Compositional turnover and variation in Eemian pollen sequences in Europe


The Eemian interglacial represents a natural experiment on how past vegetation with negligible human impact responded to amplified temperature changes compared to the Holocene. Here, we assemble 47 carefully selected Eemian pollen sequences from Europe to explore geographical patterns of (1) total compositional turnover and total variation for each sequence and (2) stratigraphical turnover between samples within each sequence using detrended canonical correspondence analysis, multivariate regression trees, and principal curves. Our synthesis shows that turnover and variation are highest in central Europe (47–55°N), low in southern Europe (south of 45°N), and lowest in the north (above 60°N). These results provide a basis for developing hypotheses about causes of vegetation change during the Eemian and their possible drivers.

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany
Blas M. Benito
Blas M. Benito
Staff Researcher