Dinámica de la vegetación mediterránea: los cambios climáticos abruptos y la influencia del fuego en el NE de la Península Ibérica durante el Pleistoceno Superior y Holoceno. DINAMO 2

Mediterranean vegetation dynamic: abrupt climatic changes and fire influence in N.E. Iberian Peninsula during the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene.

Plan Nacional de I+D+I. CGL2012-33063
Research Manager: Penélope González-Sampériz

Understanding the environmental impacts of current Global Change demands a multi-scale temporal analysis as, only by means of environmental history, societies may assess whether the present ecosystem transformations have had a precedent in their past. This project implied a quantitatively robust environmental reconstruction focused on landscape modeling and changing fire regimes under abrupt climate changes (ACCs). Despite the crucial need of understanding the long-term response of ecosystems to Global Change, we still lack accurate, quantifiable data of the biotic system reaction to abrupt perturbations in the Iberian Peninsula. DINAMO2 essential aim was to elucidate the role of fire dynamics on the vegetation changes processes and patterns of the North-eastern Iberian Peninsula (NE IP) during particular periods of ACCs since the Late Pleistocene. Accomplishing the proposed objective implied high resolution analyses of fossil pollen and charcoal particles obtained from eight lacustrine sequences from NE IP, where multiproxy analyses- geochemical, sedimentological and chronological - have already been done. These are the longest and best dated of the available for the region for the selected chronological frame (last 135 000 years). DINAMO2 has also acquired a new sequence, laguna de Conquezuela, as long as the record studied in a previous project DINAMO (CGL2009-07992), la laguna de El Cañizar, in order to look for regional correlations in the same temporal frame.

Our methods included well developed conventional methodologies of pollen analyses, and some more recent, pioneering methodological approaches to reconstruct fire regime from charcoal particle counts and spatial simulations of vegetation change through the estimation of pollen productivity. Therefore DINAMO2 intended: i) spatial and chronological definition of the vegetation response during the ACCs occurred since the Late Pleistocene; ii) estimatation of the the parameters defining the fire regime spatial fluctuations (mainly frequency and intensity), focusing on the plant landscape resilience: iii) assess the climate-fire relationships, and which of these two variables is more determinant for every period of ACC; iv) spatial reconstruction of vegetation change in sites with different climate constraints (Mediterranean vs. Atlantic vs Continental climates) and v) comparison of environmental changes during similar climate periods but with different levels of human presence (last interglacial vs current interglacial)