Quantitative reconstructions of past land cover change – A basis for evaluating consequences of Global change for vegetation

Quantitative reconstructions of past vegetation change give unique insight into the drivers of vegetation change and allow the testing of models that can be used to predict future scenarios. The project main aims are (1) to improve and apply innovative methods of quantitative vegetation reconstruction and (2) to analyse and synthesise pollen data across Europe with a special focus on central Europe, in order to find new insight into drivers of past vegetation change. The project will also produce new pollen productivity estimates, which are a prerequisite for quantitative reconstructions. Quantitative reconstructions of vegetation cover shall be carried out across Europe and in detail on selected sites. These reconstructions will serve as comparisons for the results of the dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS run for the past using climate scenarios from atmospheric general circulation models. Pollen data will be compiled into maps of past abundance and analysed for population dynamics of selected wide spread species. Results of this project will improve our ability to forecast changes in species distributions and biodiversity which are important for forest management and nature conservation.

Group members:
Dr. Anne Birgitte Nielsen
Dipl.-Geogr. Isabelle Matthias
MSc. Malte Semmler