Holocene palaeoclimate and palaeovegetation on the islands of Flores and Pico

Connor, Simon E.; van der Knaap, Willem Oscar; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline; Kuneš, Petr (2013). Holocene palaeoclimate and palaeovegetation on the islands of Flores and Pico. In: Fernández-Palacios, J. M.; de Nascimento, L.; Hernández, J. C.; Clemente, S.; Gonzáles, A.; Días-González, J. P. (eds.) Climate change perspectives from the Atlantic: past, present and future (pp. 149-162). Teneriffe, Spain: Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de La Laguna

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Palaeoclimatic stability is regarded as an important factor in explaining patterns of endemism in the Azorean flora. However, modelling simulations and quantitative reconstructions for the last 6000 years suggest considerable palaeoclimatic variability. Here we explore the link between Holocene palaeoclimate and palaeovegetation on the islands of Flores and Pico. Modern pollen assemblages indicate that most major plant communities can be detected using pollen analysis and that, in some cases, the pre-colonisation vegetation was quite similar to present-day relict vegetation. A 200–500-year pollen record from Alagoinha, a low-elevation mire in western Flores, shows that Juniperus brevifolia-dominated communities were widespread at lower elevations prior to large-scale deforestation. Today these communities are generally restricted to higher elevations. While our results are preliminary, there appears to be a weak link between palaeovegetation (which was primarily influenced by volcanism, soil formation and human impact) and palaeoclimatic changes detected through geochemical proxies. Even if the Azorean palaeoclimate varied substantially, its impact on the pristine vegetation, at least in terms of pollen production, was relatively small.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

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:

van der Knaap, Willem Oscar and van Leeuwen, Jacqueline

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISBN:

978-84-15910-54-1

Publisher:

Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de La Laguna

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

02 Jun 2016 08:26

Last Modified:

02 Jun 2016 08:26

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Azores, Holocene, Macaronesia, palaeoclimate, palaeovegetation, Portugal

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.81071

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/81071

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