Radiocarbon dated Pinus sylvertis L. wood from beyond treeline on the Kola Peninsula, Russia

TitleRadiocarbon dated Pinus sylvertis L. wood from beyond treeline on the Kola Peninsula, Russia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsMacDonald, GM, Gervalis, B, Snyder, JA, Tarasov, GA, Borisova, OA
JournalThe Holocene

Radiocarbon dates were obtained from 24 samples of Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine) wood recovered from sites beyond the modern conifer tree-line on the Kola Peninsula of Russia. Twenty-one of the samples came from the shallow waters and eroding peats at the edges of two small lakes at 68°439N, 35°109E, located north of the modern conifer tree-line. Three samples came from a small pond located above the modern elevational limits of Pinus sylvestris at 68°259N, 35°199E. The radiocarbon dates indicate that pine trees grew approximately 20 km north of the mapped modern limits of the species from 6680 BP to 3830 BP. Pine trees were also growing some 40 m above their modern elevational limits between 5890 BP and 3450 BP. Nineteen of the samples date from 6680 BP to 5070 BP, suggesting that the density of trees north of the modern tree-line was greatest between 7000 and 5000 BP. The timing of tree-line advance and greatest density on the Kola Peninsula are in agreement with the results of similar studies from northern Fennoscandia which indicate that maximum northern and elevational extension of tree-line occurred between 7000 BP and 4000 BP. The general agreement between tree-line reconstructions suggests that the climatic changes that promoted mid-Holocene tree-line extension along the North Atlantic margins in northern Fennoscandia propagated eastward to the Kola Peninsula. The late timing of initial pine expansion on the Kola and in adjacent northern Fennoscandia remains problematic and may relate to lower winter insolation, temperature regimes in the adjacent oceans or slow rates of migration.