Online seminar by Dr. Jed O. Kaplan from Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Hong Kong
16 May 2023
KST 15:00 – 16:00
More than two decades ago, the development of the first global biogeography models led to an interest in simulating global land cover in the past. These models promised the possibility of creating a coherent picture of the Earth’s vegetation that went beyond qualitative extrapolation of site-based observations, e.g., from paleoecological archives, and was not limited to areas with a high density of sites. Then as now, the goal of much work simulating past vegetation was to explore and understand the role of biogeophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks between the Earth’s land surface and the climate system. Paleovegetation modeling for the late Quaternary has also influenced debates on the character of natural vegetation, conservation and ecological restoration goals, and the co-evolution of humans, civilizations, and the landscapes in which they live. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of global and regional efforts to understand past land cover change and human-environment interactions using models and paleoecological and archaeological reconstructions, a preview of current research, and priorities for the future.