Imperial College London

Professor Iain Colin Prentice

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts



+44 (0)20 7594 2354c.prentice




1.1Centre for Population BiologySilwood Park






BibTex format

author = {Turner, M and Wei, D and Prentice, IC and Harrison, S},
journal = {Quaternary Research},
title = {The impact of methodological decisions in climate reconstructions using WA- PLS},
url = {},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Most techniques for pollen-based quantitative climate reconstruction use modern assemblages as a reference data set. We examine the implication of methodological choices in the selection and treatment of the reference data set for climate reconstructions using Weighted Averaging Partial Least Squares (WA-PLS) regression, using records of the last glacial period from Europe. We show that the training data set used is important, because it determines the climate space sampled. The range and continuity of sampling along the climate gradient is more important than sampling density. Reconstruction uncertainties are generally reduced when more taxa are included, but combining related taxa that are poorly sampled in the data set to a higher taxonomic level provides more stable reconstructions. Excluding taxa that are climatically insensitive, or systematically over-represented in fossil pollen assemblages because of known biases in pollen production or transport, makes no significant difference to the reconstructions. However, the exclusion of taxa over-represented because of preservation issues does produce an improvement. These findings are relevant not only for WA-PLS reconstructions but also for similar approaches using modern assemblage reference data. There is no universal solution to these issues, but we propose a number of checks to evaluate the robustness of pollen-based reconstructions.
AU - Turner,M
AU - Wei,D
AU - Prentice,IC
AU - Harrison,S
PY - 2020///
SN - 0033-5894
TI - The impact of methodological decisions in climate reconstructions using WA- PLS
T2 - Quaternary Research
UR -
ER -