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Growth of plants on the Late Weichselian ice-sheet during Greenland interstadial-1?
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum)
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2018 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 185, p. 222-229Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Unglaciated forelands and summits protruding from ice-sheets are commonly portrayed as areas where plants first establish at the end of glacial cycles. But is this prevailing view of ice-free refugia too simplistic? Here, we present findings suggesting that surface debris supported plant communities far beyond the rim of the Late Weichselian Ice-sheet during Greenland interstadial 1 (GI-1 or Bolling-Altered interstadial). We base our interpretations upon findings from terrigenous sediments largely resembling 'plant-trash' deposits in North America (known to form as vegetation established on stagnant ice became buried along with glacial debris during the deglaciation). In our studied deposit, we found macrofossils (N = 10) overlapping with the deglaciation period of the area (9.5-10 cal kyr BP) as well as samples (N = 2) with ages ranging between 12.9 and 13.3 cal kyr BP. The latter ages indicate growth of at least graminoids during the GI-1 interstadial when the site was near the geographic center of the degrading ice-sheet. We suggest that exposure of englacial material during GI-1 created patches of supraglacial debris capable of supporting vascular plants three millennia before deglaciation. The composition and resilience of this early plant community remain uncertain. Yet, the younger group of macrofossils, in combination with pollen and ancient DNA analyses of inclusions, imply that shrubs (Salix sp., Betula sp. and Ericaceae sp) and even tree species (Larix) were present in the debris during the final deglaciation stage. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 185, p. 222-229
Keywords [en]
Holocene, Pleistocene, Glaciology, Paleolimnology, Scandinavia, Vegetation dynamics, MIS-3
National Category
Geology Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-148634DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.02.005ISI: 000428830400015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-148634DiVA, id: diva2:1223888
Funder
Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationCarl Tryggers foundation Available from: 2018-06-26 Created: 2018-06-26 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Zale, RolfBigler, ChristianWang, Xiao-RuKlaminder, Jonatan

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