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Last Glacial Maximum environmental conditions at Andoya, northern Norway; evidence for a northern ice-edge ecological "hotspot"

Last Glacial Maximum environmental conditions at Andoya, northern Norway; evidence for a northern ice-edge ecological "hotspot"
Last Glacial Maximum environmental conditions at Andoya, northern Norway; evidence for a northern ice-edge ecological "hotspot"
Andøya on the NW coast of Norway is a key site for understanding the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in northern Europe. Controversy has arisen concerning the local conditions, especially about the timing and extent of local glacial cover, maximum July temperatures and whether pine and/or spruce could have grown there. We reviewed all existing data and add newly analysed ancient sedimentary DNA (sedaDNA), pollen, macrofossils, geochemistry and stable isotopes from three lake sediment cores from Øvre Æråsvatnet. A total of 23 new dates and age-depth modelling suggests the lake has been ice-free since GI2 (<23.4 cal ka BP) and possibly GS3 (<26.7 cal ka BP). Pinus and Picea sedaDNA was found in all three cores but at such low frequencies that it could not be distinguished from background contamination. LGM samples have an exceptionally high organic matter content, with isotopic values indicating that carbon and nitrogen derive from a marine source. Along with finds of bones of the little auk (Alle alle), this indicates that the lake received guano from an adjacent bird colony. SedaDNA, pollen and macrofossil assemblages were dominated by Poaceae, Brassicaceae and Papaver, but scattered occurrence of species currently restricted to the Low Arctic Tundra Zone (July temperature of 8–9 °C) such as Apiaceae (sedaDNA, 8–9 °C), and Alchemilla alpina (macrofossil, 8–9 °C) were also recorded. The review of >14.7 cal ka BP data recorded 94 vascular plant taxa, of which 38% have a northern limit in Shrub Tundra or more southern vegetation zones. This unusual assemblage likely stems from a combination of proximity to ice-free water in summer, geographical isolation linked with stochastic long-distance dispersal events, and the presence of bird-fertilized habitats. The environmental reconstruction based on all records from the area does not preclude local growth of tree species, as the local climate combined with high nutrient input may have led to periodically suitable environmental ‘hotspot’ conditions.
Ancient DNA (aDNA), Andøya, Climate variability, Environmental conditions, Glacial survival, Last glacial maximum, Late Weichselian, MIS2, Micro-refugia, Sedimentary DNA (sedDNA)
0277-3791
1-19
Alsos, Inger G.
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Sjögren, Per
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Brown, Antony G.
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Gielly, Ludovic
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Merkel, Marie Kristine Føreid
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Paus, Aage
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Lammers, Youri
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Edwards, Mary E.
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Alm, Torbjørn
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Leng, Melanie
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Goslar, Tomasz
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Langdon, Catherine T.
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Bakke, Jostein
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Van Der Bilt, Willem G.M.
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Alsos, Inger G.
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Sjögren, Per
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Brown, Antony G.
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Gielly, Ludovic
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Merkel, Marie Kristine Føreid
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Paus, Aage
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Lammers, Youri
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Edwards, Mary E.
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Alm, Torbjørn
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Leng, Melanie
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Goslar, Tomasz
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Langdon, Catherine T.
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Bakke, Jostein
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Van Der Bilt, Willem G.M.
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Alsos, Inger G., Sjögren, Per, Brown, Antony G., Gielly, Ludovic, Merkel, Marie Kristine Føreid, Paus, Aage, Lammers, Youri, Edwards, Mary E., Alm, Torbjørn, Leng, Melanie, Goslar, Tomasz, Langdon, Catherine T., Bakke, Jostein and Van Der Bilt, Willem G.M. (2020) Last Glacial Maximum environmental conditions at Andoya, northern Norway; evidence for a northern ice-edge ecological "hotspot". Quaternary Science Reviews, 239, 1-19, [106364]. (doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106364).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Andøya on the NW coast of Norway is a key site for understanding the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in northern Europe. Controversy has arisen concerning the local conditions, especially about the timing and extent of local glacial cover, maximum July temperatures and whether pine and/or spruce could have grown there. We reviewed all existing data and add newly analysed ancient sedimentary DNA (sedaDNA), pollen, macrofossils, geochemistry and stable isotopes from three lake sediment cores from Øvre Æråsvatnet. A total of 23 new dates and age-depth modelling suggests the lake has been ice-free since GI2 (<23.4 cal ka BP) and possibly GS3 (<26.7 cal ka BP). Pinus and Picea sedaDNA was found in all three cores but at such low frequencies that it could not be distinguished from background contamination. LGM samples have an exceptionally high organic matter content, with isotopic values indicating that carbon and nitrogen derive from a marine source. Along with finds of bones of the little auk (Alle alle), this indicates that the lake received guano from an adjacent bird colony. SedaDNA, pollen and macrofossil assemblages were dominated by Poaceae, Brassicaceae and Papaver, but scattered occurrence of species currently restricted to the Low Arctic Tundra Zone (July temperature of 8–9 °C) such as Apiaceae (sedaDNA, 8–9 °C), and Alchemilla alpina (macrofossil, 8–9 °C) were also recorded. The review of >14.7 cal ka BP data recorded 94 vascular plant taxa, of which 38% have a northern limit in Shrub Tundra or more southern vegetation zones. This unusual assemblage likely stems from a combination of proximity to ice-free water in summer, geographical isolation linked with stochastic long-distance dispersal events, and the presence of bird-fertilized habitats. The environmental reconstruction based on all records from the area does not preclude local growth of tree species, as the local climate combined with high nutrient input may have led to periodically suitable environmental ‘hotspot’ conditions.

Text
Andøya revised submitted with Figs - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 5 December 2021.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 May 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 June 2020
Published date: 1 July 2020
Keywords: Ancient DNA (aDNA), Andøya, Climate variability, Environmental conditions, Glacial survival, Last glacial maximum, Late Weichselian, MIS2, Micro-refugia, Sedimentary DNA (sedDNA)

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 442260
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/442260
ISSN: 0277-3791
PURE UUID: cce4f7ef-e49d-4a3a-9c9d-4c78062be680
ORCID for Antony G. Brown: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1990-4654
ORCID for Mary E. Edwards: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3490-6682

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Jul 2020 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:51

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Contributors

Author: Inger G. Alsos
Author: Per Sjögren
Author: Antony G. Brown ORCID iD
Author: Ludovic Gielly
Author: Marie Kristine Føreid Merkel
Author: Aage Paus
Author: Youri Lammers
Author: Mary E. Edwards ORCID iD
Author: Torbjørn Alm
Author: Melanie Leng
Author: Tomasz Goslar
Author: Jostein Bakke
Author: Willem G.M. Van Der Bilt

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