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Late Pleistocene and Holocene vegetation and climate on the northern Taymyr Peninsula, Arctic Russia

Late Pleistocene and Holocene vegetation and climate on the northern Taymyr Peninsula, Arctic Russia

Boreas 32(3): 484-505

Pollen data from a Levinson-Lessing Lake sediment core (74degree28'N, 98degree38'E) and Cape Sabler, Taymyr Lake permafrost sequences (74degree33'N, 100degree32'E) reveal substantial environmental changes on the northern Taymyr Peninsula during the last c. 32 000 14C years. The continuous records confirm that a scarce steppe-like vegetation with Poaceae, Artemisia and Cyperaceae dominated c. 32 000-10 300 14C yr BP, while tundra-like vegetation with Oxyria, Ranunculaceae and Caryophyllaceae grew in wetter areas. The coldest interval occurred c. 18 000 yr BP. Lateglacial pollen data show several warming events followed by a climate deterioration c. 10 500 14C yr BP, which may correspond with the Younger Dryas. The Late Pleistocene/Holocene transition, c. 10 300-10 000 14C yr BP, is characterized by a change from the herb-dominated vegetation to shrubby tundra with Betula sect. Nanae and Salix. Alnus fruticosa arrived locally c. 9000-8500 14C yr BP and disappeared c. 4000-3500 14C yr BP. Communities of Betula sect. Nanae, broadly distributed at c. 10 000-3500 14C yr BP, almost disappeared when vegetation became similar to the modern herb tundra after 3500-3000 14C yr BP. Quantitative climate reconstructions show Last Glacial Maximum summer temperature about 4degreeC below the present and Preboreal (c. 10 000 14C yr BP) temperature 2-4degreeC above the present. Maximum summer temperature occurred between 10 000 and 5500 14C yr BP; later summers were similar to present or slightly warmer.

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Accession: 010911954

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2003.tb01230.x

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