Modern pollen - vegetation - plant diversity relationships across large environmental gradients in northern Greece

Senn, Carolina; Tinner, Willy; Felde, Vivian A.; Gobet, Erika; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F. N.; Morales-Molino, César (2021). Modern pollen - vegetation - plant diversity relationships across large environmental gradients in northern Greece. The Holocene, 32(3), pp. 159-173. Sage 10.1177/09596836211060494

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Past vegetation and biodiversity dynamics, reconstructed using palaeoecological methods, can contribute to assessing the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis and anticipating future risks and challenges. Among the different palaeoecological techniques, pollen analysis is probably the most widely used to reconstruct vegetation and plant diversity changes through time. Such reconstructions demand robust and comprehensive calibration studies addressing the pollen representation of extant vegetation to be sound. However, calibration studies are rare in the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot, particularly regarding plant diversity. Here, we contribute to filling this gap by investigating the modern pollen signature of Mediterranean vegetation across a large environmental gradient in northern Greece. At each sampling site (n = 61), we quantitatively compared the composition and diversity of plant (vegetation surveys) and pollen assemblages (moss/topsoil samples) using numerical techniques. Further, we compared these terrestrial pollen assemblages with those from lake sediment surface samples of the same region. We found an overall good match between plant and pollen assemblages, with maquis and mixed deciduous forest displaying particularly distinct pollen signatures. In contrast, the high regional importance of pines and oaks and their large pollen production blurred the pollen representation of other forested vegetation types and of shrublands and grasslands. Plant and pollen richness and their evenness showed similar declining trends with increasing altitude, but plant and pollen evenness bore a better match than richness. A more detailed vegetation-specific view on the data suggests that pine pollen seriously affected pollen richness and evenness in most of the pine-dominated stands. Lastly, our results suggest a rather straightforward application of vegetation-pollen relationships from moss/topsoil samples to interpret pollen assemblages from lakes in Mediterranean settings.

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:

Senn, Carolina Daniela; Tinner, Willy; Gobet, Erika; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline Francisca and Morales del Molino, Cesar

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0959-6836

Publisher:

Sage

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

17 Jan 2022 12:19

Last Modified:

20 Feb 2022 01:52

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/09596836211060494

Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

evenness, indicator species, Mediterranean region, multivariate classification tree, palaeoecology, palynological richness, pollen analysis, surface samples

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/162491

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/162491

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