Vegetation dynamics in southern France during the last 30 ky BP in the light of marine palynology

Type Article
Date 2007-04
Language English
Author(s) Beaudouin Célia1, 2, Jouet Gwenael3, 4, Suc Jean-Pierre1, Berne Serge4, Escarguela Gilles1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1? UMR CNRS 5125 Laboratoire PaléoEnvironnements et PaléobioSphère, Campus La Doua, Bâtiment Géode, 2 rue Dubois, 69622 Villeurbanne Cédex, France
2 : Department of Earth Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, 135 Xin Gang Xi Lu, 510275 Guangzhou, China
3 : Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, UMR CNRS 6538 Domaines océaniques, 1 Place Copernic, 29280 Plouzané, France
4 : IFREMER, Laboratoire Environnements Sédimentaires, Géosciences Marines, Centre de Brest, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France
Source Quaternary Science Reviews (0277-3791) (Elsevier), 2007-04 , Vol. 26 , N. 7-8 , P. 1037-1054
DOI 10.1016/j.quascirev.2006.12.009
WOS© Times Cited 31
Keyword(s) Mediterranean Sea, Pleistocene, Climate, Vegetation
Abstract The composition of the glacial vegetation of southern French plains has been a matter of debate for several decades. Vegetation is considered as steppic according to French and Spanish lacustrine pollen records whereas cave deposits suggest the presence of mesothermophilous trees through the Last Glacial Maximum. In our paper, we display new palynological records from marine sediments of the Gulf of Lions. They indicate the presence of Abies, Picea and deciduous Quercus in the Gulf of Lions, certainly located in the drainage basins of the Pyreneo-Languedocian rivers. These populations that were sensitive to short climatic events during Marine Isotopic Stage 2 could have been linked to northeastern Spanish and southeastern French relicts already evidenced by phylogenetic data. These trees were absent from the Rhone drainage basin during the deglaciation and certainly also disappeared from the Pyreneo-Languedocian drainage basins from ca 17 to 15 ky cal BP. Finally, the Last Glacial Maximum does not appear as stable, cold and dry as previously thought.
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