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Is palynology a credible climate proxy in the Subantarctic?

Van der Putten, Nathalie LU ; Verbruggen, Cyriel; Björck, Svante LU ; de Beaulieu, Jacques-Louis; Barrow, Chris J. and Frenot, Yves (2012) In The Holocene 22(10). p.1113-1121
Abstract
Pollen and spore analysis is the most successfully used palaeobotanical discipline for reconstructing Holocene vegetation and climate history throughout

the world. Subantarctic islands are very specific areas. They are located in the circum-Antarctic Southern Ocean in latitudes that are under strong

influence of the southern westerly winds, and are characterised by a treeless, phanerogam-poor flora. Palynological research on many of these islands has

resulted in diverging conclusions about how to infer climate history from pollen data. In this study we compare pollen data with macrofossil data on the

one hand, and the palaeoenvironmental history based on a multiproxy record on the other hand, of two peat... (More)
Pollen and spore analysis is the most successfully used palaeobotanical discipline for reconstructing Holocene vegetation and climate history throughout

the world. Subantarctic islands are very specific areas. They are located in the circum-Antarctic Southern Ocean in latitudes that are under strong

influence of the southern westerly winds, and are characterised by a treeless, phanerogam-poor flora. Palynological research on many of these islands has

resulted in diverging conclusions about how to infer climate history from pollen data. In this study we compare pollen data with macrofossil data on the

one hand, and the palaeoenvironmental history based on a multiproxy record on the other hand, of two peat sequences from two different subantarctic

islands, South Georgia and Île de la Possession (Îles Crozet). We conclude that palynology must be used with caution as a proxy for climate change

on these islands, especially when no other proxy data are available. The upland–lowland principle, as it has been applied in pollen studies in the South

Indian Ocean islands, results in erroneous conclusions about climate change on Île de la Possession. More palaeoclimatic multiproxy and pollen studies,

in combination with pollen–vegetation relationship studies, can, however, contribute to a more reliable model of how to interpret pollen data in the

Subantarctic. We want to stress that our conclusions are only based on Holocene records. Consequently, the question remains if palynology can be used

as a palaeoclimatic proxy when climatic changes were more pronounced such as during the last glacial–interglacial transition. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Holocene, Îles Crozet, palynology, plant macrofossil analysis, South Georgia, Subantarctic
in
The Holocene
volume
22
issue
10
pages
1113 - 1121
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000308883300004
  • scopus:84866562551
ISSN
0959-6836
DOI
10.1177/0959683612441804
project
MERGE
BECC
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
bd90bc7f-efbc-45d4-b3d8-26e57c14f2e5 (old id 2796827)
date added to LUP
2012-08-17 08:33:37
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:07:00
@article{bd90bc7f-efbc-45d4-b3d8-26e57c14f2e5,
  abstract     = {Pollen and spore analysis is the most successfully used palaeobotanical discipline for reconstructing Holocene vegetation and climate history throughout<br/><br>
the world. Subantarctic islands are very specific areas. They are located in the circum-Antarctic Southern Ocean in latitudes that are under strong<br/><br>
influence of the southern westerly winds, and are characterised by a treeless, phanerogam-poor flora. Palynological research on many of these islands has<br/><br>
resulted in diverging conclusions about how to infer climate history from pollen data. In this study we compare pollen data with macrofossil data on the<br/><br>
one hand, and the palaeoenvironmental history based on a multiproxy record on the other hand, of two peat sequences from two different subantarctic<br/><br>
islands, South Georgia and Île de la Possession (Îles Crozet). We conclude that palynology must be used with caution as a proxy for climate change<br/><br>
on these islands, especially when no other proxy data are available. The upland–lowland principle, as it has been applied in pollen studies in the South<br/><br>
Indian Ocean islands, results in erroneous conclusions about climate change on Île de la Possession. More palaeoclimatic multiproxy and pollen studies,<br/><br>
in combination with pollen–vegetation relationship studies, can, however, contribute to a more reliable model of how to interpret pollen data in the<br/><br>
Subantarctic. We want to stress that our conclusions are only based on Holocene records. Consequently, the question remains if palynology can be used<br/><br>
as a palaeoclimatic proxy when climatic changes were more pronounced such as during the last glacial–interglacial transition.},
  author       = {Van der Putten, Nathalie and Verbruggen, Cyriel and Björck, Svante and de Beaulieu, Jacques-Louis and Barrow, Chris J. and Frenot, Yves},
  issn         = {0959-6836},
  keyword      = {Holocene,Îles Crozet,palynology,plant macrofossil analysis,South Georgia,Subantarctic},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {1113--1121},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {The Holocene},
  title        = {Is palynology a credible climate proxy in the Subantarctic?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959683612441804},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2012},
}