Environmental and climate change in the southern Central Pyrenees since the Last Glacial Maximum: A view from the lake records

Penélope González-Sampériz, Josu Aranbarri, Ana Pérez-Sanz, Graciela Gil-Romera, Ana Moreno, María Leunda, Miguel Sevilla-Callejo, Juan Pablo Corella, Mario Morellón, Belén Oliva, Blas Valero-Garcés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


In this contribution we compile and summarize the available paleo-environmental lacustrine data for the last 20,000 years from the southern Central Pyrenees (from west to east: El Portalet, Tramacastilla, Basa de la Mora, Estanya, Redon, Montcortès and Marcelino lakes) and present a new sequence from mid altitude (Holocene record of Lake Estanya). Multiproxy analyses of lake records have identified large vegetation and hydrological changes during last glacial, deglaciation and the Holocene periods at millennial, centennial and even decadal scales and documented their timing, intensity and varied nature. The review indicates that landscape dynamics in the Pyrenees have been greatly controlled by both long term and abrupt climate changes and, since the Middle Holocene, and particularly since Medieval times, by human activities as new transforming agent. Although high internal variability characterized every site, common temporal trends are evidenced, as well as a suggestive western–eastern gradient superimposed to the expected altitudinal one (highlands versus lowlands). Thus, the long-term Central Pyrenees environmental history presents a relatively high degree of internal coherence across space and provides some past scenarios of landscape-climate interactions to evaluate the expected impacts of current and future Global Change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-688
Number of pages21
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was supported by the projects DINAMO3 ( CGL2015-69160-R ), DINAMO2 ( CGL-BOS 2012-33063 ), DINAMO ( CGL2009-07992 ) and HYVARMED ( CGL2013-42645-P ), provided by the Spanish Inter-Ministry Commission of Science and Technology (CICYT) and by HORDA (83/2008) and CULPA (998/2013), funded by the Spanish OAPN (Organismo Autónomo de Parques Nacionales) . Josu Aranbarri acknowledges the predoctoral funding provided by the Basque Country Government (ref: FI-2010-5 ) and María Leunda by the FPI grant BES-2013-063753 . Graciela Gil-Romera is currently funded by the project PYROS granted by “Ayudas Fundación BBVA a Investigadores y Creadores Culturales”, while Pablo Corella holds a postdoctoral fellowship funded by MINECO. We also thank Elena Royo and Raquel López for their help in lab procedures.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Central Pyrenees
  • Climate changes
  • Human impact
  • Lacustrine sequences
  • Long-term geoecological evolution

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • ESP

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