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    Palynological perspectives on vegetation survey: a critical step for model-based reconstruction of Quaternary land cover

    Bunting, M.J. and Farrell, M. and Brostrom, A. and Hjelle, K.L. and Mazier, F. and Middleton, R. and Nielsen, A.B. and Rushton, E. and Shaw, Helen E. and Twiddle, C.L. (2013) Palynological perspectives on vegetation survey: a critical step for model-based reconstruction of Quaternary land cover. Quaternary Science Reviews, 82. pp. 41-55. ISSN 0277-3791

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    1. Quantitative reconstruction of past vegetation distribution and abundance from sedimentary pollen records provides an important baseline for understanding long term ecosystem dynamics and for the calibration of earth system process models such as regional-scale climate models, widely used to predict future environmental change. Most current approaches assume that the amount of pollen produced by each vegetation type, usually expressed as a relative pollen productivity term, is constant in space and time. 2. Estimates of relative pollen productivity can be extracted from extended R-value analysis (Parsons and Prentice, 1981) using comparisons between pollen assemblages deposited into sedimentary contexts, such as moss polsters, and measurements of the present day vegetation cover around the sampled location. Vegetation survey method has been shown to have a profound effect on estimates of model parameters (Bunting and Hjelle, 2010), therefore a standard method is an essential pre-requisite for testing some of the key assumptions of pollen-based reconstruction of past vegetation; such as the assumption that relative pollen productivity is effectively constant in space and time within a region or biome. 3. This paper systematically reviews the assumptions and methodology underlying current models of pollen dispersal and deposition, and thereby identifies the key characteristics of an effective vegetation survey method for estimating relative pollen productivity in a range of landscape contexts. 4. It then presents the methodology used in a current research project, developed during a practitioner workshop. The method selected is pragmatic, designed to be replicable by different research groups, usable in a wide range of habitats, and requiring minimum effort to collect adequate data for model calibration rather than representing some ideal or required approach. Using this common methodology will allow project members to collect multiple measurements of relative pollen productivity for major plant taxa from several northern European locations in order to test the assumption of uniformity of these values within the climatic range of the main taxa recorded in pollen records from the region.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Community mapping; Distance-weighted plant abundance; Pollen dispersal and deposition models; Pollen surface sample; PrenticeeSugita model of pollen dispersal; and deposition; Remote sensing data; Sutton model; Vegetation data processing;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 8953
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Helen Shaw
    Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2017 14:38
    Journal or Publication Title: Quaternary Science Reviews
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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