The ACER pollen and charcoal database: A global resource to document vegetation and fire response to abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period


Journal Article

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 (73-15ka) with a temporal resolution better than 1000years, 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 Access™ at

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Goñi, MFS; Desprat, S; Daniau, AL; Bassinot, FC; Polanco-Martínez, JM; Harrison, SP; Allen, JRM; Scott Anderson, R; Behling, H; Bonnefille, R; Burjachs, F; Carrión, JS; Cheddadi, R; Clark, JS; Combourieu-Nebout, N; Mustaphi, CJC; Debusk, GH; Dupont, LM; Finch, JM; Fletcher, WJ; Giardini, M; González, C; Gosling, WD; Grigg, LD; Grimm, EC; Hayashi, R; Helmens, K; Heusser, LE; Hill, T; Hope, G; Huntley, B; Igarashi, Y; Irino, T; Jacobs, B; Jiménez-Moreno, G; Kawai, S; Peter Kershaw, A; Kumon, F; Lawson, IT; Ledru, MP; Lézine, AM; Mei Liew, P; Magri, D; Marchant, R; Margari, V; Mayle, FE; Merna Mckenzie, G; Moss, P; Müller, S; Müller, UC; Naughton, F; Newnham, RM; Oba, T; Pérez-Obiol, R; Pini, R; Ravazzi, C; Roucoux, KH; Rucina, SM; Scott, L; Takahara, H; Tzedakis, PC; Urrego, DH; Van Geel, B; Guido Valencia, B; Vandergoes, MJ; Vincens, A; Whitlock, CL; Willard, DA; Yamamoto, M

Published Date

  • September 11, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 679 - 695

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1866-3516

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1866-3508

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.5194/essd-9-679-2017

Citation Source

  • Scopus