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Evaluation of the realism of climate reconstruction using the Coexistence Approach with modern pollen samples from the Tibetan Plateau

Zhang, Z.-Y., Harrison, S. P., Mosbrugger, V., Ferguson, D. K., Paudayal, K. N., Trivedi, A. and Li, C.-S. (2015) Evaluation of the realism of climate reconstruction using the Coexistence Approach with modern pollen samples from the Tibetan Plateau. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 219. pp. 172-182. ISSN 0034-6667

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2015.03.011

Abstract/Summary

We apply the Coexistence Approach (CoA) to reconstruct mean annual precipitation (MAP), mean annual temperature (MAT), mean temperature of thewarmestmonth (MTWA) and mean temperature of the coldest month (MTCO) at 44 pollen sites on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. The modern climate ranges of the taxa are obtained (1) from county-level presence/absence data and (2) from data on the optimum and range of each taxon from Lu et al. (2011). The CoA based on the optimumand range data yields better predictions of observed climate parameters at the pollen sites than that based on the county-level data. The presence of arboreal pollen, most of which is derived fromoutside the region, distorts the reconstructions. More reliable reconstructions are obtained using only the non-arboreal component of the pollen assemblages. The root mean-squared error (RMSE) of the MAP reconstructions are smaller than the RMSE of MAT, MTWA and MTCO, suggesting that precipitation gradients are the most important control of vegetation distribution on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Our results show that CoA could be used to reconstruct past climates in this region, although in areas characterized by open vegetation the most reliable estimates will be obtained by excluding possible arboreal contaminants.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Past Climate Change
ID Code:48979
Publisher:Elsevier

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