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1: Vegetation maps for the Mid-holocene and last Glacial Maximum

The Palaeovegetation Mapping Project (generally known as BIOME 6000: Prentice and Webb, 1998) was inaugurated in 1994 with the aim of providing global maps describing the vegetation patterns at 6000±500 yr B.P. (on the radiocarbon time scale) and the last glacial maximum (defined as 18,000±1000 yr B.P. on the radiocarbon time scale, equivalent to 21,000 yr B.P. on the calendar time scale) for use by the modelling community.

The BIOME 6000 project has used a standard methodology to map vegetation patterns using fossil pollen and plant-macrofossil data from individual sites. The taxa represented in the pollen or plant-macrofossil assemblages are first allocated to plant functional types (PFTs) on the basis of the life form, leaf form, phenology and bioclimatic tolerance of the plant species included within the taxon. Because of the lack of taxonomic resolution in pollen identification, some taxa can be classified into more than one PFT. Biomes (i.e. major vegetation types at a regional scale) are defined by combinations of PFTs, where these combinations usually include both characteristic and dominant groups. Some PFTs which are known to occur within a given biome are not included in the biome definition because they occur in too many biomes to provide discriminatory power. Once the taxon to PFT and PFT to biome classifications are made, the affinity of pollen or plant-macrofossil assemblages from individual sites for each biome is calculated. Each assemblage is allocated to the biome for which it has the highest affinity. In cases where the assemblage has equal affinity for more than one biome, which can occur when one biome is defined by a subset of the PFTs that characterise another biome, the assemblage is allocated to the biome defined by the subset.

The published version of the BIOME 6000 database (Version 3: Prentice et al., 2000) was based on maps produced on a region by region basis over a number of years. Here, we have fused the information from the various regions and standardised the biome names. We recognise 40 biomes, using names that are broadly consistent with the BIOME4 equilibrium biogeography-biochemistry model (Kaplan et al., 2003).

Since Version 3 of the BIOME 6000 database was released, there have been three new palaeovegetation mapping initiatives. Harrison et al. (2001) added a number of sites from the continental shelf east of China which date to the last glacial maximum. The Pan-Arctic Initiative (PAIN) extended the site coverage from the high-northern latitudes at both 6000 yr B.P. and the last glacial maximum (Bigelow et al., 2003). Pickett et al. (2004) extended the coverage to the SEAPAC (South East Asia and the Pacific) region at both 6000 yr B.P. and the last glacial maximum. These data sets are included in the current version of the BIOME 6000 data set (Version 4.2).

BIOME 6000 Version 4.2 has records for 11166 modern sites, 1794 sites at 6000 yr B.P., and 318 sites at 18,000 yr B.P.

Please note: the data sets contain information about the quality of the dating control at each time period (DC6 = dating control at 6000 yr B.P., DC18 = dating control at the last glacial maximum) using the COHMAP dating control schemes, as described in Yu and Harrison (1995). We stongly recommend that you only use sites with a dating control <7 in making data-model comparisons (giving 1116 modern sites, 1636 sites at 6000 yr B.P., 224 sites at 18,000 yr B.P. ). Sites with no explicit dating control should be included.

download pdf | download data (xls) | download data (zip)

If you wish to use this global data set, you should cite Prentice et al. (2000), Harrison et al. (2001), Bigelow et al. (2003) and Pickett et al. (2004) as the sources of the original data, and this website (http://www.bridge.bris.ac.uk/resources/Databases/BIOMES_data) as the source for the homogenised nomenclature. If you wish to use only regional subsets of the data, you should cite the appropriate regional reference (as given in the table below), and this website as the source for the homogenised nomenclature.

  Region Time period Reference
  Europe (south of 55N) 0, 6ka Prentice et al., 1996
  Southern Europe 0, LGM Elenga et al., 2000
  Russia (south of 55N) 0, 6ka Tarasov et al., 1998
  Russia (south of 55N) 0, LGM Tarasov et al., 2000
  Western USA 0, 6ka, LGM Thompson and Anderson, 2000
  Eastern North America and Canada (south of 55N) 0, 6ka, LGM Williams et al., 2000
  Pan-Arctic (north of 55N) 0, 6ka, LGM Bigelow et al., 2003 (Note: this supersedes Edwards et al., 2000, and reconstructions north of 55N in Prentice et al. 1996; Elenga et al., 2000; Tarasov et al., 1998 and 2000; Williams et al., 2000)
  Africa 6ka Jolly et al., 1998
  Africa 0ka, LGM Elenga et al., 2000; supersedes 0ka in Jolly et al., 1998
  China 0, 6ka Yu et al., 2000 (Note: this supersedes data in Yu et al., 1998)
  China LGM Harrison et al., 2001 (Note: this supersedes data in Yu et al., 1998 and 2000)
  Japan 0, 6ka, LGM Takahara et al., 2000

