04 Apr 2023
 | 04 Apr 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Reconstructing 15,000 years of southern France temperatures from coupled pollen and molecular (brGDGT) markers (Canroute, Massif Central)

Léa d'Oliveira, Lucas Dugerdil, Guillemette Ménot, Allowen Evin, Serge D. Muller, Salomé Ansanay-Alex, Julien Azuara, Colline Bonnet, Laurent Bremond, Mehmet Shah, and Odile Peyron

Abstract. Climatic changes in southern Europe during the Holocene are characterised by a strong spatial and temporal heterogeneity whose patterns are still poorly understood, notably the presence or not of a Holocene thermal maximum (HTM; 10,000–6,000 cal. BP). The reconstructed climatic patterns also differ according to the proxies used (e.g., pollen, chironomid) and the latitude of the data. Here, a multi-proxy approach combining pollen and lipid biomarkers (branched Glycerol Dialkyl Glycerol Tetraethers, brGDGTs) is applied to the Canroute sedimentological sequence to reconstruct the climatic variation over the last 15,000 years in southern Massif Central, France. This area is poorly documented in terms of vegetation and climate. To provide reliable climate reconstructions, we have (1) performed a multi-method comparison based on transfer functions applied to pollen (MAT, WA-PLS, BRT) and molecular biomarkers (brGDGTs), (2) investigated the role of modern databases/calibrations in climate reconstructions. Three different calibration databases were tested for pollen data: one global based on a Eurasian Pollen Database, and two regional databases corresponding to Mediterranean/Temperate Europe and Temperate Europe/Scandinavian databases respectively. Nine global calibrations were tested for lipid biomarkers including eight for soil and one for peat. The use of different modern databases highlights the importance of considering environmental and ecological constraints when using transfer functions on pollen sequences. Pollen and brGDGT-inferred climate trends are consistent, notably for the Lateglacial, the Early and Late Holocene. However, the reconstructions notably differ concerning the presence of a Holocene thermal maximum with the Modern Analogue Technique (MAT) pollen-based method but not apparent with the BRT pollen method nor brGDGT. The temperature reconstructions estimated from the two independent pollen and lipid proxies are then compared to regional published climate signals (chironomids, pollen, molecular biomarkers) to better derive global regional climatic patterns in South Europe. Altogether, our results from the Canroute sequence and those already available in southern Europe reveal that for the Lateglacial and Early Holocene, the regional climate trends are coherent between sites and proxies, supporting the reliability of their reconstructions despite some discrepancies. During the Holocene, the temperature signal of Canroute does not indicate the clear presence of a pronounced mid-Holocene thermal maximum, but rather stable and warmer temperature compared to Lateglacial ones and overall negative anomalies compared to modern annual temperatures.

Léa d'Oliveira et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on cp-2023-15', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 May 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on cp-2023-15', Cindy De Jonge, 24 May 2023

Léa d'Oliveira et al.

Léa d'Oliveira et al.


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Short summary
In southern Europe, Holocene climate variability is characterised by a strong heterogeneity whose patterns are still poorly understood. Here, a multi-proxy approach (pollen and biomarkers) is applied to the Canroute sequence to reconstruct the climatic variation over the last 15,000 years in southern Massif Central, France. Results reveal that reconstructions of regional climate trends notably differ depending on proxies and sites, notably concerning the presence of a Holocene thermal maximum.