Jan 19, 2016

The Effect of Anthropogenic Land Cover Change on Pollen-Vegetation Relationships in the American Midwest

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ellen Ruth KujawaJohn W. Williams


Fossil pollen assemblages are widely used to reconstruct past vegetation community composition at time scales ranging from centuries to millennia. These reconstructions often are based on the observed relationships between the proportions of plant taxa in the source vegetation and the proportions of the corresponding pollen types in pollen assemblages collected from surface sediments. Pollen-vegetation models rely upon parameters whose values typically are assumed to be stable through time, but this assumption is largely unevaluated, due in part to the rarity of comprehensive forest data, particularly for earlier time periods. Here we present a new dataset of early settlement-era pollen records for the upper Midwest of North America and combine it with three other pollen and forest composition datasets to assess the stability of the relationship between relative pollen composition and relative abundances of tree genera for two time periods: immediately prior to Euro-American settlement, and the late 20th Century. Over this time interval, Euro-American settlement resulted in widespread forest clearance for agriculture and logging, producing major changes to forest composition and structure and the pollen assemblages produced by ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Pinus <subgenus>
Trees (plant)
Spatial Distribution
Fossil Quercus pollen
Pan American Health Organization
Anatomical Space Structure
Pinus <genus>

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