Synchronous vegetation response to the last glacial-interglacial transition in northwest Europe

Engels, S. et al. (2022) Synchronous vegetation response to the last glacial-interglacial transition in northwest Europe. Communications Earth and Environment, 3(1), 130. (doi: 10.1038/s43247-022-00457-y)

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The North Atlantic region experienced abrupt high-amplitude cooling at the onset of the Younger Dryas stadial. However, due to chronological uncertainties in the available terrestrial records it is unclear whether terrestrial ecosystem response to this event was instantaneous and spatially synchronous, or whether regional or time-transgressive lags existed. Here we use new palynological results from a robustly dated lake sediment sequence retrieved from lake Hämelsee (north Germany) to show that vegetation change started at 12,820 cal. yr BP, concurrent with the onset of changes in local climate. A comparison of the Hämelsee results to a compilation of precisely dated palynological records shows instant and, within decadal-scale dating uncertainty, synchronous response of the terrestrial plant community to Late-Glacial climate change across northwest Europe. The results indicate that the environmental impact of climate cooling was more severe than previously thought and illustrates the sensitivity of natural terrestrial ecosystems to external forcing.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study makes a contribution to the INTIMATE project (INTegrating Ice core, MArine and TErrestrial records, and follows on from the INTIMATE Example 2013 Research and Training school, which was funded by COST action ES0907.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Staff, Dr Richard
Authors: Engels, S., Lane, C. S., Haliuc, A., Hoek, W. Z., Muschitiello, F., Baneschi, I., Bouwman, A., Bronk Ramsey, C., Collins, J., de Bruijn, R., Heiri, O., Hubay, K., Jones, G., Laug, A., Merkt, J., Müller, M., Peters, T., Peterse, F., Staff, R. A., ter Schure, A. T. M., Turner, F., van den Bos, V., and Wagner-Cremer, F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Communications Earth and Environment
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2662-4435
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2022
First Published:First published in Communications Earth and Environment 3(1):130
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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