Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 15–28 | Cite as

Mid- and late-Holocene vegetation history of Quidenham Mere, Norfolk, UK interpreted using recurrent groups of taxa

  • Sylvia M. Peglar


The results of pollen analyses from the top 8 m of sediment retrieved from Quidenham Mere, Norfolk, UK are presented. These, together with the results of charcoal analyses and the numerical classification of the pollen and spore taxa into ‘recurrent groups’ using simple discriminant function analysis, are used to reconstruct the vegetation history of the Quidenham Mere catchment over approximately the last 8000 years and to infer anthropogenic effects on the landscape. After some minor woodland clearance in the Bronze Age and further clearance in the Iron Age, it was only in the Anglo-Saxon period that most of the woodland was cleared. Although arable farming was important, it appears that there was also a considerable amount of land used for grazing, with grazed woodland and wood pasture. Towards the top of the sequence, within the past 200 years, there is evidence of the foundation and development of the Quidenham Hall parkland adjacent to the site, with the planting of native and exotic species of trees. A comparison is made between the vegetation histories and anthropogenic effects on the landscapes of Quidenham Mere and Diss Mere, a similar lake about 10 km from Quidenham. Both sites reflect the agricultural practices occurring in their catchments from early times. Exceptionally high values of Cannabaceae grains are indicative of retting of hemp during the past 1500 years. Rarefaction analysis is used to compare the pollen richness of the two sites.

Key words

Anthropogenic effects Retting Charcoal Recurrent groups England 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvia M. Peglar
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanical InstituteUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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