Holocene high-altitude vegetation dynamics in the Pyrenees: A pedoanthracology contribution to an interdisciplinary approach

Raquel Cunill, Joan Manuel Soriano, Marie Claude Bal, Albert Pèlachs, Josep Manel Rodriguez, Ramon Pérez-Obiol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using an interdisciplinary methodology based on pedoanthracology, palynology and sedimentary charcoals, landscape transformation in the Pyrenees mountains during the Holocene is analyzed, with special attention to altitudinal variation in the treeline. The data sources were eight soil profiles on a transect at 2000-2600 m a.s.l. and a sedimentary record extracted from a very nearby peat bog at 2247 m a.s.l.The combination of three different proxies permits a more viable and qualitatively complementary data set, making it possible to better interpret the vegetation dynamic in this space through the Holocene.Analysis of the data showed that the Pyrenees landscape has undergone important changes during this period. The changing treeline is a good example. There is evidence of the decisive role of fire in the configuration of this landscape.Finally, this study shows that herding and agricultural uses over thousands of years in the study area have had a determining influence on the current configuration of the territory, equal to or more important than climatic factors. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-70
JournalQuaternary International
Volume289
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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