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Climate change and human settlement as drivers of late-Holocene vegetational change in the Faroe Islands

Hannon, G E; Bradshaw, R H W; Bradshaw, E G; Snowball, Ian LU and Wastegard, S (2005) In The Holocene 15(5). p.639-647
Abstract
Changes in Faroese land surfaces during the late Holocene reflect intimate interactions between cultural and environmental development. Analyses of fossil wood, pollen and plant macrofossils indicate that the present open landscape replaced shrubby vegetation that was present from c. 6000 BC Up to c. AD 660. Conditions altered during the late Holocene, with loss of woody vegetation and increasing erosion: trends that were initiated prior to human settlement. AMS dating of sub-fossil Betula, Salix and Juniperus found buried in peat profiles from the islands of Suouroy, Sandoy, Eysturoy, Vagar and Streymoy, revealed that the islands had at least partial woody vegetation cover up to the time of continuous settlement. The settlement horizon,... (More)
Changes in Faroese land surfaces during the late Holocene reflect intimate interactions between cultural and environmental development. Analyses of fossil wood, pollen and plant macrofossils indicate that the present open landscape replaced shrubby vegetation that was present from c. 6000 BC Up to c. AD 660. Conditions altered during the late Holocene, with loss of woody vegetation and increasing erosion: trends that were initiated prior to human settlement. AMS dating of sub-fossil Betula, Salix and Juniperus found buried in peat profiles from the islands of Suouroy, Sandoy, Eysturoy, Vagar and Streymoy, revealed that the islands had at least partial woody vegetation cover up to the time of continuous settlement. The settlement horizon, identified in a lacustrine sequence on the island of Eysturoy, dated to c. AD 570. It comprised pollen evidence for the cultivation of Hordeum, cultural macrofossil assemblages, charcoal fragments, diatom assemblage changes indicating lake nutrient enrichment and physical measurements showing increased sedimentation rates. The pollen record showed that heathland development was initiated prior to anthropogenic impact. The ecosystem impacts of settlement were therefore superimposed on landscape changes that began around AD 250. The earlier changes were most likely forced by increased storminess and declining atmospheric temperatures. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
palaeoecology, North Atlantic, human impact, vegetation history, diatoms, heathland, late Holocene, Faroe Islands, trees
in
The Holocene
volume
15
issue
5
pages
639 - 647
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • wos:000230758100001
  • scopus:22544436411
ISSN
0959-6836
DOI
10.1191/0959683605hl840rp
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f2804c3e-49da-40d1-8d6e-7d522d01f21c (old id 232066)
date added to LUP
2007-08-07 14:06:49
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:04:03
@article{f2804c3e-49da-40d1-8d6e-7d522d01f21c,
  abstract     = {Changes in Faroese land surfaces during the late Holocene reflect intimate interactions between cultural and environmental development. Analyses of fossil wood, pollen and plant macrofossils indicate that the present open landscape replaced shrubby vegetation that was present from c. 6000 BC Up to c. AD 660. Conditions altered during the late Holocene, with loss of woody vegetation and increasing erosion: trends that were initiated prior to human settlement. AMS dating of sub-fossil Betula, Salix and Juniperus found buried in peat profiles from the islands of Suouroy, Sandoy, Eysturoy, Vagar and Streymoy, revealed that the islands had at least partial woody vegetation cover up to the time of continuous settlement. The settlement horizon, identified in a lacustrine sequence on the island of Eysturoy, dated to c. AD 570. It comprised pollen evidence for the cultivation of Hordeum, cultural macrofossil assemblages, charcoal fragments, diatom assemblage changes indicating lake nutrient enrichment and physical measurements showing increased sedimentation rates. The pollen record showed that heathland development was initiated prior to anthropogenic impact. The ecosystem impacts of settlement were therefore superimposed on landscape changes that began around AD 250. The earlier changes were most likely forced by increased storminess and declining atmospheric temperatures.},
  author       = {Hannon, G E and Bradshaw, R H W and Bradshaw, E G and Snowball, Ian and Wastegard, S},
  issn         = {0959-6836},
  keyword      = {palaeoecology,North Atlantic,human impact,vegetation history,diatoms,heathland,late Holocene,Faroe Islands,trees},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {639--647},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {The Holocene},
  title        = {Climate change and human settlement as drivers of late-Holocene vegetational change in the Faroe Islands},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/0959683605hl840rp},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2005},
}