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Pollen-based biome reconstruction for southern Europe and Africa 18,000 yr BP


Jolly,  D.
Research Group Paleo-Climatology, Dr. S. P. Harrison, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Elenga, H., Peyron, O., Bonnefille, R., Jolly, D., Cheddadi, R., Guiot, J., et al. (2000). Pollen-based biome reconstruction for southern Europe and Africa 18,000 yr BP. Journal of Biogeography, 27(3), 621-634.

Pollen data from 18,000 C-14 yr sp were compiled in order to reconstruct biome distributions at the last glacial maximum in southern Europe and Africa. Biome reconstructions were made using the objective biomization method applied to pollen counts using a complete list of dryland taxa wherever possible. Consistent and major differences from present-day biomes are shown. F orest and xerophytic woods/scrub were replaced by steppe, both in the Mediterranean region and in southern Africa, except in south-western Cape Province where fynbos (xerophytic scrub) persisted. Sites in the tropical highlands, characterized today by evergreen forest, were dominated by steppe and/or xerophytic vegetation (cf. today's Ericaceous belt and Afroalpine grass land) at the last glacial maximum. Available data from the tropical lowlands are sparse but suggest that the modern tropical rain forest was largely replaced by tropical seasonal forest while the modern seasonal or dry forests were encroached on by savanna or steppe. Montane forest elements descended to lower elevations than today. [References: 107]