Holocene forest dynamics in central and western Mediterranean: periodicity, spatio-temporal patterns and climate influence

Federico Di Rita, William Fletcher, Josu Aranbarri Erkiaga, Giulia Margaritelli, Fabrizio Lirer, Donatella Magri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It is well-known that the Holocene exhibits a millennial-scale climate variability. However, its periodicity, spatio-temporal patterns and underlying processes are not fully deciphered yet. Here we focus on the central and western Mediterranean. We show that recurrent forest declines from the Gulf of Gaeta (central Tyrrhenian Sea) reveal a 1860-yr periodicity, consistent with a ca. 1800-yr climate fluctuation induced by large-scale changes in climate modes, linked to solar activity and/or AMOC intensity. We show that recurrent forest declines and dry events are also recorded in several pollen and palaeohydrological proxy-records in the south-central Mediterranean. We found coeval events also in several palaeohydrological records from the south-western Mediterranean, which however show generally wet climate conditions, indicating a spatio-temporal hydrological pattern opposite to the south-central Mediterranean and suggesting that different expressions of climate modes occurred in the two regions at the same time. We propose that these opposite hydroclimate regimes point to a complex interplay of the prevailing or predominant phases of NAO-like circulation, East Atlantic pattern, and extension and location of the North African anticyclone. At a larger geographical scale, displacements of the ITCZ, modulated by solar activity and/or AMOC intensity, may have also indirectly influenced the observed pattern.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Early online date12 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2018

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