Landscape dynamics of Abies and Fagus in the southern Pyrenees during the last 2200 years as a result of anthropogenic impacts

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Abstract

The vegetation landscape dynamic is derived from the relationship established between a society and its environment through time, and the current landscape has never been seen in the previous 2000 years. The pollen study of a core from a peat bog in València d'Àneu (Lleida, NE Iberian Peninsula) shows a maximum extension of Abies alba forest about 2200-2000 cal. yr BP. Later on, there is evidence of selective actions affecting this forest and the expansion of Fagus sylvatica at about 2000-1300 cal. yr BP. Beginning in 1300 cal. yr BP, deforestation due to agricultural activities expanded and beech definitively disappeared at 800 cal. yr BP. Natural and human disturbances affected the dynamics of A. alba and F. sylvatica from their first appearance to the current vegetation landscape. Human impact on the silver fir forest, which reached its maximum in the last millennium, favoured the beech population. Pollen data from this region support our finding that human impact, not climate, is the most important influential factor in the development of beech forests. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-349
JournalReview of Palaeobotany and Palynology
Volume156
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009

Keywords

  • Abies alba
  • Fagus sylvatica
  • GIS suitability mapping
  • Holocene
  • Pyrenees
  • palynology

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