LandCover6k goals and methods

Overarching goal

Provide the climate modeling community with information on past land use consisting of:

1. Pollen-based estimates of land-cover change in quantitative terms, i.e. m2/m2 for plant functional types and three land-cover types, i.e. summer-green and evergreen trees and open land.

2. Archaeology/history based information on major land-use types and associated quantifiable variables relevant to global processes such as:

- Burning, use of landscape-scale fire
- Tillage, cropping intensity, m2/m2
- Grazing, intensity, m2/m2 livestock
- Wood harvest, m2/m2
- Irrigation, m2/m2
- Presence of specific crops/domesticates


We use:

- The ERV model (Parsons and Prentice 1981; Prentice and Parsons 1983) to infer relative pollen productivity (RPP) from modern pollen-vegetation datasets; RPP is a necessary parameter to apply the REVEALS model (see below)

- The REVEALS model (Sugita 2007) to estimate plant cover in % of a 1°x 1° grid cell using Holocene pollen records (LC)

- For comparison, additional pollen-based methods, existing and in development, e.g. modern analogue technique (MAT) and biomization (Davis et al. 2015), pseudobiomization (Fyfe et al. 2010 ), and STEPPS (Dawson et al 2016, Williams et al. 2018)

- A global land-use categorization (product of LandCover6k’s first phase, Morrison et al. Past Global Changes Magazine, in prep.) to map land-use from archaeological and historical data, and expert-based quantitative estimates of variables related to the land-use categories (LU)

- Methods are developed to implement the REVEALS LC and Archaelogy/History LU in ALCCs (Klein Goldewijk et al.; Kaplan et al., in prep).

Work packages

NOTE: for more details, contact the coordinators of LandCover6k or the work package’s coordinators (in brackets, below)

a) Pollen-based REVEALS LC
M.-J. Gaillard

- WP-LC1: N America, Canada, Alaska (ECR Andria Dawson, ECR Mathias Trachsel, ECR Michelle Chaput)
- WP-LC2: Latin and Central America (Sonia Fontana, Thomas Giesecke)
- WP-LC3: Europe (ECR Esther Githumbi, ECR Jessie Woodbridge, Florence Mazier, Ralph Fyfe)
- WP-LU4: Middle East/Eastern Mediterranean/Central Asia (ECR Esther Githumbi, Sandy Harrison, Ulrike Herzschuh)
- WP-LC5: Africa (ECR Esther Githumbi, Rob Marchant, Anne-Marie Lézine)
- WP-LC6: India (ECR Navya Reghu, ECR Parminder Ranhotra, Kryshnamurthi Anupama)
- WP-LC7: China (ECR Furong Li, ECR Xianyong Cao, Qinghai Xu, Zhuo Zheng)
- WP-LC8: Japan (Shinya Sugita, Hikaru Takahara)
- WP-LC9: Australia/Oceania (ECR Michela Mariani, Simon Heberle)

A first priority sub-product will be the Monsoon region (WP-LC4-5-6).

b) Archaeology/history-based LU
Kathy Morrison, Nicki Whitehouse, Marco Madella

- WP-LU1: N America and Central America (Thomas Foster; Andrew Sluyter)
- WP-LU2: Latin America (Umberto Lombardo)
- WP-LU3: Europe (ECR Ferran Antolin, ECR Jan Kolář, Mark Groenhuijzen, Marc van der Linden, Elena Marinova)
- WP-LU4: Middle East/Eastern Mediterranean/Central Asia (Laura Popova)
- WP-LU5: Africa (ECR Andrea Kay, ECR Colin Courtney Mustaphi, ECR Oliver Boles, Anneli Ekblom, Mats Widgren)
- WP-LU6: S & SE Asia (Andrew Bauer)
- WP-LU7: N & E Asia (ECR Zhao Wanyi, S Xiuqi Fang, S. Alice Yao)
- WP-LU8: Japan (ECR Enrico Crema)
- WP-LU9: Australia/Oceania (ECR Kristyn Hara)

c) ALCC modeling (WP HYDE-KK): Implementation of a) and b) in HYDE and KK
Kees Klein Goldewijk (HYDE) and Jed O Kaplan (KK)

- WP-HYDE-KK1: Revised HYDE and KK for Europe (development of method and test)
- WP-HYDE-KK2: N Hemisphere
- WP-HYDE-KK3: S Hemisphere

d) WP-Clim: co-design of climate modeling experiments with PMIP and CMIP
ECR Kamolphat Atsawawaranunt, Sandy Harrison



Davis, B. A. S., Collins, P. M. & Kaplan, J. O. 2015. The age and post-glacial development of the modern European vegetation: a plant functional approach based on pollen data. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 2, 303–317, (2015).

Dawson A et al. (2016). Quat Sci Rev 137: 156-175

Fyfe, R. M., Roberts, C. N. & Woodbridge, J. 2010. A pollen-based pseudo-biomisation approach to anthropogenic land cover change. The Holocene. 20, 1165–1171 (2010).

Parsons, R. W., & Prentice, I. C. 1981. Statistical approaches to R-values and the pollen— vegetation relationship. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 32(2): 127-152.

Prentice, I. C., & Parsons, R. W. 1983. Maximum Likelihood Linear Calibration of Pollen Spectra in Terms of Forest Composition. Biometrics, 39(4): 1051-1057.

Williams JW et al. (2018) Quat Res