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The role of human disturbance in the local Late Holocene establishment of Fagus and Picea forests at Flahult, Western Småland, Southern Sweden

Abstract

A pollen record from a small alder carr located in the centre of aFagus stand near the hamlet of Flahult in southern Småland has shown thatFagus became established in a semi open cultural landscape about 900 B.P. Human disturbance seems to have controlled the local establishment ofFagus at this site through an expansion of pastoral farming. TheFagus dominance in the present stand seems to be of recent origin, asFagus pollen percentages and influx values have increased considerably only during the last 50 years. The modern composition and structure of theFagus stand are probably an effect of changes in land-use and decreased human activity at the end of the last century. Today, only occasionalPicea individuals occur in the studied stand, andPicea does not appear to have been more abundant in the recent past. The regional expansion ofPicea has probably occurred during this century and has been favoured by modern forestry during the last 50 years.

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Björkman, L. The role of human disturbance in the local Late Holocene establishment of Fagus and Picea forests at Flahult, Western Småland, Southern Sweden. Veget Hist Archaebot 6, 79–90 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01261956

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Key words

  • Pollen analysis
  • Forest dynamics
  • Fagus sylvatica
  • Picea abies
  • Southern Sweden