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    The use of modelling and simulation approach in reconstructing past landscapes from fossil pollen data: a review and results from the POLLANDCAL network


    Gaillard, Marie-José and Sugita, Shinya and Bunting, M. Jane and Middleton, Richard and Broström, Anna and Caseldine, Chistopher and Giesecke, Thomas and Hellman, Sophie E.V. and Hicks, Sheila and Hjelle, Kari and Langdon, Catherine and Nielsen, Anne-Birgitte and Poska, Anneli and von Stedingk, Henrik and Veski, Sim (2008) The use of modelling and simulation approach in reconstructing past landscapes from fossil pollen data: a review and results from the POLLANDCAL network. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 17 (5). pp. 419-443. ISSN 0939-6314

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    Abstract

    Information on past land cover in terms of absolute areas of different landscape units (forest, open land, pasture land, cultivated land, etc.) at local to regional scales is needed to test hypotheses and answer questions related to climate change (e.g. feedbacks effects of land-cover change), archaeological research, and nature conservancy (e.g. management strategy). The palaeoecological technique best suited to achieve quantitative reconstruction of past vegetation is pollen analysis. A simulation approach developed by Sugita (the computer model POLLSCAPE) which uses models based on the theory of pollen analysis is presented together with examples of application. POLLSCAPE has been adopted as the central tool for POLLANDCAL (POLlen/LANdscape CALibration), an international research network focusing on this topic. The theory behind models of the pollen–vegetation relationship and POLLSCAPE is reviewed. The two model outputs which receive greatest attention in this paper are the relevant source area of pollen (RSAP) and pollen loading in mires and lakes. Six examples of application of POLLSCAPE are presented, each of which explores a possible use of the POLLANDCAL tools and a means of validating or evaluating the models with empirical data. The landscape and vegetation factors influencing the size of the RSAP, the importance of pollen productivity estimates (PPEs) for the model outputs, the detection of small and rare patches of plant taxa in pollen records, and quantitative reconstructions of past vegetation and landscapes are discussed on the basis of these examples. The simulation approach is seen to be useful both for exploring different vegetation/landscape scenarios and for refuting hypotheses.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: POLLANDCAL network; POLLSCAPE simulation model; Pollen dispersal and deposition; Relevant source area of pollen; Quantitative reconstructions of past vegetation and landscapes;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 12250
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00334-008-0169-3
    Depositing User: Helen Shaw
    Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 17:29
    Journal or Publication Title: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany
    Publisher: Springer
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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