Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Holocene Treeline History and Climate Change Across Northern Eurasia

  • Glen M. MacDonald (a1), Andrei A. Velichko (a2), Constantine V. Kremenetski (a2), Olga K. Borisova (a2), Aleksandra A. Goleva (a2), Andrei A. Andreev (a2), Les C. Cwynar (a3), Richard T. Riding (a3), Steven L. Forman (a4), Tom W.D. Edwards (a5), Ramon Aravena (a5), Dan Hammarlund (a6), Julian M. Szeicz (a7) and Valery N. Gattaulin (a8)...

Radiocarbon-dated macrofossils are used to document Holocene treeline history across northern Russia (including Siberia). Boreal forest development in this region commenced by 10,000 yr B.P. Over most of Russia, forest advanced to or near the current arctic coastline between 9000 and 7000 yr B.P. and retreated to its present position by between 4000 and 3000 yr B.P. Forest establishment and retreat was roughly synchronous across most of northern Russia. Treeline advance on the Kola Peninsula, however, appears to have occurred later than in other regions. During the period of maximum forest extension, the mean July temperatures along the northern coastline of Russia may have been 2.5° to 7.0°C warmer than modern. The development of forest and expansion of treeline likely reflects a number of complimentary environmental conditions, including heightened summer insolation, the demise of Eurasian ice sheets, reduced sea-ice cover, greater continentality with eustatically lower sea level, and extreme Arctic penetration of warm North Atlantic waters. The late Holocene retreat of Eurasian treeline coincides with declining summer insolation, cooling arctic waters, and neoglaciation.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

H. H. Birks , (1991). Holocene vegetational history and climatic change in west Spitzbergen—Plant macrofossils from Skardtjorna, an arctic lake. Holocene 1, 209218.

S. Bjorck , B. Kromer , S. Johnsen , O. Bennike , D. Hammarlund , G. Lemdahl , G. Possnert , T. Rasmussen , B. Wohlfarth , C. Hammer , M. Spurk , (1996). Synchronized terrestrial–atmospheric deglacial records around the North Atlantic. Science 274, 11551160.

R.G. Fairbanks , (1989). A 17,000 year glacio-eustatic sea level record: Influence of glacial melting rates on the Younger Dryas event and deep ocean circulation. Nature 342, 637642.

P.J. Fawcett , A.M. Agustsdottir , R.B. Alley , C.A. Shuman , (1997). The Younger Dryas termination and North Atlantic Deep Water formation: Insights from climate model simulations and Greenland ice cores. Paleoceanography 12, 2338.

J.A. Foley , J.E. Kutzbach , M.T. Coe , S. Levis , (1994). Effects of boreal forest vegetation on global climate. Nature 371, 5254.

A. Ganopolski , C. Kubatzki , M. Claussen , V. Brovkin , V. Petoukhov , (1998). The influence of vegetation–atmosphere–ocean interaction on climate during the Mid-Holocene. Science 280, 19161919.

G. Jones , (1994). Holocene climate and deep ocean circulation changes: Evidence from AMS radiocarbon dated Argentine Basin (SW Atlantic) mudwaves. Paleoceanography 9, 10011016.

N. Koç , E. Jansen , H. Haflidason , (1993). Paleooceanographic reconstruction of surface ocean conditions in the Greenland, Iceland and Norwegian Seas through the last 14 ka based on diatoms. Quaternary Science Reviews 12, 115140.

C.V. Kremenetski , L.D. Sulerzhitsky , R. Hantemirov , (1998). Holocene history of the northern range limits of some trees and shrubs in Russia. Arctic and Alpine Research 30, 317333.

L. Kullman , (1995). Holocene tree-limit and climate history from the Scandes Mountains, Sweden. Ecology 76, 24902502.

L. Kullman , (1998). Paleoecological, biogeographical and paleoclimatological implications of early Holocene immigration of Larix sibirica Ledeb. into the Scandes Mountains, Sweden. Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters 7, 181188.

L. Kullman , O. Englemark , (1997). Neoglacial climate control of subarctic Picea abies stand dynamics and range limits in northern Sweden. Arctic and Alpine Research 29, 315326.

C. Lavoie , S. Payette , (1996). The long-term stability of the boreal forest limit in subarctic Quebec. Ecology 77, 12261233.

G.M. MacDonald , B.R. Gervais , J.A. Snyder , G.A. Tarasov , O.K. Borisova , (2000). Radiocarbon dated Pinus sylvestris L. wood from beyond treeline on the Kola Peninsula, Russia. The Holocene 10, 143147.

U. Mikolajewicz , T.J. Crowley , A. Schiller , R. Voss , (1997). Modelling teleconnections between the North Atlantic and North Pacific during the Younger Dryas. Nature 387, 384387.

J.F.B. Mitchell , N.S. Grahame , K.J. Needham , (1988). Climate simulations for 9000 years before present: Seasonal variations and effect of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Journal of Geophysical Research 93, 82838303.

J. Overpeck , D. Anderson , S. Trumbore , W. Prell , (1996). The southern Indian Monsoon over the last 18,000 years. Climate Dynamics 12, 21225.

R.A. Pielke , P.L. Vidale , (1995). The boreal forest and the polar front. Journal of Geophysical Research 100, 25,75525,758.

I.C. Prentice , W. Cramer , S.P. Harrison , R. Leemans , R.A. Monserud , A.M. Solomon , (1992). A global biome model based on plant physiology and dominance, soil properties and climate. Journal of Biogeography 19, 117134.

J.C. Rogers , E. Moseley-Thompson , (1995). Atlantic arctic cyclones and the mild Siberian winters of the 1980's. Geophysical Research Letters 22, 799802.

O. Salvigsen , S.L. Forman , G.H. Miller , (1992). Thermophilous molluscs on Svalbard during the Holocene and their paleoclimatic implications. Polar Research 11, 110.

M. Sarnthein , K. Winn , S.J.A. Jung , J.C. Duplessy , L. Labeyrie , H. Erlenkeuser , G. Ganssen , (1995). Changes in east Atlantic deepwater circulation over the last 30,000 years: Eight time slice reconstructions. Paleoceanography 9, 209267.

M.C. Serreze , J.E. Box , R.G. Barry , J.E. Walsh , (1993). Characteristics of Arctic synoptic activity, 1952–1989. Meterology and Atmospheric Physics 51, 147164.

G.C. Stevens , J.F. Fox , (1991). The causes of treeline. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 22, 177191.

M. Stuiver , P.J. Reimer , (1993). Extended 14C database and revised Calib 3.0 14C age calibration program. Radiocarbon 35, 215230.

D. Texier , N. de Noblet , S.P. Harrison , A. Haxeltine , D. Jolly , S. Joussaume , F. Laarif , I.C. Prentice , P. Tarasov , (1998). Quantifying the role of biosphere–atmosphere feedbacks in climate change: Coupled model simulations for 6000 years BP and comparison with paleodata for northern Eurasia and northern Africa. Climate Dynamics 13, 865882.

D.W.J. Thompson , J.M. Wallace , (1998). The Arctic Oscillation signature in the wintertime geopotential height and temperature fields. Geophysical Research Letters 25, 12971300.

B. Wohlfarth , G. Lemdahl , S. Olsson , T. Persson , I. Snowball , J. Ising , V. Jones , (1995). Early Holocene environment on Bjornoya (Svalbard) inferred from multidisciplinary lake sediment studies. Polar Research 14, 253275.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 54 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 23rd June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.