Palynological Evidence for Climatic Change and Human Activity during the Holocene on Minorca (Balearic Islands)

Errikarta Imanol Yii, R. Ramon Perez-Obiol, Jose Pantaleon-Cano, Joan Maria Roure

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Four pollen diagrams from Minorca (Balearic Islands) have been correlated with other previously studied sequences from Majorca and Minorca to define a Holocene landscape sequence for the region from 8000 yr B.P. to the present. The lower part of the pollen diagrams reflects a climatic phase with more rain and less-marked seasonality than today. Significant quantities of Corylus, Buxus, and mesophilous taxa are found. In the middle part, between 5000 and 4000 yr B.P., a strong change is recorded in composition and structure of the vegetational landscape, with vegetation appearing that was adapted to Mediterranean conditions. This episode coincided with the first human colonization of the island and also with a widespread climatic change in the western Mediterranean region. The change in taxa was complex and some sclerophyllous taxa such Olea played an important role in the transformation of the landscape physiognomy from the mid-Holocene until the present. Although human activities have removed much of the Mediterranean vegetation on the Balearic Islands, it seems clear that the changes have been brought about, in part, by increasing dryness. © 1997 University of Washington.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-347
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


  • Balearic islands
  • Buxus
  • Holocene
  • Minorca
  • Olea
  • Pollen


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