Abstract

The overall aim of the TIGGER IIb project is to increase our understanding of the manner and rates by which ecosystems responded to climate changes during the Last Glacial-Holocene transition. Success in this venture requires better constrained palaeoenvironmental reconstructions than have been achieved thus far, and the TIGGER project focused, in particular, on three main aims: (1) off-setting the limitations of conventional radiocarbon dating, in order to provide a more secure chronology of events; (2) increasing the resolution and precision of palaeoclimatic reconstructions; (3) widening the scope of site-specific palaeoecological investigations. In this paper we focus on the first of these strategies, and describe the progress made in developing a more coherent timescale for the climate history of the Lateglacial period. This has been achieved by using a number of independent methods, including calibration of AMS radiocarbon dates obtained from terrestrial plant macrofossils, MCR estimates of summer temperatures based on coleopteran records, analysis of stable carbon isotope ratios in terrestrial plant macrofossils and tephrochronology. Following Björck et al.'s 1998 recommendations, we integrate the new results to construct a provisional event stratigraphy for the Last Glacial-Holocene transition in the British Isles, which is based on a sequence of features that are believed to be time-parallel. This approach is considered to provide a more coherent framework for direct comparison of the palaeoenvironmental evidence from Britain with that from elsewhere.

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