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Vegetation Response to Upper Pliocene Glacial/Interglacial Cyclicity in the Central Mediterranean

  • Nathalie Combourieu-Nebout (a1)

New detailed pollen analysis of the lower part of the Upper Pliocene Semaforo section (Crotone, Italy) documents cyclic behavior of vegetation at the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere glaciations. The competition between four vegetation units (subtropical humid forest, deciduous temperate forest, altitudinal coniferous forest, and open xeric assemblage) probably reflects modifications of vegetation belts at this montane site. Several increases in herbaceous open vegetation regularly alternate with subtropical humid forest, which expresses rapid climatic oscillations. The complete temporal succession—deciduous forest (rich in Quercus), followed by subtropical humid forest (Taxodiaceae and Cathaya), then altitudinal coniferous forest (Tsuga, Cedrus, Abies, and Picea), and finally herbaceous open vegetation (Graminae, Compositae, and Artemisia )—displays the climatic evolution from warm and humid interglaciation to cold and dry glaciation. It also suggests an independent variation of temperature and humidity, the two main climatic parameters. The vegetation history of southern Calabria recorded in the Semaforo section have been correlated with the ∂18O signal established in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
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