 

References

  1. Bigelow, N. H., Brubaker, L. B., Edwards, M. E., Harrison, S. P., Prentice, I. C., Anderson, P. M., Andreev, A. A., Bartlein, P. J., Christensen, T. R., Cramer, W., Kaplan, J. O., Lozhkin, A. V., Matveyeva, N. V., Murray, D. V., McGuire, A. D., Razzhivin, V. Y., Ritchie, J. C., Smith, B., Walker, D. A., Gajewski, K., Wolf, V., Holmqvist, B. H., Igarashi, Y., Kremenetskii, K., Paus, A., Pisaric, M. F. J., and Vokova, V. S. (2003). Climate change and Arctic ecosystems I. Vegetation changes north of 55°N between the last glacial maximum, mid-Holocene and present. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108(D19), 8170. (DOI)

  2. Edwards, M. E., Anderson, P. M., Brubaker, L. B., Ager, T. A., Andreev, A. A., Bigelow, N. H., Cwynar, L. C., Eisner, W. R., Harrison, S. P., Hu, F.-S., Jolly, D., Lozhkin, A. V., MacDonald, G. M., Mock, C. J., Ritchie, J. C., Sher, A. V., Spear, R. W., Williams, J. W., and Yu, G. (2000). Pollen-based biomes for Beringia 18,000, 6000 and 0 14C yr BP. Journal of Biogeography 27(3), 521-554. (DOI)

  3. Elenga, H., Peyron, O., Bonnefille, R., Jolly, D., Cheddadi, R., Guiot, J., Andrieu, V., Bottema, S., Buchet, G., de Beaulieu, J. L., Hamilton, A. C., Maley, J., Marchant, R., Perez-Obiol, R., Reille, M., Riollet, G., Scott, L., Straka, H., Taylor, D., Van Campo, E., Vincens, A., Laarif, F., and Jonson, H. (2000). Pollen-based biome reconstruction for southern Europe and Africa 18,000 yr BP. Journal of Biogeography 27(3), 621-634. (DOI)

  4. Harrison, S. P., Yu, G., Takahara, H., and Prentice, I. C. (2001). Palaeovegetation - Diversity of temperate plants in east Asia. Nature 413, 129-130. (DOI)

  5. Jolly, D., Prentice, I. C., Bonnefille, R., Ballouche, A., Bengo, M., Brenac, P., Buchet, G., Burney, D., Cazet, J. P., Cheddadi, R., Edorh, T., Elenga, H., Elmoutaki, S., Guiot, J., Laarif, F., Lamb, H., Lezine, A. M., Maley, J., Mbenza, M., Peyron, O., Reille, M., Reynaud-Farrera, I., Riollet, G., Ritchie, J. C., Roche, E., Scott, L., Ssemmanda, I., Straka, H., Umer, M., Van Campo, E., Vilimumbalo, S., Vincens, A., and Waller, M. (1998). Biome reconstruction from pollen and plant macrofossil data for Africa and the Arabian peninsula at 0 and 6000 years. Journal of Biogeography 25(6), 1007-1027. (DOI)

  6. Kaplan, J. O., Bigelow, N. H., Prentice, I. C., Harrison, S. P., Bartlein, P. J., Christensen, T. R., Cramer, W., Matveyeva, N. V., McGuire, A. D., Murray, D. F., Razzhivin, V. Y., Smith, B., Walker, D. A., Anderson, P. M., Andreev, A. A., Brubaker, L. B., Edwards, M. E., and Lozhkin, A. V. (2003). Climate change and arctic ecosystems II: Modeling, paleodata-model comparisons, and future projections. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108(D19), 8171. (DOI)

  7. Prentice, I. C., and Webb III, T. (1998). BIOME 6000: reconstructing global mid-Holocene vegetation patterns from palaeoecological records. Journal of Biogeography 25, 997-1005. (DOI)

  8. Prentice, I. C., Guiot, J., Huntley, B., Jolly, D., and Cheddadi, R. (1996). Reconstructing biomes from palaeoecological data: a general method and its application to European pollen data at 0 and 6 ka. Climate Dynamics 12, 185-194. (DOI)

  9. Prentice, I. C., Jolly, D., and BIOME 6000 Participants. (2000). Mid-Holocene and glacial-maximum vegetation geography of the northern continents and Africa. Journal of Biogeography 27, 507-519. (DOI)

