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Glacial survival of boreal trees in northern Scandinavia

Parducci, L., Jorgensen, T., Tollefsrud, M. M., Elverland, E., Alm, T., Fontana, S. L., Bennett, K. D., Haile, J., Matetovici, I., Suyama, Y., Edwards, M. E., Andersen, K., Rasmussen, M., Boessenkool, S., Coissac, E., Brochmann, C., Taberlet, P., Houmark-Nielsen, M., Larsen, N. K., Orlando, L., Gilbert, M. T. P., Kjaer, K. H., Alsos, I. G. and Willerslev, E. (2012) Glacial survival of boreal trees in northern Scandinavia Science, 335, (6072), pp. 1083-1086. (doi:10.1126/science.1216043).

Record type: Article


It is commonly believed that trees were absent in Scandinavia during the last glaciation and first recolonized the Scandinavian Peninsula with the retreat of its ice sheet some 9000 years ago. Here, we show the presence of a rare mitochondrial DNA haplotype of spruce that appears unique to Scandinavia and with its highest frequency to the west—an area believed to sustain ice-free refugia during most of the last ice age. We further show the survival of DNA from this haplotype in lake sediments and pollen of Trøndelag in central Norway dating back ~10,300 years and chloroplast DNA of pine and spruce in lake sediments adjacent to the ice-free Andøya refugium in northwestern Norway as early as ~22,000 and 17,700 years ago, respectively. Our findings imply that conifer trees survived in ice-free refugia of Scandinavia during the last glaciation, challenging current views on survival and spread of trees as a response to climate changes

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Published date: March 2012
Organisations: Palaeoenvironment Laboratory (PLUS)


Local EPrints ID: 338924
ISSN: 0036-8075
PURE UUID: d7756940-9be2-4184-a202-eab810383a84
ORCID for M. E. Edwards: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 17 May 2012 14:04
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:56

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Author: L. Parducci
Author: T. Jorgensen
Author: M. M. Tollefsrud
Author: E. Elverland
Author: T. Alm
Author: S. L. Fontana
Author: K. D. Bennett
Author: J. Haile
Author: I. Matetovici
Author: Y. Suyama
Author: M. E. Edwards ORCID iD
Author: K. Andersen
Author: M. Rasmussen
Author: S. Boessenkool
Author: E. Coissac
Author: C. Brochmann
Author: P. Taberlet
Author: M. Houmark-Nielsen
Author: N. K. Larsen
Author: L. Orlando
Author: M. T. P. Gilbert
Author: K. H. Kjaer
Author: I. G. Alsos
Author: E. Willerslev

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