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The vegetational history of the northern pennines england uk 3. variations in the composition of the mid flandrian forests



The vegetational history of the northern pennines england uk 3. variations in the composition of the mid flandrian forests



Journal of Ecology 71(1): 95-118



Data on frequencies of pollen grains in peat were collected from 38 sites in the northern Pennines, northern England, for the period corresponding to pollen assemblage zone VIIa or Flandrian II. Temporal variations in pollen frequencies reflect the well-documented course of Flandrian forest history. Most of the variation, however, is spatial and can be explained by differing local climatic and edaphic conditions. Most of the spatial variation relates to the composition of the forests at low altitudes on Millstone Grits in the northeast of the region, which now has a particularly cloudy climate. There was more Betula, Pinus, Salix and Melampyrum and less Ulmus and Corylus than in other parts of the region. Tilia was more abundant in the south of the region, probably because its northern extension was limited, as now, by low summer temperatures. Fraxinus was also more abundant in the south, probably owing in part to edaphic factors. Little of the variation appears to be anthropogenic, although the tendency of Fraxinus, Gramineae and Potentilla-type pollen to have high frequencies in the mid-altitude range 450-680 m, could be attributed to Mesolithic hunting and burning. Little of the variation can be attributed to local site morphology, and no evidence was found that each site was not receiving a large proportion of its pollen from within a short distance.

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