  10. Takahara, H., Sugita, S., Harrison, S. P., Miyoshi, N., Morita, Y., and Uchiyama, T. (2000). Pollen-based reconstructions of Japanese biomes at 0, 6000 and 18,000 14C yr BP. Journal of Biogeography 27(3), 665-683. (DOI)

  11. Tarasov, P. E., Webb III, T., Andreev, A. A., Afanas'eva, N. B., Berezina, N. A., Bezusko, L. G., Blyakharchuk, T. A., Bolikhovskaya, N. S., Cheddadi, R., Chernavskaya, M. M., Chernova, G. M., Dorofeyuk, N. I., Dirksen, V. G., Elina, G. A., Filimonova, L. V., Glebov, F. Z., Guiot, J., Gunova, V. S., Harrison, S. P., Jolly, D., Khomutova, V. I., Kvavadze, E. V., Osipova, I. M., Panova, N. K., Prentice, I. C., Saarse, L., Sevastyanov, D. V., Volkova, V. S., and Zernitskaya, V. P. (1998). Present-day and mid-Holocene biomes reconstructed from pollen and plant macrofossil data from the former Soviet Union and Mongolia. Journal of Biogeography 25, 1029-1053. (DOI)

  12. Tarasov, P. E., Volkova, V. S., Webb III, T., Guiot, J., Andreev, A. A., Bezusko, L. G., Bezusko, T. V., Bykova, G. V., Dorofeyuk, N. I., Kvavadze, E. V., Osipova, I. M., Panova, N. K., and Sevastyanov, D. V. (2000). Last glacial maximum biomes reconstructed from pollen and plant macrofossil data from northern Eurasia. Journal of Biogeography 27(3), 609-620. (DOI)

  13. Thompson, R. S., and Anderson, K. H. (2000). Biomes of western North America at 18,000, 6000 and 0 14C yr BP reconstructed from pollen and packrat midden data. Journal of Biogeography 27(3), 555-584.

  14. Williams, J. W., Webb III, T., Richard, P. H., and Newby, P. (2000). Late Quaternary biomes of Canada and the eastern United States. Journal of Biogeography 27(3), 585-607.

  15. Yu, G., and Harrison, S. P. (1995). Lake status records from Europe: data base documentation. NOAA Paleoclimatology Publications Series 3: 451pp, Boulder, Colorado.

  16. Yu, G., Prentice, I. C., Harrison, S. P., and Sun, X. J. (1998). Pollen-based biome reconstructions for China at 0 and 6000 years. Journal of Biogeography 25(6), 1055-1069. (DOI)

  17. Yu, G., Chen, X., Ni, J., Cheddadi, R., Guiot, J., Han, H., Harrison, S. P., Huang, C., Ke, M., Kong, Z., Li, S., Li, W., Liew, P., Liu, G., Liu, J., Liu, Q., Liu, K.-B., Prentice, I. C., Qui, W., Ren, G., Song, C., Sugita, S., Sun, X., Tang, L., van Campo, E., Xia, Y., Xu, Q., Yan, S., Yang, X., Zhao, J., and Zheng, Z. (2000). Palaeovegetation of China: a pollen data-based synthesis for the mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum. Journal of Biogeography 27(3), 635-664. (DOI)

2: Mega-Biome maps for the Mid-holocene and last Glacial Maximum

Most dynamic vegetation models (DGVMs) simulate far fewer PFTs, and hence discriminate far fewer biomes, than the palaeodata allow. In order to facilitate direct comparison with model output, we have grouped the observed biomes into broader units (mega-biomes) on the basis of their structure and functioning. The table below shows how the observed biomes recognised in Version 4.1 of the BIOME 6000 data set are grouped into mega-biomes. If you wish to use this version of the data set, please cite Harrison and Prentice (2003) as the source of the mega-biome classification.

  Original biome classification Mega-biome classification
  tropical evergreen broadleaf forest tropical forest
  tropical semi-evergreen broadleaf forest tropical forest
  tropical deciduous broadleaf forest and woodland tropical forest
  warm-temperate evergreen broadleaf and mixed forest warm-temperate forest
  warm-temperate evergreen broadleaf forest warm-temperate forest
  warm-temperate rainforest warm-temperate forest
  wet sclerophyll forest warm-temperate forest
  cool evergreen needleleaf forest temperate forest
  cool mixed forest temperate forest
  cool-temperate rainforest temperate forest
  cool-temperate evergreen needleleaf and mixed forest temperate forest
  temperate evergreen needleleaf forest temperate forest
  temperate deciduous broadleaf forest temperate forest
  cold deciduous forest boreal forest
  cold evergreen needleleaf forest boreal forest
  temperate sclerophyll woodland and shrubland savanna and dry woodland
  temperate evergreen needleleaf open woodland savanna and dry woodland
  tropical savanna savanna and dry woodland
  temperate deciduous broadleaf savanna savanna and dry woodland
  tropical xerophytic shrubland grassland and dry shrubland
  temperate xerophytic shrubland grassland and dry shrubland
  tropical grassland grassland and dry shrubland
  temperate grassland grassland and dry shrubland
  steppe grassland and dry shrubland
  xerophytic woods/scrub grassland and dry shrubland
  temperate grassland and xerophytic shrubland grassland and dry shrubland
  desert desert
  graminoid and forb tundra dry tundra
  cushion-forb tundra (cushion forb, lichen and moss tundra) tundra
  erect dwarf-shrub tundra tundra
  low and high shrub tundra tundra
  prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra tundra
  tundra tundra
  alpine grassland tundra

