Younger Dryas and Allerød summer temperatures at Gerzensee (Switzerland) inferred from fossil pollen and cladoceran assemblages

Lotter, André F.; Birks, H.J.B; Eicher, U; Hofmann, W; Schwander, Jakob; Wick, L (2000). Younger Dryas and Allerød summer temperatures at Gerzensee (Switzerland) inferred from fossil pollen and cladoceran assemblages. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 159(3-4), pp. 349-361. Elsevier 10.1016/S0031-0182(00)00093-6

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Linear- and unimodal-based inference models for mean summer temperatures (partial least squares, weighted averaging, and weighted averaging partial least squares models) were applied to a high-resolution pollen and cladoceran stratigraphy from Gerzensee, Switzerland. The time-window of investigation included the Allerød, the Younger Dryas, and the Preboreal. Characteristic major and minor oscillations in the oxygen-isotope stratigraphy, such as the Gerzensee oscillation, the onset and end of the Younger Dryas stadial, and the Preboreal oscillation, were identified by isotope analysis of bulk-sediment carbonates of the same core and were used as independent indicators for hemispheric or global scale climatic change. In general, the pollen-inferred mean summer temperature reconstruction using all three inference models follows the oxygen-isotope curve more closely than the cladoceran curve. The cladoceran-inferred reconstruction suggests generally warmer summers than the pollen-based reconstructions, which may be an effect of terrestrial vegetation not being in equilibrium with climate due to migrational lags during the Late Glacial and early Holocene. Allerød summer temperatures range between 11 and 12°C based on pollen, whereas the cladoceran-inferred temperatures lie between 11 and 13°C. Pollen and cladocera-inferred reconstructions both suggest a drop to 9–10°C at the beginning of the Younger Dryas. Although the Allerød–Younger Dryas transition lasted 150–160 years in the oxygen-isotope stratigraphy, the pollen-inferred cooling took 180–190 years and the cladoceran-inferred cooling lasted 250–260 years. The pollen-inferred summer temperature rise to 11.5–12°C at the transition from the Younger Dryas to the Preboreal preceded the oxygen-isotope signal by several decades, whereas the cladoceran-inferred warming lagged. Major discrepancies between the pollen- and cladoceran-inference models are observed for the Preboreal, where the cladoceran-inference model suggests mean summer temperatures of up to 14–15°C. Both pollen- and cladoceran-inferred reconstructions suggest a cooling that may be related to the Gerzensee oscillation, but there is no evidence for a cooling synchronous with the Preboreal oscillation as recorded in the oxygen-isotope record. For the Gerzensee oscillation the inferred cooling was ca. 1 and 0.5°C based on pollen and cladocera, respectively, which lies well within the inherent prediction errors of the inference models.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
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:

Lotter, André F. and Schwander, Jakob


500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)








Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

12 Feb 2016 13:48

Last Modified:

16 Sep 2021 17:22

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Allerød; cladocera; Gerzensee oscillation; oxygen isotopes; palaeoclimate; pollen; Preboreal oscillation; summer temperatures; transfer functions; Younger Dryas




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