Skip to main content

High resolution holocene co2 reconstruction from fossil plants

Objective



Research objectives and content
THIS RESEARCH PROJECT AIMS AT A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE PAST VARIABILITY IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION, SPECIFICALLY IN THE HOLOCENE PERIOD (THE LAST 10,000 YEARS). THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR OUR POSSIBILlTIES TO ASSESS THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LARGE INCREASE IN CARBON DIOXIDE CONCENTRATION DURING THE LAST 200 YEARS AND FOR OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE CLIMATE SYSTEM IN GENERAL. RECONSTRUCTIONS OF HOLOCENE CO2 VARIATIONS WITH THE REQUIRED RESOLUTION HAS SO FAR NOT BEEN POSSIBLE FROM THE ANTARCTIC AND GREENLANDIC ICE CORES DUE TO INHERENT PROBLEMS IN THAT TECHNIQUE. THERE ARE ALSO INDICATIONS OF LARGE DISCREPANCIES IN THE ICE-CORE DATA. THIS CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT EVIDENCE. THE DENSITY OF STOMATAL CELLS IN LEAVES HAS BEEN SHOWN TO BE INVERSELY RELATED TO ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION, AND BY APPLYING THIS TO FOSSIL LEAVES IT IS POSSIBLE TO RECONSTRUCT PAST CO2 VARIATIONS. THE OBJECT OF THIS PROJECT IS TO APPLY THIS RELATIVELY NEW METHOD TO HOLOCENE LEAVES OF TWO TUNDRA SPECIES TRAPPED IN SWEDISH LAKES, THEREBY PRODUCING TWO INDEPENDENT HIGH RESOLUTION CO2 RECONSTRUCTIONS FOR THE LAST 10,000 YEARS. THE COLLECTED SEDIMENTS WILL BE SEARCHED FOR FOSSIL LEAVES AND THESE WILL BE IDENTIFIED STOMATA AND EPIDERMIS CELLS WILL BE COUNTED UNDER AN EPIFLUORESCENCE MICROSCOPE AND STOMATAL INDEX CALCULATED. SOME LEAVES WILL ALSO BE USED FOR AMS RADIOCARBON DATING TO SECURE RELIABLE CHRONOLOGIES. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
I WILL RECIEVE TRAINING IN THE USE OF FOSSIL LEAVES FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF PAST CO2 ATMOSPHERIC CONCENTRATION, INCLUDING STOMATAL INDEX MEASUREMENTS ON LEAVES. THIS IS A RELATIVELY NEW APPROACH IN PALAEOCLIMATOLOGY THAT HAS SHOWED VERY PROMISING RESULTS. THIS TRAINING WILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO ACQUIRE FRESH KNOWLEDGE IN A NEW FIELD THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO A SOURCE MATERIAL (FOSSIL PLANTS) THAT I HAVE WORKED WITH EARLIER. WITH THIS EXPERIENCE IT WILL BE POSSIBLE FOR ME TO APPLY THIS METHOD TO FOSSIL PLANTS FROM OTHER GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS AND TIME PERIODS IN FUTURE PROJECTS IN COOPERATION WITH SCIENTISTS FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY. IN ADDITION, THIS TRAINING WILL IMPROVE THE CONTACT BETWEEN THE PALAEOECOLOGICAL AND PLANT PHYSIOLOGICAL SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITIES, ENABLING INCREASED FUTURE COOPERATION IN GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
NO

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
Address
Western Bank
S10 2TN Sheffield
United Kingdom

Participants (1)

Not available
Sweden