Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-212
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-212

  13 Jul 2021

13 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Harmonized chronologies of a global late Quaternary pollen dataset (LegacyAge 1.0)

Chenzhi Li1,2, Alexander K. Postl1, Thomas Böhmer1, Xianyong Cao3, Andrew M. Dolman1, and Ulrike Herzschuh1,2,4 Chenzhi Li et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Polar Terrestrial Environmental Systems, Telegrafenberg A45, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Institute of Environmental Science and Geography, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Alpine Paleoecology and Human Adaptation Group (ALPHA), State Key Laboratory of Tibetan Plateau Earth System, and Resources and Environment (TPESRE), Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100101 Beijing, China
  • 4Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Although numerous pollen records are available worldwide in various databases, their use for synthesis works is limited as the chronologies are, as yet, not harmonized globally, and temporal uncertainties are unknown. We present a chronology framework named LegacyAge 1.0 that includes harmonized chronologies of 2831 palynological records (out of 3471 available records), downloaded from the Neotoma Paleoecology Database (last access: April 2021) and 324 additional Asian records. All chronologies use the Bayesian framework implemented in Bacon version 2.5.3. Optimal parameter settings of priors (accumulation.shape, memory.strength, memory.mean, accumulation.rate, thickness) were identified based on previous experiences or iteratively after preliminary model inspection. The most common control points for the chronologies are radiocarbon dates (86.1 %), calibrated by the latest calibration curves (IntCal20 and SHcal20 for the terrestrial radiocarbon dates in the northern and southern hemispheres; Marine20 for marine materials). The original literature was consulted when dealing with obvious outliers and inconsistencies. Several major challenges when setting up the chronologies included the waterline issue (18.8 % of records), reservoir effect (4.9 %), and sediment deposition discontinuity (4.4 %). Finally, we numerically compare the LegacyAge 1.0 chronologies to the original ones and show that the chronologies of 95.4 % of records could be improved according to our assessment. Our chronology framework and revised chronologies provide the opportunity to make use of the ages and age uncertainties in synthesis studies of, for example, pollen-based vegetation and climate change. The LegacyAge 1.0 dataset and R code used are open-access and available at PANGAEA (https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.933132) and Github (https://github.com/LongtermEcology/LegacyAge-1.0), respectively.

Chenzhi Li et al.

Status: open (until 10 Nov 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-212', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 Oct 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-212', Anonymous Referee #2, 14 Oct 2021 reply

Chenzhi Li et al.

Data sets

Harmonized chronologies of a global late Quaternary pollen dataset (LegacyAge 1.0) Li, Chenzhi; Postl, Alexander; Böhmer, Thomas; Dolman, Andrew M; Herzschuh, Ulrike https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.933132

Global taxonomically harmonized pollen data collection with revised chronologies Herzschuh, Ulrike; Böhmer, Thomas; Li, Chenzhi; Cao, Xianyong; Heim, Birgit; Wieczorek, Mareike https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.929773

Model code and software

Harmonized chronologies of a global late Quaternary pollen dataset (LegacyAge 1.0) Alexander Karl Postl https://github.com/LongtermEcology/LegacyAge-1.0

Chenzhi Li et al.

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Short summary
Here we present a global chronology framework of 2831 palynological records, including globally harmonized chronologies covering up to 273,000 years. A comparison with the original chronologies reveals a major improvement according to our assessment. Our chronology framework and revised chronologies will interest a broad geoscientific community as it provides the opportunity to make use in synthesis studies of, for example, pollen-based vegetation and climate change.