Reconstructing forest history from archaeological data: A case study in the Duero basin assessing the origin of controversial forests and the loss of tree populations of great biogeographical interest uri icon

abstract

  • The study of more than 700 charcoals from the Vaccaean settlement of Pintia (Padilla del Duero, Valladolid) provides new local and detailed data about the Iron Age II forest composition in Continental-Mediterranean inland Spain. Pinus gr. sylvestris/nigra (from which an unexpectedly high number of charcoals were identified), together with Mediterranean pines (also highly represented), Juniperus L and evergreen and deciduous Quercus, were the main taxa living in the area, revealing two different marked biogeographical elements in the late-Holocene landscapes of the Duero basin: Mediterranean and Eurosiberian. On one hand, the results shed new light on the assessment of the origin of Mediterranean pinewoods in the area. On the other hand, the charcoal assemblage of Pintia reveals a more important presence of the current Mediterranean highland pines in the lowlands of the Central Iberian Peninsula in the late-Holocene suggesting the existence of interglacial refugia. Finally, this work highlights palaeoecological studies as valuable tools to support decisions on forest management related to conservation and restoration of our natural heritage. (c) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011