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Título

Long-term deforestation in NW Spain: linking the Holocene fire history to vegetation change and human activities

AutorKaal, Joeri ; Carrión Marco, Yolanda ; Asouti, Eleni; Martín Seijo, María; Martínez Cortizas, Antonio; Costa-Casais, Manuela ; Criado-Boado, Felipe
Palabras claveFire history
Charcoal analysis
Colluvial soils
NW Spain
Fecha de publicaciónene-2011
EditorElsevier
CitaciónQuaternary Science Reviews 30 (1-2): 161-175 (2011)
ResumenThe Holocene fire regime is thought to have had a key role in deforestation and shrubland expansion in Galicia (NW Spain) but the contribution of past societies to vegetation burning remains poorly understood. This may be, in part, due to the fact that detailed fire records from areas in close proximity to archaeological sites are scarce. To fill this gap, we performed charcoal analysis in five colluvial soils from an archaeological area (Campo Lameiro) and compared the results to earlier studies from this area and palaeo-ecological literature from NW Spain. This analysis allowed for the reconstruction of the vegetation and fire dynamics in the area during the last ca 11 000 yrs. In the Early Holocene, Fabaceae and Betula sp. were dominant in the charcoal record. Quercus sp. started to replace these species around 10 000 cal BP, forming a deciduous forest that prevailed during the Holocene Thermal Maximum until ∼5500 cal BP. Following that, several cycles of potentially fire-induced forest regression with subsequent incomplete recovery eventually led to the formation of an open landscape dominated by shrubs (Erica sp. and Fabaceae). Major episodes of forest regression were (1) ∼5500-5000 cal BP, which marks the mid-Holocene cooling after the Holocene Thermal Maximum, but also the period during which agropastoral activities in NW Spain became widespread, and (2) ∼2000-1500 cal BP, which corresponds roughly to the end of the Roman Warm Period and the transition from the Roman to the Germanic period. The low degree of chronological precision, which is inherent in fire history reconstructions from colluvial soils, made it impossible to distinguish climatic from human-induced fires. Nonetheless, the abundance of synanthropic pollen indicators (e.g. Plantago lanceolata and Urtica dioica) since at least ∼6000 cal BP strongly suggests that humans used fire to generate and maintain pasture.
Descripción15 páginas, 4 figuras, 2 tablas.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.10.006
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/33166
DOI10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.10.006
ISSN0277-3791
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