Biotic responses to rapid climatic changes

Ammann, Brigitta (2000). Biotic responses to rapid climatic changes. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 159(3-4), pp. 191-201. Elsevier 10.1016/S0031-0182(00)00084-5

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Qualitative and quantitative changes in fossil flora and fauna have been used in many studies to infer climatic change. Here we ask a different question: how do flora and fauna respond to climatic changes such as rapid warming or cooling? As an independent proxy for paleotemperature we take the ratio of oxygen isotopes in biogenically precipitated lake marl and in ostracod shells. This introductory paper describes the project design and the five sites on an altitudinal transect from 600 m to about 2300 m asl in the western Swiss Alps. As cases of climatic cooling and warming we use the beginning and end of the Younger Dryas as major changes, and the Gerzensee and Preboreal oscillations as minor changes. At the two sites of Gerzensee and Leysin these changes are recorded in stable-isotope ratios, and there the time scales can be derived by correlations to the GRIP ice core (Schwander et al., 2000 and von Grafenstein et al., 2000). Biotic responses to climate changes are treated in individual papers using pollen (Wick, 2000), plant macrofossils (Tobolski and Ammann, 2000), and remains of chironomids (Brooks, 2000), beetles and other insects (Lemdahl, 2000), and chydorid Cladocera (Hofmann, 2000). They are followed by a synthesis focusing on quantification of biotic responses (Ammann et al., 2000).

In addition, a reconstruction of summer temperatures for the Allerød and the Younger Dryas at Gerzensee is provided by Lotter et al. (2000).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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:

Ammann, Brigitta


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)








Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

02 Jun 2016 09:34

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:55

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

biotic responses; climatic change; Early Holocene; Late Glacial; project design; time lags




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