 

download pdf | download data (xls)

If you wish to use this global data set, you should cite Prentice et al. (2000), Harrison et al. (2001), Bigelow et al. (2003) and Pickett et al. (2004) as the sources of the original data, and this website (http://www.bridge.bris.ac.uk/resources/Databases/BIOMES_data) as the source for the homogenised nomenclature. If you wish to use only regional subsets of the data, you should cite the appropriate regional reference (as given in the table below), and this website as the source for the homogenised nomenclature.

References

Harrison, S. P., and Prentice, I. C. (2003). Climate and CO2 controls on global vegetation distribution at the last glacial maximum: analysis based on palaeovegetation data, biome modelling and palaeoclimate simulations. Global Change Biology 9, 983-1004. (DOI)

FUTURE UPDATES, coming early 2005

New data syntheses are currently being produced for three regions:
China (Ni et al., submitted)
The Indian subcontinent (Sutra et al., submitted)
South America (Marchant et al., submitted)

As soon as these papers are accepted for publication, we will produce a new version of the BIOME 6000 data set (Version 5) and update this website.

Technical queries about the data sets should be addressed to Sandy Harrison - sandy.harrison@bristol.ac.uk

We would like to take this opportunity of thanking the hundreds of palynologists who contributed to the BIOME 6000 compilation directly, or indirectly by providing their data to public-access pollen databases, and to thank IGBP-GAIM for their sponsorship of the project. BIOME 6000 (and its daughter projects) has received funding support from IGBP-GAIM, IGBP-PAGES, IGBP-DIS, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Natural Science Research Council (NFR), the Swedish Institute, and the Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry.

References

  1. Marchant, R. A., Behling, H., Harrison, S. P., Hooghiemstra, H., Markgraf, V., Prentice, I. C., Björck, S., Bush, M., Cleef, A., Colinvaux, P. A., De Oliveira, P. E., Graf, K., Hansen, B. C. S., Heusser, C., Horn, S. P., Ledru, M. P., Leyden, B. W., Lozano-Garcia, M. S., Lorrenzo, S., Moar, N. T., Morenao, P. I., Salgadi-Labouriau, M. L., Schäbitz, F., and Watts, W. A. (submitted). Biome reconstructions from pollen data for Latin America at 18,000, 6000 and 0 14C yr B.P. Journal of Biogeography.
  2. Ni, J., Yu, G., Harrison, S. P., and Prentice, I. C. (submitted). Pollen-based reconstruction of vegetation in China during the mid-Holocene and last glacial maximum using a global scheme of plant functional types. Journal of Vegetation Science.
  3. Pickett, E., Harrison, S. P., Hope, G., Harle, K., Dodson, J. R., Kershaw, A. P., Prentice, I. C., Backhouse, J., Colhoun, E. A., D'Costa, D., Flenley, J., Grindrod, J., Haberle, S., Hassell, C., Kenyon, C., Macphail, M., Martin, H., Martin, A. H., McKenzie, M., Newsome, J. C., Penny, D., Powell, J., Raine, I., Southern, W., Sutra, J.-P., Thomas, I., van der Kaars, S., and Ward, J. (submitted). Pollen-based reconstructions of biome distributions for Australia, South East Asia and the Pacific (SEAPAC region) at 0, 6000 and 18,000 14C yr B.P. Journal of Biogeography. (DOI)
  4. Sutra, J.-P., Harrison, S. P., Barboni, D., Anuparma, K., Barui, N. C., Bera, S. K., Bhattacharya, K., Bhattacharyya, A., Bonnefille, R., Chauhan, M. S., Farooqui, A., Gupta, A., Khandelwal, A., Sharma, C., Suryaprakash, I., and Yonebayashi, C. (submitted). Application of a global plant functional type scheme to pollen-based reconstruction of modern and fossil biomes for the Indian Subcontinent. Journal of Vegetation Science.

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