Palynological evidence from a sub-alpine marsh of enhanced Little Ice Age snowpack in the Marrakech High Atlas, North AfricaCitation formats

  • External authors:
  • Henk Cornelissen
  • David Fink
  • Ali Rhoujjati

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Palynological evidence from a sub-alpine marsh of enhanced Little Ice Age snowpack in the Marrakech High Atlas, North Africa. / Bell, Benjamin; Fletcher, William; Hughes, Philip; Cornelissen, Henk; Fink, David; Rhoujjati, Ali.

In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, Vol. 31, No. 1, 02.2022, p. 49-66.

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Bell, Benjamin ; Fletcher, William ; Hughes, Philip ; Cornelissen, Henk ; Fink, David ; Rhoujjati, Ali. / Palynological evidence from a sub-alpine marsh of enhanced Little Ice Age snowpack in the Marrakech High Atlas, North Africa. In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 2022 ; Vol. 31, No. 1. pp. 49-66.

Bibtex

@article{adec3c7d2d1d481e92b7fc4cb23d0e0b,
title = "Palynological evidence from a sub-alpine marsh of enhanced Little Ice Age snowpack in the Marrakech High Atlas, North Africa",
abstract = "The grazing lands of the High Atlas are vulnerable to climate change and the decline of traditional management practices. However, prior to the mid-20th century, there is little information to examine historical environmental change and resilience to past climate variability. Here, we present a new pollen, non-pollen palynomorph (NPP) and microcharcoal record from a sub-alpine marsh (pozzine) at Ouka{\"i}meden, located in the Marrakech High Atlas, Morocco. The record reveals a history of grazing impacts with diverse non-arboreal pollen assemblages dominant throughout the record as well as recurrent shifts between wetter and drier conditions. A large suite of radiocarbon dates (n = 22) constrains the deposit to the last ~ 1,000 years although multiple reversed ages preclude development of a robust age-depth model for all intervals. Between relatively dry conditions during the Medieval period and in the 20th century, intervening wet conditions are observed, which we interpret as a locally enhanced snowpack during the Little Ice Age. Hydrological fluctuations evidenced by wetland pollen and NPPs are possibly associated with centennial-scale precipitation variability evidenced in regional speleothem records. The pollen record reveals an herbaceous grassland flora resilient against climatic fluctuations through the last millennium, possibly supported by sustainable collective management practices (agdal), with grazing indicators suggesting a flourishing pastoral economy. However, during the 20th century, floristic changes and increases in charcoal accumulation point to a decline in management practices, diversification of land-use (including afforestation) and intensification of human activity.",
keywords = "Alpine ecology, Climate dynamics, Mountain environment, Non-pollen palynomorphs, Pollen, Snow melt, Vegetation dynamics",
author = "Benjamin Bell and William Fletcher and Philip Hughes and Henk Cornelissen and David Fink and Ali Rhoujjati",
note = "Funding Information: This work was funded by a SED (now SEED) Research Stimulation Fund award, a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) radiocarbon award (allocation #1858.1014), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) dating support (portal #11599), and a Leverhulme Trust research project (RPG-2018-141). We thank Sarah Kneen for assistance in the field, and John Moore, Tom Bishop and Jonathan Yarwood (University of Manchester) for laboratory assistance. We also thank Thomas Higham, David Chivall and Richard Staff (Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit) and Geraldine Jacobsen (ANSTO) for assistance with C dating. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers whose comments helped us to improve the manuscript. 14 Publisher Copyright: {\textcopyright} 2021, The Author(s).",
year = "2022",
month = feb,
doi = "10.1007/s00334-021-00837-y",
language = "English",
volume = "31",
pages = "49--66",
journal = "Vegetation History and Archaeobotany",
issn = "0939-6314",
publisher = "Springer Nature",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Palynological evidence from a sub-alpine marsh of enhanced Little Ice Age snowpack in the Marrakech High Atlas, North Africa

