EGU21-15259, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Characterization of the resilience and variability of vegetation during the Holocene using a large database of pollen data

Raphael Hébert1,2, Chenzhi Li1,2, Thomas Laepple1,4, and Ulrike Herzschuh1,2,3
Raphael Hébert et al.
  • 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar-und Meeresforschung, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Institute of Environmental Sciences and Geography, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 4University of Bremen, MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and Faculty of Geosciences, Bremen, Germany

Global climatic changes which are expected in the 21st century are likely to create unparalleled disturbances on vegetation. In addition, human activities also increase the risk of fire disturbances and insect epidemies. We investigate the resilience of different biomes by examining their behaviour during the Holocene using a taxonomically harmonized and temporally standardized global fossil pollen datasets,synthesized from 2821 palynological records from the Neotoma Paleoecology Database and additional literature. Specifically, we study the composition variability on millennial time-scale and timescale-dependant scaling of variability from centennial to multi-millennial timescales. A principal component analysis was performed in order to characterize the principal modes of variability of the pollen assemblages. We find coherent regional signals of vegetation variability and scaling of variability from the pollen assemblages, indicating significant millennial scale variability which can be related to vegetation taxa and climates. Particularly, we observe more stability in North America and Northern Europe in areas dominated by boreal forest and deciduous forests. This may be linked to the greater stability of forest ecosystems and also a more stable climate over these areas which may be the result of stabilizing feedbacks. We find that diversity plays a key role in vegetation composition and that more diverse regions allow for greater variability. 



How to cite: Hébert, R., Li, C., Laepple, T., and Herzschuh, U.: Characterization of the resilience and variability of vegetation during the Holocene using a large database of pollen data, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15259,, 2021.

Corresponding presentation materials formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.