Vegetation and fire history since the last glacial maximum in an inland area of the western Mediterranean Basin (Northern Iberian Plateau, NW Spain)

Morales-Molino, Cesar and Garcia Anton, Mercedes (2014). Vegetation and fire history since the last glacial maximum in an inland area of the western Mediterranean Basin (Northern Iberian Plateau, NW Spain). "Quaternary Research", v. 81 ; pp. 63-77. ISSN 0033-5894. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2013.10.010.

Description

Title: Vegetation and fire history since the last glacial maximum in an inland area of the western Mediterranean Basin (Northern Iberian Plateau, NW Spain)
Author/s:
  • Morales-Molino, Cesar
  • Garcia Anton, Mercedes
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Quaternary Research
Date: 2014
Volume: 81
Subjects:
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Montes (UPM)
Department: Silvopascicultura [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

We reconstructed vegetation responses to climate oscillations, fire and human activities since the last glacial maximum in inland NW Iberia, where previous paleoecological research is scarce. Extremely sparse and open vegetation composed of steppic grasslands and heathlands with scattered pioneer trees suggests very cold and dry conditions during the Oldest Dryas, unsuitable for tree survival in the surroundings of the study site. Slight woodland expansion during the Bolling/Allerod was interrupted by the Younger Dryas cooling. Pinewoods dominated for most of the early Holocene, when a marked increase in fire activity occurred. Deciduous trees expanded later reaching their maximum representation during the mid-Holocene. Enhanced fire activity and the presence of coprophilous fungi around 6400-6000 cal yr BP suggest an early human occupation around the site. However, extensive deforestation only started at 4500 calyrBP, when fire was used to clear the tree canopy. Final replacement of woodlands with heathlands, grasslands and cereal crops occurred from 2700 cal yr BP onwards due to land-use intensification. Our paleoecological record can help efforts aimed at restoring the natural vegetation by indicating which communities were dominant at the onset of heavy human impact, thus promoting the recovery of currently rare oak and alder stands.

More information

Item ID: 36168
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/36168/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:36168
DOI: 10.1016/j.yqres.2013.10.010
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033589413001221
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 19 Jun 2015 06:56
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2017 23:30
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