Terrestrial plant microfossils in palaeoenvironmental studies, pollen, microcharcoal and phytolith. Towards a comprehensive understanding of vegetation, fire and climate changes over the past one million years

Daniau, Anne-Laure; Desprat, Stéphanie; Aleman, Julie C.; Bremond, Laurent; Davis, Basil; Fletcher, William; Marlon, Jennifer R.; Marquer, Laurent; Montade, Vincent; Morales-Molino, César; Naughton, Filipa; Rius, Damien; Urrego, Dunia H. (2019). Terrestrial plant microfossils in palaeoenvironmental studies, pollen, microcharcoal and phytolith. Towards a comprehensive understanding of vegetation, fire and climate changes over the past one million years. Revue de micropaléontologie, 63, pp. 1-35. Elsevier 10.1016/j.revmic.2019.02.001

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The Earth has experienced large changes in global and regional climates over the past one million years. Understanding processes and feedbacks that control those past environmental changes is of great interest for better understanding the nature, direction and magnitude of current climate change, its effect on life, and on the physical, biological and chemical processes and ecosystem services important for human well-being. Microfossils from terrestrial plants – pollen, microcharcoal and phytoliths – preserved in terrestrial and marine sedimentary archives are particularly useful tools to document changes in vegetation, fire and land climate. They are well-preserved in a variety of depositional environments and provide quantitative reconstructions of past land cover and climate. Those microfossil data are widely available from public archives, and their spatial coverage includes almost all regions on Earth, including both high and low latitudes and altitudes. Here, we (i) review the laboratory procedures used to extract those microfossils from sediment for microscopic observations and the qualitative and quantitative information they provide, (ii) highlight the importance of regional and global databases for large-scale syntheses of environmental changes, and (iii) review the application of terrestrial plant microfossil records in palaeoclimatology and palaeoecology using key examples from specific regions and past periods.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Morales del Molino, Cesar

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0035-1598

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

30 Jul 2019 15:28

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2019 12:47

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.revmic.2019.02.001

Uncontrolled Keywords:

pollen; microcharcoal; phytolith; terrestrial and marine sedimentary archives; vegetation; fire; middle Pleistocene; last glacial period; Holocene

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.131588

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/131588

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