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Journal Article

Biome reconstruction from pollen and plant macrofossil data for Africa and the Arabian peninsula at 0 and 6000 years

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Jolly, D., Prentice, I. C., Bonnefille, R., Ballouche, A., Bengo, M., Brenac, P., et al. (1998). Biome reconstruction from pollen and plant macrofossil data for Africa and the Arabian peninsula at 0 and 6000 years. Journal of Biogeography, 25(6), 1007-1027.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-E106-5
Abstract
Biome reconstruction from pollen and plant macrofossil data provides an objective method to reconstruct past vegetation. Biomes for Africa and the Arabian peninsula have been mapped for 6000 years sp and provide a new standard for the evaluation of simulated palaeovegetation distributions. A test using modern pollen data shows the robustness of the biomization method, which is able to predict the major vegetation types with a high confidence level. The application of the procedure to the 6000 years data set (pollen and plant macrofossil analyses) shows systematic differences from the present that are consistent with the numerous previous regional and continental interpretations, while providing a more extensive and more objective basis for such interpretations. Madagascar, eastern, southern and central Africa show only minor changes in terms of biomes, compared to present. Major changes in biome distributions occur north of 15 degrees N, with steppe in many low-elevation sites that are now desert, and temperate xerophytic woods/scrub and warm mixed forest in the Saharan mountains. These shifts in biome distributions, imply significant changes in climate, especially precipitation, between 6000 years and present, reflecting a change in monsoon extent combined with a southward expansion of Mediterranean influence. [References: 170]