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The impact of methodological decisions in climate reconstructions using WA- PLS

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Title: The impact of methodological decisions in climate reconstructions using WA- PLS
Authors: Turner, M
Wei, D
Prentice, IC
Harrison, S
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Most techniques for pollen-based quantitative climate reconstruction use modern assemblages as a reference data set. We examine the implication of methodological choices in the selection and treatment of the reference data set for climate reconstructions using Weighted Averaging Partial Least Squares (WA-PLS) regression, using records of the last glacial period from Europe. We show that the training data set used is important, because it determines the climate space sampled. The range and continuity of sampling along the climate gradient is more important than sampling density. Reconstruction uncertainties are generally reduced when more taxa are included, but combining related taxa that are poorly sampled in the data set to a higher taxonomic level provides more stable reconstructions. Excluding taxa that are climatically insensitive, or systematically over-represented in fossil pollen assemblages because of known biases in pollen production or transport, makes no significant difference to the reconstructions. However, the exclusion of taxa over-represented because of preservation issues does produce an improvement. These findings are relevant not only for WA-PLS reconstructions but also for similar approaches using modern assemblage reference data. There is no universal solution to these issues, but we propose a number of checks to evaluate the robustness of pollen-based reconstructions.
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2021
Date of Acceptance: 28-Apr-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/79857
DOI: 10.1017/qua.2020.44
ISSN: 0033-5894
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Start Page: 341
End Page: 356
Journal / Book Title: Quaternary Research
Volume: 99
Copyright Statement: © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2020. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of theCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercialre-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of CambridgeUniversity Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.doi:10.1017/qua.2020.44
Sponsor/Funder: AXA Research Fund
Commission of the European Communities
Funder's Grant Number: AXA Chair Programme in Biosphere and Climate Impacts
Keywords: Paleontology
0403 Geology
0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience
2101 Archaeology
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2020-06-25
Appears in Collections:Grantham Institute for Climate Change
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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