A Last Glacial Maximum Pollen Record from Bodmin Moor Showing a Possible Cryptic Northern Refugium in Southwest England
Charman, Dan J.
Newnham, Rewis, M
Journal of Quaternary Science
A late Devensian palynological record is presented from Dozmary Pool (Bodmin Moor, southwest England), beyond the southern limit of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) British Ice Sheet. The pollen assemblages indicate predominantly herbaceous tundra steppe communities but also include elevated levels (typically 10-20%) of conifer tree pollen (Picea, Pinus, Abies) and lower but persistent percentages of broadleaf tree pollen during the LGM. This record is seemingly at odds with the orthodox view of an entirely treeless tundra steppe environment for this region and elimination of tree species from the British Isles during glacial maxima. Long-distance pollen transport seems an unlikely explanation for the tree pollen considering distance to the nearest known refugia, except possibly for Pinus. Reworking of the tree pollen, often invoked in these circumstances, remains a possible alternative, especially given the abundance of these trees in the region during early Devensian interstadials. However, this explanation has been challenged by studies reporting plant macrofossil and faunal evidence for survival of temperate biota during glacial maxima and from climate modelling work that suggests some trees could have survived the glacial extremes in areas well beyond the recorded glacial refugia. Assuming reworking was not a major factor, the Dozmary Pool pollen record is consistent with the "apos;cryptic northern refugia hypothesis"apos; that invokes survival of trees in small, scattered populations under locally favourable conditions during glacial maxima.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Journal of Quaternary Science, 2010, 25(3); pp. 296-308