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    The Holocene vegetation cover of Britain and Ireland: overcoming problems of scale and discerning patterns of openness


    Fyfe, Ralph M. and Twiddle, Claire L. and Sugita, Shinya and Gaillard, Marie-José and Barratt, Philip and Caseldine, Christopher J. and Dodson, John and Edwards, Kevin J. and Farrell, Michelle and Froyd, Cynthia A. and Grant, Michael J. and Huckerby, Elizabeth and Innes, James B. and Shaw, Helen E. and Waller, Martyn (2013) The Holocene vegetation cover of Britain and Ireland: overcoming problems of scale and discerning patterns of openness. Quaternary Science Reviews, 73. pp. 132-148. ISSN 0277-3791

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    Abstract

    The vegetation of Europe has undergone substantial changes during the course of the Holocene epoch, resulting from range expansion of plants following climate amelioration, competition between taxa and disturbance through anthropogenic activities. Much of the detail of this pattern is understood from decades of pollen analytical work across Europe, and this understanding has been used to address questions relating to vegetation-climate feedback, biogeography and human impact. Recent advances in modelling the relationship between pollen and vegetation now make it possible to transform pollen proportions into estimates of vegetation cover at both regional and local spatial scales, using the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm (LRA), i.e. the REVEALS (Regional Estimates of VEgetation Abundance from Large Sites) and the LOVE (LOcal VEgetation) models. This paper presents the compilation and analysis of 73 pollen stratigraphies from the British Isles, to assess the application of the LRA and describe the pattern of landscape/woodland openness (i.e. the cover of low herb and bushy vegetation) through the Holocene. The results show that multiple small sites can be used as an effective replacement for a single large site for the reconstruction of regional vegetation cover. The REVEALS vegetation estimates imply that the British Isles had a greater degree of landscape/woodland openness at the regional scale than areas on the European mainland. There is considerable spatial bias in the British Isles dataset towards wetland areas and uplands, which may explain higher estimates of landscape openness compared with Europe. Where multiple estimates of regional vegetation are available from within the same region inter-regional differences are greater than intra-regional differences, supporting the use of the REVEALS model to the estimation of regional vegetation from pollen data.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Pollen analysis; British Isles; Vegetation; Landscape openness; REVEALS; Holocene;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 12225
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.05.014
    Depositing User: Helen Shaw
    Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 17:01
    Journal or Publication Title: Quaternary Science Reviews
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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