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Synchronous vegetation response to the last glacial-interglacial transition in northwest Europe

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThe North Atlantic region experienced abrupt high-amplitude cooling at the onset of the Younger Dryas stadial. However, due to chronological uncertainties in the available terrestrial records it is unclear whether terrestrial ecosystem response to this event was instantaneous and spatially synchronous, or whether regional or time-transgressive lags existed. Here we use new palynological results from a robustly dated lake sediment sequence retrieved from lake Hämelsee (north Germany) to show that vegetation change started at 12,820 cal. yr BP, concurrent with the onset of changes in local climate. A comparison of the Hämelsee results to a compilation of precisely dated palynological records shows instant and, within decadal-scale dating uncertainty, synchronous response of the terrestrial plant community to Late-Glacial climate change across northwest Europe. The results indicate that the environmental impact of climate cooling was more severe than previously thought and illustrates the sensitivity of natural terrestrial ecosystems to external forcing.</jats:p>



37 Earth Sciences, 3709 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience, 3705 Geology, 13 Climate Action

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Communications Earth and Environment

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) (ES0907)