Paul Miller. Photo.

Paul Miller

Senior lecturer

Paul Miller. Photo.

How robust are Holocene treeline simulations? A model-data comparison in the European Arctic treeline region

Author

  • Keyan Fang
  • Jesse L. Morris
  • J. Sakari Salonen
  • Paul Miller
  • Hans Renssen
  • Martin Sykes
  • Heikki Seppa

Summary, in English

Treeline encroachments and retractions can provide global-scale feedbacks to the climate system, and treeline dynamics are therefore of great relevance for understanding global climate variability. To assess the accuracy of long-term treeline simulations based on the generalized dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS, we simulate European Arctic treeline dynamics over the past 9000 years and compare the results with fossil-based reconstructions. The results show that while LPJ-GUESS is limited in its ability to capture species-level current treeline patterns and past dynamics, it is generally able to realistically simulate the Holocene coniferous treeline changes with a cutoff biomass carbon of 2 C kg m(-2). The model captures the northward expansion of the boreal forest during the mid Holocene and correctly simulates a treeline retreat in response to climate cooling during the last 3000 years. However, there are data-simulation disagreements particularly during the early Holocene, which mainly result from the differences between the two palaeoclimate model scenarios used to drive the simulations. We suggest that the spatial accuracy of the model could be improved by incorporating the influence of topographic features, the extent of the Arctic peatlands, the tree species life-history characteristics, microclimate and other ecological factors. Copyright (c) 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Department/s

  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • MERGE - ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
  • BECC - Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year

2013

Language

English

Pages

595-604

Publication/Series

Journal of Quaternary Science

Volume

28

Issue

6

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

John Wiley & Sons

Topic

  • Physical Geography

Keywords

  • Holocene
  • Arctic treeline
  • LPJ-GUESS
  • biomass carbon
  • fossil records

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1099-1417