Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 257–268

The spread of Abies throughout Europe since the last glacial period: combined macrofossil and pollen data

  • Ruth Terhürne-Berson
  • Thomas Litt
  • Rachid Cheddadi
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00334-004-0049-4

Cite this article as:
Terhürne-Berson, R., Litt, T. & Cheddadi, R. Veget Hist Archaeobot (2004) 13: 257. doi:10.1007/s00334-004-0049-4


In this paper we reconstruct the location of the last glacial refugia and postglacial spread of Abies throughout Europe based on combined pollen and macrofossil data. More than 208 pollen sequences available in the European Pollen Database (EPD) and 38 macrofossil sites are used to produce distribution maps encompassing a time span between 38000 and 5500 years B.P. The investigation excludes more recent periods, because these could be strongly influenced by human impact. The pollen data presented here confirm long-lasting refugial areas such as southern Italy and Greece already described in previous studies. The combined pollen/macrofossil dataset identifies the Pyrenees as a further important refugium. In addition the pollen data indicate potential refugia in south-east France and north-west Italy. Possible migration tracks of Abies are discussed by comparing the palaeobotanical evidence with isozyme studies on gene markers of recent fir populations.


Abies Pollen Macrofossils Glacial refugia Postglacial spread Europe 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Terhürne-Berson
    • 1
  • Thomas Litt
    • 1
  • Rachid Cheddadi
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of PalaeontologyUniversity of Bonn BonnGermany
  2. 2.Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution (UMR CNRS 5554)Université Montpellier IIMontpellier cedex 05France