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Journal Article

Vegetation and climate history in the Laptev Sea region (Arctic Siberia) during Late Quaternary inferred from pollen records


Brovkin,  Victor       
Climate-Biogeosphere Interaction, The Land in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Andreev, A. A., Schirrmeister, L., Tarasov, P. E., Ganopolski, A., Brovkin, V., Siegert, C., et al. (2011). Vegetation and climate history in the Laptev Sea region (Arctic Siberia) during Late Quaternary inferred from pollen records. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30, 2182-2199. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.12.026.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-33D6-3
Paleoenvironmental records from a number of permafrost sections and lacustrine cores from the Laptev Sea region dated by several methods (14C-AMS, TL, IRSL, OSL and 230Th/U) were analyzed for pollen and palynomorphs. The records reveal the environmental history for the last ca 200 kyr. For interglacial pollen spectra, quantitative temperature values were estimated using the best modern analogue method. Sparse grass-sedge vegetation indicating arctic desert environmental conditions existed prior to 200 kyr ago. Dense, wet grass-sedge tundra habitats dominated during an interstadial ca 200–190 kyr ago, reflecting warmer and wetter summers than before. Sparser vegetation communities point to much more severe stadial conditions ca 190–130 kyr ago. Open grass and Artemisia communities with shrub stands (Alnus fruticosa, Salix, Betula nana) in more protected and moister places characterized the beginning of the Last Interglacial indicate climate conditions similar to present. Shrub tundra (Alnus fruticosa and Betula nana) dominated during the middle Eemian climatic optimum, when summer temperatures were 4–5 °C higher than today. Early-Weichselian sparse grass-sedge dominated vegetation indicates climate conditions colder and dryer than in the previous interval. Middle Weichselian Interstadial records indicate moister and warmer climate conditions, for example, in the interval 40–32 kyr BP Salix was present within dense, grass-sedge dominated vegetation. Sedge-grass-Artemisia-communities indicate that climate became cooler and drier after 30 kyr BP, and cold, dry conditions characterized the Late Weichselian, ca 26–16 kyr BP, when grass-dominated communities with Caryophyllaceae, Asteraceae, Cichoriaceae, Selaginella rupestris were present. From 16 to 12 kyr BP, grass-sedge communities with Caryophyllaceae, Asteraceae, and Cichoriaceae indicate climate was significantly warmer and moister than during the previous interval. The presence of Salix and Betula reflect temperatures about 4 °C higher than present at about 12–11 kyr BP, during the Allerød interval, but shrubs were absent in the Younger Dryas interval, pointing to a deterioration of climate conditions. Alnus fruticosa, Betula nana, Poaceae, and Cyperaceae dominate early Holocene spectra. Reconstructed absolute temperature values were substantially warmer than present (up to 12 °C). Shrubs gradually disappeared from coastal areas after 7.6 kyr BP when vegetation cover became similar to modern. A comparison of proxy-based paleoenvironmental reconstructions with the simulations performed by an Earth system model of intermediate complexity (CLIMBER-2) show good accordance between the regional paleodata and model simulations, especially for the warmer intervals.