University of Reading Research Data Archive

The SPECIAL EPD Database: an expanded resource to document changes in vegetation and climate from pollen records from Europe, the Middle East and western Eurasia

How to cite this Dataset


Past changes in vegetation can be reconstructed with pollen records from sedimentary archives to make quantitative reconstructions of climate variables. The SPECIAL-EPD is an expanded database of pollen records from Europe, the Middle East and western Eurasia. It is based on data from public data repositories, a pollen compilation spanning the Middle East, and data supplied by the original authors for the Iberian peninsula and other regions. There has been thorough quality control applied to the data, and errors have been fixed and recorded.
New BACON Bayesian age models, based on the recalibration of radiocarbon ages using INTCAL2020 are provided for all the records. The pollen records have been taxonomically harmonised and the counts at this level are provided in the "clean" table. They have then been standardised at two further levels: one provides taxonomically harmonised counts at species level for woody plants and genus level for other plants ("intermediate" table); the second provides a further amalgamation of rare taxa into higher taxonomic groups (genus, sub-family, family as appropriate), after ensuring that this was consistent with their distribution in climate space ("amalgamated" table).
The SPECIAL-EPD database now contains 1758 entities from 1576 sites. New age models have been run for 1598 for the entities in total.

Resource Type: Dataset
Creators: Harrison, Sandy ORCID logoORCID:, Egbudom, Mary-Ann, Liu, Mengmeng, Cruz-Silva, Esmeralda ORCID logoORCID: and Sweeney, Luke ORCID logoORCID:
Rights-holders: University of Reading, Esmeralda Cruz-Silva, Luke Sweeney
Data Publisher: University of Reading
Publication Year: 2024
Data last accessed: 21 June 2024
Metadata Record URL:
Organisational units: Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Participating Organisations: University of Reading
Keywords: New BACON Bayesian age model, pollen records, vegetation changes
Data Availability: OPEN


Download all (.zip)





Actions (Log-in required)

View item View item