ⓘ Glacial refugium. A glacial refugium is a geographic region which made possible the survival of flora and fauna in times of ice ages and allowed for post-glacia ..


ⓘ Glacial refugium

A glacial refugium is a geographic region which made possible the survival of flora and fauna in times of ice ages and allowed for post-glacial re-colonization. Different types of glacial refugia can be distinguished, namely nunatak, peripheral and lowland refugia. Glacial refugia have been suggested as a major cause of the patterns of distributions of flora and fauna in both temperate and tropical latitudes. However, in spite of the continuing use of historical refugia to explain modern-day species distributions, especially in birds, doubt has been cast on the validity of such inferences, as much of the differentiation between populations observed today may have occurred before or after their restriction to refugia.


1. Identification of glacial refugia

Traditionally, the identification of glacial refugia have occurred through the assessment of palaeoecological evidence, to determine the origins of modern taxa. For example, paleoecological approaches, which focus on the study of fossil organisms and their remains, have been used to reconstruct the distributions of pollen in Europe, for the 13.000 years since the last glaciation. Researchers in this case ultimately established the spread of forest trees from the mountainous southern fringe of Europe, which suggests that this area served as a glacial refugia during this time.


2.1. Different types of glacial refugia Nunatak glacial refugia

A nunatak is a type of glacial refugia that is located on the snow-free, exposed peaks of mountains, which lie above the ice sheet during glaciations. The identification of diversity hotspots’ in areas, which should have been migration regions during major glacial episodes, is evidence for nunatak glacial refugia. For example, the Monte Rosa mountain ranges, the Avers, and the Engadine and the Bernina are all floristically rich proposed nunatak regions, which are indicative nunatak glacial survival.


2.2. Different types of glacial refugia Peripheral glacial refugia

Peripheral glacial refugia still exists within the mountain system but contrary to nunataks, which exist on the peaks, this type of refugia is located along the borders of mountain systems. Evidence for this type of mountain refugia can be found along the borders of the Carpathian Mountains, Pyrenees or European Alps, all of which were formally glaciated mountain systems. For example, using the amplified fragment length polymorphism AFLP technique, researchers have been able to infer the survival of Phyteuma globulariifolium in peripheral refugia in the European Alps.


2.3. Different types of glacial refugia Lowland glacial refugia

Lowland glacial refugia, unlike nunatak and peripheral glacial refugia, is a type of refugia that exists outside of the mountain system in the lowlands. Situated beyond the limits of ice shields, lowland refugia has been identified for a number of plant and animal species. For example, through allozyme analysis, researchers have been able to confirm the continuous distribution of Zygaena exulans in the between the foothills of the Pyrenees and the Alps during the last ice age.

  • supply Refugium population biology a location of an isolated or relict population of a once widespread animal or plant species Last Glacial Maximum
  • of refugia through time and space. Last Glacial Maximum refugia Refugium population biology Glacial refugium WILLIS, K VANANDEL, T December 2004
  • In biology, a refugium plural: refugia is a location which supports an isolated or relict population of a once more widespread species. This isolation
  • in this area. The region may have been a major refugium for Paleolithic peoples during the Last Glacial Maximum, apparently playing a major role as source
  • glaciation Ibero - Maurusian Capsian culture Kebaran culture Japan, Jōmon period Glacial relict Magdalenian Refugium Upper Paleolithic Eurasiatic languages
  • mtDNA phylogeography: implications for morphology and the Haida Gwaii glacial refugium controversy. Evolution 51: 1647 1653. Richard B. Waitt, Jr., and Robert
  • mtDNA Phylogeography: Implications for Morphology and the Haida Gwaii Glacial Refugium Controversy Evolution. Society for the Study of Evolution. 51 5
  • remained as a sea. During the Pleistocene it is thought to have been a glacial refugium Following the First World War, Hurd s Deep was used by the British
  • Tanana River valley area of Alaska. This valley, or part of it, was a glacial refugium during the last ice age. O. tanana inhabits clearings in boreal spruce