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The Falkland Islands palaeoecological response to millennial scale climate perturbations during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition: implications for future vegetation stability in Southern Ocean islands

Scaife, R.G.; Long, A.J.; Monteath, A.J.; Hughes, P.D.M.; Bentley, M.J.; Stone, P.

The Falkland Islands palaeoecological response to millennial scale climate perturbations during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition: implications for future vegetation stability in Southern Ocean islands Thumbnail


Authors

R.G. Scaife

A.J. Monteath

P.D.M. Hughes

P. Stone



Abstract

Oceanic island flora is vulnerable to future climate warming, which is likely to promote changes in vegetation composition, and invasion of non‐native species. Sub‐Antarctic islands are predicted to experience rapid warming during the next century; therefore, establishing trajectories of change in vegetation communities is essential for developing conservation strategies to preserve biological diversity. We present a Late‐glacial‐early Holocene (16 500–6450 cal a bp) palaeoecological record from Hooker's Point, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), South Atlantic. This period spans the Pleistocene‐Holocene transition, providing insight into biological responses to abrupt climate change. Pollen and plant macrofossil records appear insensitive to climatic cooling during the Late‐glacial, but undergo rapid turnover in response to regional warming. The absence of trees throughout the Late‐glacial‐early Holocene enables the recognition of far‐travelled pollen from southern South America. The first occurrence of Nothofagus (southern beech) may reflect changes in the strength and/or position of the Southern Westerly Wind Belt during the Late‐glacial period. Peat inception and accumulation at Hooker's Point is likely to be promoted by the recalcitrant litter of wind‐adapted flora. This recalcitrant litter helps to explain widespread peatland development in a comparatively dry environment, and suggests that wind‐adapted peatlands can remain carbon sinks even under low precipitation regimes.

Citation

Scaife, R., Long, A., Monteath, A., Hughes, P., Bentley, M., & Stone, P. (2019). The Falkland Islands palaeoecological response to millennial scale climate perturbations during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition: implications for future vegetation stability in Southern Ocean islands. Journal of Quaternary Science, 34(8), 609-620. https://doi.org/10.1002/jqs.3150

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 8, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 8, 2019
Publication Date Nov 30, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 11, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 10, 2019
Journal Journal of Quaternary Science
Print ISSN 0267-8179
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 8
Pages 609-620
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/jqs.3150

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Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Advance online version © 2019 The Authors. Journal of Quaternary Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.








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