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Research group Palaeoecology and Landscape ecology (P&L) . Temperate Palaeoecology: Van Geel, Van Mourik Landscape ecology: Kooijman, Sevink Tropics Palaeoecology: Hooghiemstra, Van Boxel Vegetation ecology: Duivenvoorden, Cleef. Palaeoecology & Landscape ecology.

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Research group palaeoecology and landscape ecology p l

Research groupPalaeoecology and Landscape ecology(P&L)


Palaeoecology: Van Geel, Van Mourik

Landscape ecology: Kooijman, Sevink


Palaeoecology: Hooghiemstra, Van Boxel

Vegetation ecology: Duivenvoorden, Cleef

Palaeoecology landscape ecology
Palaeoecology & Landscape ecology

Peat archive sediment archive


  • To understand present-day climate and ecosystems, and to anticipate future change, we need a reference

  • This reference is the record of past changes found in peat archives and sediment sequences

Main research activities of p l
Main research activities of P & L

study of records of past climate change inferred from vegetation change at different time-scales:

Neogene (25 Ma >),

Pleistocene (2.5 Ma >),

Holocene (10 ka >),

Anthropogene (2 ka >)

study of the present status and dynamic history of ecosystems

societal relevant research: nature conservation, Kyoto Protocol

Carina Hoorn

Scientific American May 2006

Main research topics 1 reconstruction of ecosystem dynamics and climate change
Main Research Topics 1Reconstruction of ecosystem dynamics and climate change

Van Geel, Hooghiemstra et al.

Temperate: Europe; Siberia

Tropics: Mexico to Bolivia (20°N – 20°S)

  • rainforest, dry forest, savanna, montane forest, páramo

  • Subjects:

    • biotic setting: floral evolution, biostratigraphy, vegetation change

    • abiotic setting: basin development, landscape development, sedimentary and geochemical processes

    • mechanisms at work: orbital forcing, solar forcing

  • Main research topics 1 continued d ata synthesis data model comparisons
    Main Research Topics 1 (continued) Data synthesis, data-model comparisons


    calibration of model output by geological data (international BIOME project)

    inverse modeling studies (effects of pCO2, temperature, precipitation): sensitivity studies  improved site selection

    6000 BP 2000 0

    0 m

    4100 m

    Warmer and wetter

    Cooler and drier

    Hooghiemstra, Van Boxel et al.

    Pollen taxa  Ecological groups  Ecosystems

    PFTs Biomes

    Main research topics 1 continued reconstruction of ecosystem dynamics
    Main Research Topics 1 (continued)Reconstruction of ecosystem dynamics

    Duivenvoorden, Kooijman

    Tropics: plant diversity

    • Are Amazonian forests so species rich owing to many different niches being filled by numerous phylogenetically different taxa?

      Temperate: nutrients

    Significance of substrate / pH

    for availability of nutrients

    Main research topics 2 development of new methodologies
    Main Research Topics 2Development of new methodologies

    Van Geel

    • Common practice:

      • palynologists use only ‘traditional’ fossil types

      • a large number of unknown fossils are ignored

    • Identification of ‘unknowns’ reveals a wealth of information about past natural and anthropogenic environments:

      • abundance of herbivores

      • intensity of fire

      • euthrophication of water (cyanobacteria)

    • Aim: improve the quality of palaeo-environmental reconstructions

    Main research topics 2 continued development of new methodologies
    Main Research Topics 2 (continued) Development of new methodologies

    14C clock = fast

    14C clock = slow

    Van Geel, Hooghiemstra & Duivenvoorden

    • Problematic ‘wiggles’ in the 14C calibration curve has been turned into an advantage: 14C AMS wiggle match dating delivers greater chronological precision + the role of the Sun in climate change can be evaluated

    • BioTime :

      • how representative are pollen spectra for plant diversity?

      • how did plant diversity vary in the past with climate change

    Main research topics 3 interaction between biotic abiotic components in the geo ecosystems
    Main Research Topics (3) Interaction between biotic & abiotic components in the geo-ecosystems

    All group members

    • Proxies:

      • biotic: pollen, non–pollen palynomorphs diatoms, Corg, charcoal,

      • abiotic: grain size analysis, inorganic geochemistry (elements)

      • physical: 14C (solar activity)

      • stable isotopes (∂13C) and biomarkers

    • Aim:place climate change-driven vegetation change in its abiotic environment.

      Keeping in mind:

      • uplift

      • basin development

      • regimes of sediment transport

      • diagenesis

    Project acquisition 2000 2006
    Project acquisition 2000 – 2006

    WOTRO-DGIS: 7 projects

    WOTRO-Fellowships: 1 project

    WOTRO-Integrated Programme : 1 project

    NWO-ALW: 11 projects

    AlBan : 1 project

    EU : 2 projects


    COLCIENCIAS: 2 projects

    IBED: 3 projects

    Externally funded PhD projects: 2 projects

    28 projects



    Centre for Isotope Research

    Free University Amsterdam

    Netherlands Institute Sea Research (NIOZ)

    Netherlands Institute Applied Geology (NITG)

    Netherlands Centre Luminiscence Dating (NLG)

    RING / ROB

    Ministry of Agriculture and Nature Management

    Universities of Nijmegen and Wageningen


    Colombia: Universidad Nacional,

    Bogotá/ Medellín /Leticia

    Colombia: Universidad de los Andes

    Peru: Universidad Nacional para la Amazonia

    Ecuador : Pontífica Universidad Católica

    México: Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM) & ECOSUR

    Latin American Pollen Database (LAPD) community

    Germany: Göttingen, Potsdam, Greifswald

    UK: Bristol, Gloucestershire, Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham, Southampton, York

    Ireland: Dublin

    Finland: Helsinki, Turku

    Sweden: Royal Botanical Museum, Stockholm

    Denmark: Aarhus

    Estonia: Tallin

    Canada: Regina


    A research highlight
    A research highlight

    Torres, Hooghiemstra

    A novel 3.2 Ma terrestrial record of Pleistocene ice-ages from the Bogotá Basin

    Volcanic ash


    586 m deep bore hole Funza-2

    at 2550 m altitude



    A research highlight1
    A research highlight




    285 m

    385 m

    Depositional environments




    A research highlight2
    A research highlight

    Torres, Hooghiemstra

    Future research
    Future Research

    Non-pollen palynomorphs

    Solar forcingof climate change

    Basins of Bogotá & Fúquene: harvesting the huge data sets of fine-resolution pollen records  ESPM

    Amazonia: plant diversity and ice age environments

    GIS applications for calibrating paleodata to modern data in regional syntheses  CBPG

    Societal relevant research:

    Nature restoration and conservation supported by paleo-data  EPS

    Forensic studies

    IPCC related research  ESPM

    Pollen & GIS