Compositional turnover and variation in Eemian pollen sequences in Europe

Vivian A. Felde*, Suzette G.A. Flantua, Cathy R. Jenks, Blas M. Benito, Jacques Louis de Beaulieu, Petr Kuneš, Donatella Magri, Dorota Nalepka, Bjørg Risebrobakken, Cajo J.F. ter Braak, Judy R.M. Allen, Wojciech Granoszewski, Karin F. Helmens, Brian Huntley, Ona Kondratienė, Laimdota Kalniņa, Mirosława Kupryjanowicz, Małgorzata Malkiewicz, Alice M. Milner, Małgorzata NitaBożena Noryśkiewicz, Irena A. Pidek, Maurice Reille, Sakari Salonen, Vaida Šeirienė, Hanna Winter, Polychronis C. Tzedakis, John B. Birks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The Eemian interglacial represents a natural experiment on how past vegetation with negligible human impact responded to amplified temperature changes compared to the Holocene. Here, we assemble 47 carefully selected Eemian pollen sequences from Europe to explore geographical patterns of (1) total compositional turnover and total variation for each sequence and (2) stratigraphical turnover between samples within each sequence using detrended canonical correspondence analysis, multivariate regression trees, and principal curves. Our synthesis shows that turnover and variation are highest in central Europe (47–55°N), low in southern Europe (south of 45°N), and lowest in the north (above 60°N). These results provide a basis for developing hypotheses about causes of vegetation change during the Eemian and their possible drivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalVegetation History and Archaeobotany
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Detrended canonical correspondence analysis
  • Extrinsic and intrinsic processes
  • Inertia
  • Last interglacial dataset
  • Multivariate regression trees
  • Neutral processes
  • Principal curves


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