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Modelling pollen sedimentation in Danish lakes at c.ad1800: an attempt to validate the POLLSCAPE model

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Abstract Aims 

To validate the POLLSCAPE simulation model of pollen dispersal and deposition, and evaluate the effect of factors such as pollen productivity, wind speed and regional plant abundance, using a data set ofad1800 pollen assemblages and historical land cover data. Location 

Denmark. Methods 

ad1800 land cover from historical maps is digitized for 2000 m radii around 30 Danish lakes (3.5–33 ha). The simulation model POLLSCAPE is used to predict sedimentary pollen assemblages in the lakes from the plant abundance data inferred from these maps, with different model parameter settings for wind speed, pollen productivity, regional pollen loading, etc. The model predictions are compared with observedad1800 pollen assemblages from the lake sediment records. Furthermore, pollen productivity is estimated from thead1800 pollen and vegetation data using the Extended R-value model. Results 

Generally the model reproduces the patterns in the observed pollen assemblages, and for most pollen types there are significant correlations between observed and predicted pollen proportions. The pollen proportions predicted by the POLLSCAPE model are sensitive to the pollen productivity estimates used, the regional background pollen loading and average wind speed. There is a difference in background pollen loading between eastern and western Denmark, especially of Calluna pollen. The fit between predicted and observed pollen assemblages is best at wind speeds around 2.5 m s−1, and decreases rapidly at lower wind speeds. The pollen productivity estimates from thead1800 data set are comparable with estimates from moss polsters in modern analogues of traditional cultural landscapes in Sweden and Norway. Main conclusions 

The POLLSCAPE model reproduces the patterns in the observed pollen assemblages from the lakes well, considering the uncertainty in the historical plant abundance data. This study indicates that the simulation model can be a useful tool for investigating relationships between vegetation and pollen composition, but also that the simulated pollen proportions are sensitive to the pollen productivity estimates, the regional background and to wind speed.

Keywords: ERV model; POLLSCAPE; historical maps; pollen dispersal; pollen productivity; pollen sedimentation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2004

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