Articles | Volume 12, issue 5
Research article
11 May 2016
Research article |  | 11 May 2016

Spatial climate dynamics in the Iberian Peninsula since 15 000 yr BP

Pedro Tarroso, José Carrión, Miriam Dorado-Valiño, Paula Queiroz, Luisa Santos, Ana Valdeolmillos-Rodríguez, Paulo Célio Alves, José Carlos Brito, and Rachid Cheddadi

Abstract. Climate changes in the Iberian Peninsula since the Last Glacial Maximum are associated with distributional shifts of major Mediterranean and European temperate species. The dynamic relationship between climate and species in the past may be retrieved from the fossil records available in the Iberian Peninsula. We have used an extensive set of pollen records to reconstruct spatial layers (1 kyr interval) of January minimum temperature, July maximum temperature, and annual precipitation over the time period between 15 and 3 ka. A functional principal component analysis was used to summarise the spatial evolution of climate in areas that share similar climate trends. When compared between them, the identified four areas show different climate trends over the studied period and are coherent with the existence of multiple refugial areas within the Iberian Peninsula.

Short summary
The climate fluctuates between warm and cold stages, forcing biodiversity to shift patterns according to climatic tolerance. Here we provide an analysis of the shifting patterns of climate in the Iberian Peninsula for the last 15 000 years. By analysing climate in the spatial and temporal dimensions, we were able to divide the peninsula into areas that shared similar climate patterns and to derive a map of climate stability for this period.