic. Here, we perform a systematic evaluation of two widely-used ALCC scenarios (KK10 and HYDE3.1) in northern and part of central Europe using an independent, pollen-based reconstruction of Holocene land cover (REVEALS). Considering that ALCC in Europe primarily resulted in deforestation,we comparemodeled land usewith the cover of non-forest vegetation inferred from the pollen data. Though neither land cover change scenario matches the pollen-based reconstructions precisely, KK10 correlates well with REVEALS at the country scale, while HYDE systematically underestimates land use with increasing magnitude with time in the past. Discrepancies between modeled and reconstructed land use are caused by a number of factors, including assumptions of per-capita land use and socio-cultural factors that cannot be predicted on the basis of the characteristics of the physical environment, including dietary preferences, long-distance trade, the location of urban areas and social organization.<br>
                        </p>},
  author       = {Kaplan, Jed O. and Krumhardt, Kristen M. and Gaillard, Marie José and Sugita, Shinya and Trondman, Anna Kari and Fyfe, Ralph M. and Marquer, Laurent and Mazier, Florence and Nielsen, Anne Birgitte},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {4},
  publisher    = {Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)},
  series       = {Land},
  title        = {Constraining the deforestation history of Europe : Evaluation of historical land use scenarios with pollen-based land cover reconstructions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/land6040091},
  doi          = {10.3390/land6040091},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2017},
}