Influence of human impact and bedrock differences on the vegetational history of the Insubrian Southern Alps

Gobet, Erika; Tinner, Willy; Hubschmid, P.; Jansen, I.; Wehrli, Michael; Ammann, Brigitta; Wick, L. (2000). Influence of human impact and bedrock differences on the vegetational history of the Insubrian Southern Alps. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 9(3), pp. 175-187. Springer-Verlag 10.1007/BF01299802

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Vegetation history for the study region is reconstructed on the basis of pollen, charcoal and AMS14C investigations of lake sediments from Lago del Segrino (calcareous bedrock) and Lago di Muzzano (siliceous bedrock). Late-glacial forests were characterised byBetula andPinus sylvestris. At the beginning of the Holocene they were replaced by temperate continental forest and shrub communities. A special type of temperate lowland forest, withAbies alba as the most important tree, was present in the period 8300 to 4500 B.P. Subsequently,Fagus, Quercus andAlnus glutinosa were the main forest components andA. alba ceased to be of importance.Castanea sativa andJuglans regia were probably introduced after forest clearance by fire during the first century A.D. On soils derived from siliceous bedrock,C. sativa was already dominant at ca. A.D. 200 (A.D. dates are in calendar years). In limestone areas, however,C. sativa failed to achieve a dominant role. After the introduction ofC. sativa, the main trees were initially oak (Quercus spp.) and later the walnut (Juglans regia). Ostrya carpinifolia became the dominant tree around Lago del Segrino only in the last 100–200 years though it had spread into the area at ca. 5000 cal. B.C. This recent expansion ofOstrya is confirmed at other sites and appears to be controlled by human disturbances involving especially clearance. It is argued that these forests should not be regarded as climax communities. It is suggested that under undisturbed succession they would develop into mixed deciduous forests consisting ofFraxinus excelsior, Tilia, Ulmus, Quercus and Acer.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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:

Gobet, Erika; Tinner, Willy; Wehrli, Michael and Ammann, Brigitta

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0939-6314

Publisher:

Springer-Verlag

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

12 Feb 2016 14:01

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2018 15:17

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/BF01299802

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Vegetation history, Castanea sativa, Juglans regia, Ostrya carpinifolia, Southern Alps

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.75942

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/75942

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