The history of tree and shrub taxa on bol’shoy lyakhovsky Island (New Siberian Archipelago) since the last interglacial uncovered by sedimentary ancient DNA and pollen data

Heike H. Zimmermann, Elena Raschke, Laura S. Epp, Kathleen R. Stoof-Leichsenring, Lutz Schirrmeister, Georg Schwamborn, Ulrike Herzschuh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecosystem boundaries, such as the Arctic-Boreal treeline, are strongly coupled with climate and were spatially highly dynamic during past glacial-interglacial cycles. Only a few studies cover vegetation changes since the last interglacial, as most of the former landscapes are inundated and difficult to access. Using pollen analysis and sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) metabarcoding, we reveal vegetation changes on Bol’shoy Lyakhovsky Island since the last interglacial from permafrost sediments. Last interglacial samples depict high levels of floral diversity with the presence of trees (Larix, Picea, Populus) and shrubs (Alnus, Betula, Ribes, Cornus, Saliceae) on the currently treeless island. After the Last Glacial Maximum, Larix re-colonised the island but disappeared along with most shrub taxa. This was probably caused by Holocene sealevel rise, which led to increased oceanic conditions on the island. Additionally, we applied two newly developed larch-specific chloroplast markers to evaluate their potential for tracking past population dynamics from environmental samples. The novel markers were successfully resequenced and exhibited two variants of each marker in last interglacial samples. SedaDNA can track vegetation changes as well as genetic changes across geographic space through time and can improve our understanding of past processes that shape modern patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number273
JournalGenes
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Larix
  • Metabarcoding
  • Mis 5 to 1
  • Palaeoenvironment
  • Permafrost deposits
  • Vegetation change through time
  • sedaDNA
  • SNP
  • treeline
  • trnl
  • population genetic structure

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The history of tree and shrub taxa on bol’shoy lyakhovsky Island (New Siberian Archipelago) since the last interglacial uncovered by sedimentary ancient DNA and pollen data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this