AU - Bell, Benjamin

AU - Fletcher, William

AU - Hughes, Philip

AU - Cornelissen, Henk

AU - Fink, David

AU - Rhoujjati, Ali

N1 - Funding Information: This work was funded by a SED (now SEED) Research Stimulation Fund award, a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) radiocarbon award (allocation #1858.1014), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) dating support (portal #11599), and a Leverhulme Trust research project (RPG-2018-141). We thank Sarah Kneen for assistance in the field, and John Moore, Tom Bishop and Jonathan Yarwood (University of Manchester) for laboratory assistance. We also thank Thomas Higham, David Chivall and Richard Staff (Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit) and Geraldine Jacobsen (ANSTO) for assistance with C dating. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers whose comments helped us to improve the manuscript. 14 Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s).

PY - 2022/2

Y1 - 2022/2

N2 - The grazing lands of the High Atlas are vulnerable to climate change and the decline of traditional management practices. However, prior to the mid-20th century, there is little information to examine historical environmental change and resilience to past climate variability. Here, we present a new pollen, non-pollen palynomorph (NPP) and microcharcoal record from a sub-alpine marsh (pozzine) at Oukaïmeden, located in the Marrakech High Atlas, Morocco. The record reveals a history of grazing impacts with diverse non-arboreal pollen assemblages dominant throughout the record as well as recurrent shifts between wetter and drier conditions. A large suite of radiocarbon dates (n = 22) constrains the deposit to the last ~ 1,000 years although multiple reversed ages preclude development of a robust age-depth model for all intervals. Between relatively dry conditions during the Medieval period and in the 20th century, intervening wet conditions are observed, which we interpret as a locally enhanced snowpack during the Little Ice Age. Hydrological fluctuations evidenced by wetland pollen and NPPs are possibly associated with centennial-scale precipitation variability evidenced in regional speleothem records. The pollen record reveals an herbaceous grassland flora resilient against climatic fluctuations through the last millennium, possibly supported by sustainable collective management practices (agdal), with grazing indicators suggesting a flourishing pastoral economy. However, during the 20th century, floristic changes and increases in charcoal accumulation point to a decline in management practices, diversification of land-use (including afforestation) and intensification of human activity.

AB - The grazing lands of the High Atlas are vulnerable to climate change and the decline of traditional management practices. However, prior to the mid-20th century, there is little information to examine historical environmental change and resilience to past climate variability. Here, we present a new pollen, non-pollen palynomorph (NPP) and microcharcoal record from a sub-alpine marsh (pozzine) at Oukaïmeden, located in the Marrakech High Atlas, Morocco. The record reveals a history of grazing impacts with diverse non-arboreal pollen assemblages dominant throughout the record as well as recurrent shifts between wetter and drier conditions. A large suite of radiocarbon dates (n = 22) constrains the deposit to the last ~ 1,000 years although multiple reversed ages preclude development of a robust age-depth model for all intervals. Between relatively dry conditions during the Medieval period and in the 20th century, intervening wet conditions are observed, which we interpret as a locally enhanced snowpack during the Little Ice Age. Hydrological fluctuations evidenced by wetland pollen and NPPs are possibly associated with centennial-scale precipitation variability evidenced in regional speleothem records. The pollen record reveals an herbaceous grassland flora resilient against climatic fluctuations through the last millennium, possibly supported by sustainable collective management practices (agdal), with grazing indicators suggesting a flourishing pastoral economy. However, during the 20th century, floristic changes and increases in charcoal accumulation point to a decline in management practices, diversification of land-use (including afforestation) and intensification of human activity.

KW - Alpine ecology

KW - Climate dynamics

KW - Mountain environment

KW - Non-pollen palynomorphs

KW - Pollen

KW - Snow melt

KW - Vegetation dynamics

U2 - 10.1007/s00334-021-00837-y

DO - 10.1007/s00334-021-00837-y

M3 - Article

VL - 31

SP - 49

EP - 66

JO - Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

JF - Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

SN - 0939-6314

IS - 1

ER -