On Friday I had the privilege of presenting research from the Palaeoenvironmental Change Research Group to the Hutton Club at the University of Edinburgh (Institute of Geography). My talk, entitled “Assessing the impact of Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles in the tropics”, drew on: 1) empirical data on past vegetation change from sedimentary records spanning multiple glacial-interglacial cycles; Lake Titicaca (370,000 years), Erazo (middle Pleistocene) and Lake Bosumtwi (500,000 years), and 2) model climate-vegetation data from the GENIE-1 model. The combination of these new long tropical records with model data strongly suggests that the long-term pattern of vegetation response to global glacial-interglacial cycles is differently structured at low-latitudes when compared with mid-latitudes. The different pattern of change suggested in response to past global climate variation might suggest that the response of tropical vegetation change to predicted future climate change could be different to that anticipated for mid- and high-latitudes.
To find out more check out the references below.
- Hanselman, J.A., Bush, M.B., Gosling, W.D., Collins, A., Knox, C., Baker, P.A. & Fritz, S.C. (2011) A 370,000-year record of vegetation and fire history around Lake Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 305: 201-214. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2011.03.002
- Gosling, W.D., Hanselman, J.A., Knox, C., Valencia, B.G., & Bush, M.B. (2009) Long term drivers of change in Polylepis woodland distribution in the central Andes. Journal of Vegetation Science, 20(6), 1041-1052. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1111/j.1654-1103.2009.01102.x
- Hanselman, J.E., Gosling, W.D., Ralph, G.M. and Bush, M.B. (2005). Contrasting histories of MIS 5e and the Holocene from Lake Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru). Journal of Quaternary Science, 20 (7-8): 663-670.
- Cardenas, M.C., Gosling, W.D., Sherlock, S.C., Poole, I., Pennington, R.T. & Mothes, P. (2011) Response to comment on “The response of vegetation on the Andean flank in western Amazonia to Pleistocene climate change”. Science, 333, 1825 http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1126/science.1207888
- Cárdenas, M.L., Gosling, W.D., Sherlock, S.C., Poole, I., Pennington, R.T. & Mothes, P. (2011) The response of vegetation on the Andean flank in western Amazonia to Pleistocene climate change. Science, 331, 1055-1058. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1126/science.1197947
- New data to be published in 2012… watch this blog.
- Gosling, W.D. & Holden, P.B. (2011) Precessional forcing of tropical vegetation carbon storage. Journal of Quaternary Science, 26 (5):463-467. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1002/jqs.1514