02 Mar 2012:
Some Scandinavian Conifers
Survived the Last Ice Age, Study Says
A new study has found that some Scandinavian conifers were able to survive the harsh conditions of the last Ice Age
, a finding that upends the long-held view that the region’s landscape was wiped clean by a
University of Copenhagen
A Scandinavian pine
massive blanket of ice. While scientists have long believed contemporary Scandinavian forests were populated by tree species that migrated from eastern and southern Europe after temperatures warmed, DNA evidence suggests some species of spruce and pine found refuge for tens of thousands of years. Indeed, the modern forests are comprised of “original” and “introduced” species, the researchers say. According to their study, published in the journal Science
, some tree species may have survived on Andøya Island, located in northwestern Norway, which was ice-free during the last Ice Age. They may also have found refuge in other more hospitable locations, such as atop nunataks — the exposed mountain peaks that protruded from glacial cover — or in more temperate zones along the Atlantic coast. These “original” species were then able to spread once the ice retreated, said Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.