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L'influence du climat et des activités humaines sur l'histoire holocène de la végétation du nord-ouest de la Méditerranée

Abstract : Holocene climate fluctuations and human activities since the Neolithic have shaped present-day Mediterranean environments. Separating anthropogenic effects from climatic impacts to better understand Mediterranean paleoenvironmental changes over the last several millennia remains a challenging issue. This work aims to characterize the influence of human activities and past climate variability over the development of north western Mediterranean environments by (i) providing new data about the vegetation history of this region and (ii) developing new tools for paleoenvironmental data processing. Two high-resolution pollen sequences from Languedoc (France) and the Murcia region (Spain) are presented, covering the last 7800 and 6500 years, respectively. In Languedoc, the past vegetation is dominated by mesophilous forests during most of the sequence, in particular beech forests growing at low altitude within the Mediterranean area. However, recurrent abrupt climate changes, the late Holocene aridity trend, and human deforestation caused beech forests to decline. On the other hand, evergreen Mediterranean vegetation has developed gradually since the Neolithic due to the increasing human impact. In the Murcia region, the influence of past climate variability on the environment is less obvious. Changes in human activities are clearly driving most of the observed vegetation changes. Shrubs and pioneer plants show spread and decline phases alternatively in relation to archeological and historical records. Work to adapt pollen based land-cover reconstruction methods developed in northern Europe to the Mediterranean area was also initiated. REVEALS model of pollen dispersal and deposition was adapted to coastal sedimentary basins such as those studied in this PhD. However, to apply such pollen based land-cover reconstruction methods, pollen productivity estimates are needed. Thus, the data necessary to quantify the pollen productivity of 12 Mediterranean plant taxa were collected and processed. Finally, spectral analysis of paleoclimate time series using wavelets allowed us to characterize the influence of solar variability, the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, and tropical climate variability on the past climate of the north-western Mediterranean. The spatial variability of past climate changes in the Mediterranean is also highlighted by comparing our results obtained for the north western Mediterranean with paleoclimate data from the whole Mediterranean basin.
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Submitted on : Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 11:18:12 AM
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Julien Azuara. L'influence du climat et des activités humaines sur l'histoire holocène de la végétation du nord-ouest de la Méditerranée. Paléontologie. Museum national d'histoire naturelle - MNHN PARIS, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017MNHN0012⟩. ⟨tel-02052002⟩

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