IGBP PAGES PHAROS Land-cover reconstructions in the monsoon affected Tropical world - pollen modeling approach and data synthesis


Polynology Lab Golden Jubilee

1) Presentation of the first synthesis of pollen-inferred Holocene land-cover reconstructions in Europe, the LANDCLIM project (Gaillard et al., 2010).

2) Presentation of ongoing efforts to produce pollen-inferred Holocene land-cover reconstructions in other parts of the world, tropical Africa in particular 3) Initiating land-cover reconstructions in the “tropical” areas using the methods widespread in Europe through the POLLANDCAL and LANDCLIM networks (e.g. Gaillard et al. 2008, 2010).

4) Initiating a synthesis of relevant historical and archeological data available in most of the “tropical” areas with the aim to get additional information on past anthropogenic land-cover.

5) Position the above in the context of studies of past regional to global land cover-climate feedbacks, which is an essential part in the development of climate models (e.g. Kaplan et al., 2009; Gaillard et al., 2010).

The Workshop

The three days are planned with a view to combine lectures with enough space for discussions and working in smaller thematic groups. The idea is to start applying the new approaches mentioned above in south India and south Asia. The timescale in focus will be the Holocene. This will be the first effort to apply these approaches and models in the tropics with a regional perspective. Similarly, despite the richness and ready availability of historical and archeological data, no systematic effort has been taken to use and synthesize them from this perspective. A good synthesis of historical data with a spatio-temporal perspective already exists (eg., Historical Atlas of South India) and will contribute to the planned historical and pre-historical database.

One point of departure may be the inclusion of the prehistoric periods, spanning the Pleistocene and Early Holocene, mainly because the regional emphasis requires that the time perspective is longer than that of the New World.

Confirmed participants include experts in South Indian and Sri Lankan Ecology, Paleoecology, History & Archeology and Earth Sciences (Drs. B. R. Ramesh, R. Premathilake, Shanti Pappu, Kumar Akhilesh, Subbarayalu Y, Rajan K, Selvakumar V, Balakrishnan S. & Pramod Singh), and experts from Europe and Australia in pollen-inferred vegetation/land-cover reconstructions (Marie-Jose Gaillard, Simon Haberle, Shinya Sugita), and in vegetation modelling (Christelle Hely) and in spatial analyses/ interpolation techniques (Cedric Gaucherel).

Ultimately, as the goal is to use new data-model comparison schemes for a better evaluation of model-predicted vegetation, land cover and climate, and hence future environmental changes, the idea is to have a good mix of researchers working with both data and models from diverse fields such as Ecology & Paleoecology, History & Archeology and Earth Sciences.

This workshop is an integral part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Laboratory of Palynology at the IFP the aim of which is to gather and catalyze new synergistic contacts between young and senior researchers from within and outside south Asia, to help review, synthesize and set future directions and also strategies for research from a tropical, south Asian perspective, using the lessons learned elsewhere.

  • Click here for the detailed Workshop Framework.
  • Click here for the daywise provisional programme.
  • Click here for the abstracts presented in the Workshop.
  • Click here to download the presentations made in the Workshop (zipped file size: 54.4 mb).


  • French Institute of Pondicherry
  • IGBP-PAGES (PAst Global changES - a core project of the International Geospgere- Biosphere Program), Bern Switzerland


Anupama K., IFP


Centre-point Hall, Hotel Atithi, S. V. Patel Salai, Puducherry.

Guide Map for the participants of IGBP PAGES PHAROS workshop