The response of NW Iberian vegetation to North Atlantic climate oscillations during the last 65 kyr

KH Roucoux*, L De Abreu, NJ Shackleton, PC Tzedakis

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    156 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Pollen and oceanographic data from deep ocean core MD95-2039 provide a centennial to millennial scale record of conditions offshore and of the vegetation of north-west Iberia for the period 10-65 ka. The planktonic oxygen isotope record of this core, reflecting predominantly sea surface temperature (SST), shows a pattern of millennial-scale oscillations that is very similar to climatic changes recorded by the Greenland ice core records over the same interval. In turn, tree populations show a pattern of rapid expansions and contractions that follow the pronounced and abrupt isotopic shifts recorded offshore. Through Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3, this millennial-scale pattern of vegetation change, alternating between steppe and open woodland, is superimposed on a longer-term pattern of shrinking ericaceous heathland and decreasing size of successive interstadial tree populations. Trees persisted during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at greater abundance than during many of the coldest episodes of MIS 3. This agrees with the marine data which indicate that LGM sea surface temperatures here were significantly warmer than the minima recorded in MIS 3. Our combined marine-terrestrial record, together with data from nearby sequences, provides a stepping stone between terrestrial sequences and the Greenland ice core and North Atlantic marine records. This will permit a better understanding of the behaviour of vegetation across different regions at several scales of climatic forcing. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1637-1653
    Number of pages17
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Volume24
    Issue number14-15
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005

    Keywords

    • GRANDE-DI-MONTICCHIO
    • BIOLOGICAL FLORA
    • GLACIAL PERIOD
    • BRITISH-ISLES
    • PORTUGUESE MARGIN
    • HEINRICH EVENTS
    • OXYGEN-ISOTOPE
    • GREENLAND ICE
    • POLLEN
    • RECORD

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