F. Torre, J. Guiot, S. Fauquette
Jan 1, 2000
Abstract The abiotic conditions (soil properties, water balance) associated with terrestrial biomes in France during the last climatic cycle have been quantified using an indirect method. A set of potential modern climatic analogues across the world was first selected for each biome type. The edaphic features corresponding to the chosen analogue vegetation were then taken from a global soil database and attributed to the biomes. Finally, the hydrological parameters were simulated for these analogues using a vegetation model. We have identified five groups of modern analogues with either higher latitudes or higher elevations than the average present environment of France. From these five groups of analogues, the first two represent boreal forest, two others are steppic, and the last one represents tundra. The first group of analogues represents boreal forests at high latitudes (averaged latitude: 61° N, average elevation: 300 m) with mainly sandy podzolized soils and intermittent permafrost, high precipitation and rapid drainage. The second group of analogues represents boreal forests at higher elevations and lower latitudes (44° N, 2100 m) with stony soil and lower precipitation as well as poorer drainage. The first group of steppes at low elevations and high latitudes (64° N, 500 m) is characterized by cambisol or gleysol soils. The second group of steppes at high elevations and relatively low latitudes (41° N, 2900 m) has a hydrological regime with high evapotranspiration and poor drainage that is compatible with presence of xerosols and yermosols. The tundra group (57° N, 1400 m) has lithosolic, cambisolic and gleysolic soils. The approach used here can be applied on a global scale and could provide useful boundary conditions for simulating past climate with general circulation models.