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Pollen-based biomes for Beringia 18,000, 6000 and 0 14C yr bp

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The objective biomization method developed by Prentice et al. (1996) for Europe was extended using modern pollen samples from Beringia and then applied to fossil pollen data to reconstruct palaeovegetation patterns at 6000 and 18,000 14C yrbp.

The predicted modern distribution of tundra, taiga and cool conifer forests in Alaska and north-western Canada generally corresponds well to actual vegetation patterns, although sites in regions characterized today by a mosaic of forest and tundra vegetation tend to be preferentially assigned to tundra. Siberian larch forests are delimited less well, probably due to the extreme under-representation of Larix in pollen spectra.

The biome distribution across Beringia at 6000 14C yrbpwas broadly similar to today, with little change in the northern forest limit, except for a possible northward advance in the Mackenzie delta region. The western forest limit in Alaska was probably east of its modern position.

At 18,000 14C yr bpthe whole of Beringia was covered by tundra. However, the importance of the various plant functional types varied from site to site, supporting the idea that the vegetation cover was a mosaic of different tundra types.
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Keywords: Alaska; Pollen data; biomes; climate changes; eastern Siberia; last glacial maximum; mid-Holocene; plant functional types; vegetation changes

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, NTNU, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway, 2: Quaternary Research Center AK-60, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA, 3: College of Forest Resources AR-10, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA, 4: U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, M.S. 980, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USA, 5: Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Telegrafenberg A43, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany, 6: Alaska Quaternary Center, PO Box 756960, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775–6960, USA, 7: Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 6E1, 8: Department of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA, 9: Departments of Plant Biology and Geology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA, 10: Russian Academy of Science, Far East Branch, N.E. Interdisciplinary Research Institute, Magadan 68500, Russia, 11: Department of Geography, University of California—Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095–1524, USA, 12: Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA, 13: Pebbledash Cottage, Corfe, Taunton TA3 7AJ, UK, 14: Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, 33 Leninskiy Prospect, 117071 Moscow, Russia, 15: Department of Biology, SUNY College Geneseo, Geneseo, NY 14454, USA,

Publication date: 2000-05-01

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