Journal cover Journal topic
Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 679-695, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
11 Sep 2017
The ACER pollen and charcoal database: a global resource to document vegetation and fire response to abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period
María Fernanda Sánchez Goñi1,2, Stéphanie Desprat1,2, Anne-Laure Daniau3, Frank C. Bassinot4, Josué M. Polanco-Martínez2,5, Sandy P. Harrison6,7, Judy R. M. Allen8, R. Scott Anderson9, Hermann Behling10, Raymonde Bonnefille11, Francesc Burjachs12, José S. Carrión13, Rachid Cheddadi14, James S. Clark15, Nathalie Combourieu-Nebout16, Colin. J. Courtney Mustaphi17, Georg H. Debusk18, Lydie M. Dupont19, Jemma M. Finch20, William J. Fletcher21, Marco Giardini22, Catalina González23, William D. Gosling24, Laurie D. Grigg25, Eric C. Grimm26, Ryoma Hayashi27, Karin Helmens28, Linda E. Heusser29, Trevor Hill20, Geoffrey Hope30, Brian Huntley8, Yaeko Igarashi31, Tomohisa Irino32, Bonnie Jacobs33, Gonzalo Jiménez-Moreno34, Sayuri Kawai35, A. Peter Kershaw36, Fujio Kumon37, Ian T. Lawson38, Marie-Pierre Ledru14, Anne-Marie Lézine39, Ping Mei Liew40, Donatella Magri22, Robert Marchant17, Vasiliki Margari41, Francis E. Mayle42, G. Merna McKenzie36, Patrick Moss43, Stefanie Müller44, Ulrich C. Müller45, Filipa Naughton46,47, Rewi M. Newnham48, Tadamichi Oba49, Ramón Pérez-Obiol50, Roberta Pini51, Cesare Ravazzi51, Katy H. Roucoux38, Stephen M. Rucina52, Louis Scott53, Hikaru Takahara54, Polichronis C. Tzedakis41, Dunia H. Urrego55, Bas van Geel56, B. Guido Valencia57, Marcus J. Vandergoes58, Annie Vincens11, Cathy L. Whitlock59, Debra A. Willard60, and Masanobu Yamamoto49 1EPHE, PSL Research University, 33615 Pessac, France
2Université de Bordeaux, EPOC, UMR 5805, 33615 Pessac, France
3CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, EPOC, UMR 5805, 33615 Pessac, France
4Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
5Basque Centre for Climate Change – BC3, 48940 Leioa, Spain
6Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde NSW 2109, Australia
7School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Sciences (SAGES), Reading University, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK
8Department of Biosciences, Durham University, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK
9Environmental Programs, School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
10Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics, Albrecht von Haller Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
11CEREGE (UMR 6635), Aix-Marseille Université CNRS, IRD, Collège de France, Europole de l'Arbois, BP80, 13545 Aix-en-Provence, France
12ICREA Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Campus Sescelades URV, W3, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
13Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
14Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier, UMR 5554 Université Montpellier 2, Bat.22, CC061, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier CEDEX 5, France
15Duke Trinity College of Art and Sciences, Durham, NC 27708, USA
16UMR 7194 CNRS, Histoire naturelle de l'Homme Préhistorique, Département de Préhistoire, Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, 75013 Paris, France
17The York Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Dynamics (KITE), Environment Department, University of York, York, Heslington, YO10 5DD, UK
18Department of Zoology, Duke University, Box 90325, Durham, NC 27708–0325, USA
19MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
20Discipline of Geography, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
21Quaternary Environments and Geoarchaeology, Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
22Dipartimento di Biologia Ambientale, Sapienza Università di Roma, 1303 Rome, Italy
23Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de los Andes, A.A. 4976 Bogotá, Colombia
24Department of Ecosystems & Landscape Ecology, University of Amsterdam, 1090 GE Amsterdam, the Netherlands
25Geology and Environmental Science Department, Norwich University, Northfield, VT 05663, USA
26University of Minnesota, Department of Earth Sciences, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
27Lake Biwa Museum, Oroshimocho1091, Kusatsu 525-0001, Japan
28Department of Physical Geography and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
29Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10601, USA
30Department of Archaeology and Natural History, The Australian National University, Fellows Road, Acton ACT 0200, Australia
31Institute for Paleoenvironment of Northern Regions, Koyocho 3-7-5, Kitahiroshima 061-1134, Japan
32Geological Institute, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
33Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0395, USA
34Departamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
35Institute of Mountain Science, Shinshu University, Asahi 3-1-1, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan
36School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Australia
37Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Shinshu University, Asahi 3-1-1, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan
38Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, KY16 9AL, UK
39LOCEAN – Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat: Expérimentations et Approches Numériques, UPMC, 75252 Paris, France
40Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 106, Taiwan, ROC
41Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
42Centre for Past Climate Change, Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AB, UK
43School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, The University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD 4072, Australia
44Freie Universität Berlin, Geological Sciences, Palaeontology Section, 12249 Berlin, Germany
45Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany
46Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), Algarve University, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
47Portuguese Sea and Atmosphere Institute (IPMA), Rua Alfredo Magalhães Ramalho 6, 1495-006 Lisbon, Portugal
48School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
49Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, N10-W5 Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
50Unitat de Botànica, Facultat de Biociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
51C.N.R. – Istituto per la Dinamica dei Processi Ambientali, Laboratorio di Palinologia e Paleoecologia, Piazza della Scienza 1, 20126 Milano, Italy
52Department of Earth Sciences, Palynology and Palaeobotany Section, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658, Nairobi, 00100, Kenya
53Department of Plant Sciences, University of the Free State, P.O. Box 339, Bloemfontein, South Africa
54Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Kyoto Prefectural University, 1-5 Hangi-cho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8522, Japan
55Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK
56Department of Paleoecology and Landscape Ecology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, the Netherlands
57Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL 32901, USA
58GNS Science1 Fairway Drive, Avalon P.O. Box 30-368, Lower Hutt 5010, New Zealand
59Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
60U.S. Geological Survey, 926A National Center, Reston, VA 20192, USA
Abstract. Quaternary records provide an opportunity to examine the nature of the vegetation and fire responses to rapid past climate changes comparable in velocity and magnitude to those expected in the 21st-century. The best documented examples of rapid climate change in the past are the warming events associated with the Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) cycles during the last glacial period, which were sufficiently large to have had a potential feedback through changes in albedo and greenhouse gas emissions on climate. Previous reconstructions of vegetation and fire changes during the D–O cycles used independently constructed age models, making it difficult to compare the changes between different sites and regions. Here, we present the ACER (Abrupt Climate Changes and Environmental Responses) global database, which includes 93 pollen records from the last glacial period (73–15 ka) with a temporal resolution better than 1000 years, 32 of which also provide charcoal records. A harmonized and consistent chronology based on radiometric dating (14C, 234U∕230Th, optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), 40Ar∕39Ar-dated tephra layers) has been constructed for 86 of these records, although in some cases additional information was derived using common control points based on event stratigraphy. The ACER database compiles metadata including geospatial and dating information, pollen and charcoal counts, and pollen percentages of the characteristic biomes and is archived in Microsoft AccessTM at

Citation: Sánchez Goñi, M. F., Desprat, S., Daniau, A.-L., Bassinot, F. C., Polanco-Martínez, J. M., Harrison, S. P., Allen, J. R. M., Anderson, R. S., Behling, H., Bonnefille, R., Burjachs, F., Carrión, J. S., Cheddadi, R., Clark, J. S., Combourieu-Nebout, N., Mustaphi, Colin. J. Courtney, Debusk, G. H., Dupont, L. M., Finch, J. M., Fletcher, W. J., Giardini, M., González, C., Gosling, W. D., Grigg, L. D., Grimm, E. C., Hayashi, R., Helmens, K., Heusser, L. E., Hill, T., Hope, G., Huntley, B., Igarashi, Y., Irino, T., Jacobs, B., Jiménez-Moreno, G., Kawai, S., Kershaw, A. P., Kumon, F., Lawson, I. T., Ledru, M.-P., Lézine, A.-M., Liew, P. M., Magri, D., Marchant, R., Margari, V., Mayle, F. E., McKenzie, G. M., Moss, P., Müller, S., Müller, U. C., Naughton, F., Newnham, R. M., Oba, T., Pérez-Obiol, R., Pini, R., Ravazzi, C., Roucoux, K. H., Rucina, S. M., Scott, L., Takahara, H., Tzedakis, P. C., Urrego, D. H., van Geel, B., Valencia, B. G., Vandergoes, M. J., Vincens, A., Whitlock, C. L., Willard, D. A., and Yamamoto, M.: The ACER pollen and charcoal database: a global resource to document vegetation and fire response to abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 679-695,, 2017.
Short summary
The ACER (Abrupt Climate Changes and Environmental Responses) global database includes 93 pollen records from the last glacial period (73–15 ka) plotted against a common chronology; 32 also provide charcoal records. The database allows for the reconstruction of the regional expression, vegetation and fire of past abrupt climate changes that are comparable to those expected in the 21st century. This work is a major contribution to understanding the processes behind rapid climate change.
The ACER (Abrupt Climate Changes and Environmental Responses) global database includes 93 pollen...