Holocene vegetation dynamics and human impact at tree line in the Central Swiss Alps (Patiéfray, 2341 m a.s.l, Bagnes, Valais)

Boltshauser-Kaltenrieder, Petra; Curdy, Philippe; Tinner, Willy (2020). Holocene vegetation dynamics and human impact at tree line in the Central Swiss Alps (Patiéfray, 2341 m a.s.l, Bagnes, Valais). Bulletin de la Murithienne, 138, pp. 13-30. Société valaisanne des sciences naturelles

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The present study combines results from paleoecology and archeology. We analyzed pollen, plant macrofossils and charcoal to reconstruct the vegetation and fire history of the past 11000 years. Around 9950 - 9450 cal BP (8000 - 7500 cal. BC) the Patiéfray area was affforested by stone pines, larches and birches, interspersed with Vaccinium species and dwarf juniper. These open forests provided good conditions for Mesolithic hunter - gatherers, whose presence is attested by archeological finds in a rock shelter at Patiéfray. With the onset of pastoralism in the Neolithic period, human influence on vegetation increased slightly in the area. Anthropic impacts in the region increased significantly only at the beginning of the Bronze Age (4150 cal. BP; 2200 cal. BC). Timberline below Patiéfray sank, (sub -) alpine meadows scattered with larch trees became established at the site. In the Roman period, timberline further decreased and new crops (sweet chestnut, walnut) were cultivated down in the valleys. From the 5th century AD both, agriculture and alpine summer farming intensified. The results of the paleoecological study are consistent with the archeological prospection work carried out in the region (ITRES project)

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Boltshauser-Kaltenrieder, Petra and Tinner, Willy

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0374-6402

Publisher:

Société valaisanne des sciences naturelles

Language:

French

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

13 Jan 2022 08:39

Last Modified:

13 Jan 2022 08:39

Uncontrolled Keywords:

macroremains, upper forest limit, vegetation history, burn history, palaeoecology, archaeology, human impact

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/162297

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/162297

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