​Palaeodata can identify whether species have persisted over a long period of time at a given location, expanded their range, or became locally extinct. To perform such spatio-temporal reconstructions we need a set of continuous and well-dated fossil records.

We will design a relational database to archive information from fossil records (pollen, plants remains, charcoal, 14C dates, GPS coordinates of corings, age/depth models) as well as quantified past climate variables from each fossil record and georeferenced modern distributions of all species found in each fossil record.


What will the fossil data bring?

Fossil records compiled in the database for each study area will provide details with respect to the presence of species in both time and space, changes in their abundances through time, occurrence of fires and human impacts. These elements will define microrefugial areas from the fossil records. Our data-set of fossil records will be used to:

  • depict whether the species of concern persisted locally over a period of time that encompasses significant climatic changes (i.e. last glacial maximum (LGM) and the Holocene (11ka - present)) or became extinct.

  • reconstruct past changes of both taxa diversity and landscape physiognomy to quantify the environmental changes (estimated population sizes) through time and their amplitude.

  • estimate the potential migration rate of the species, allowing us to evaluate whether migration rates will match the required range shift to match the velocity of observed climate change.

  • reconstruct past climate changes. The quantified climate variables will be compared with other regional climate records and/or with global climate model (GCMs) simulations. Microrefugia should have recorded less extremes than the global climate. Microrefugia are expected to have buffered species from abrupt climatic and/or extreme changes.